[EU-lobby-data] additional notes conference call & updated planning document

Olivier Hoedeman olivier at corporateeurope.org
Thu Sep 27 14:19:47 UTC 2012

Dear friends,

here's my notes from yesterday's conference call, with action points in 
bold (Friedrich's action points were already circulated yesterday). I've 
also done a limited update of the planning document. The next conference 
call is *Tuesday October 9, at 11 o'clock* (Timo, does that work for you?

_- update on progress re programming and data normalisation _
For the launch on December 4th we will focus on getting the features 
that are on the test version of the website (http://lobbydemo.pudo.org/) 
in perfect shape. Other data sources (expert groups, etc.) and tasks 
will be added at a later stage. For some of these data and tasks we will 
try using crowd sourcing to get the data normalisation done. We will 
need to add several tables, such as a list of corporations, lobby 
consultancies and law firms with lobby offices in Brussels (so people 
can search and find out which companies are doing lobbying in Brussels, 
but are not registered); *Erik will update the tables* we used for the 
ALTER-EU report in June. We will not try to do a table of trade 
associations at this stage, but perhaps later (same with NGOs, 
thinktanks, etc.). For the data normalisation work that needs to happen 
before December 4th, we will *organise a working session in the Mundo-B 
building*, probably in the second half of October. Friedrich will work 
on getting the datacrunching features ready over the next weeks; we'll 
have a stocktaking moment in mid-October.
- the contract with web-designers_
We will ask Timo to *meet with the web-designers* (TacticalTech) to 
reach an agreement on what they can do for us in time for the website 
launch. After the deal is clear, there will be *a technical meeting* in 
Berlin involving Friedrich too. About the looks of the website, we would 
prefer it to fairly neutral, inviting and easily-accessible; we need the 
website to be simple and very user-friendly so people will feel like 
using it. In terms of task division between TacticalTech and Friedrich, 
TacticalTech will only do the presentation, whereas Friedrich takes care 
of data and programming.

_- venue for December 4th launch_
CEO has reserved the Maelbeek room in the Residence Palace in Brussels, 
which has moveable seats so we can do both a press conference and a 
workshop. Olivier and Natacha will *consult with colleagues* in CEO and 
FoEE, including the media officers, about the format of the launch event.

_- what will the name of the website be (plus domain name)_
We have so far used the (domain) name lobbytransparency.eu, but we 
should finalise the decision on this important issue, also thinking 
about how the name works for social media like twitter.
lobbytransparency.eu is quite neutral; we could also consider 
lobbyingexposed.eu (Olivier's proposal) or openinterests.eu (Friedrich's 
suggestion) or another option. It might be good to include the term 
lobby or lobbying as this is what the website focuses on. We will 
discuss this issue within our respective organisations and *circulate 
new ideas before the next conference call*.
- budget and cost-sharing arrangement_
Natacha and Olivier will *make a detailed budget and suggestion for 
cost-sharing* between CEO, FoEE and LC.

_- which basic texts (about the project, background reading, etc.) do we 
need to prepare for the website?_
Olivier will *make a proposal for which basic texts we need before the 
next call and also for some first blog stories* to have ready December 
4th. We may want to ask for external help with the writing of the blog 
stories, for instance asking Ester to work on this on a freelance basis. 
We will first see how much money we have available.

_- do we add a cyber-action component from the beginning?_
Cyber-action (i.e. inviting website visitors to write to Commissioner 
Sefcovic to call for improvements in the register) will be added later 
and could be run on other websites rather than the crunch-website itself 
(i.e. ALTER-EU). We will try to *add a feature so people can 
'subscribe'* to news about specific companies and lobby groups.

_- Hackday _
Friedrich and Erik will participate in this event in London on November 
22-24, where we might be able to get help with developing further 
features for the website.

You're all warmly invited to *add tasks to the planning document* and to 
*add your name to tasks* for which you can take responsibility.

friendly greetings


On 09/26/2012 04:09 PM, Friedrich Lindenberg wrote:
> * Set up meeting with TTC/LC in Berlin (who are the current contacts?
> Lucinda and Marek?)
> * Create stub entries for non-existing register entries and those that
> have been expelled
>     * Sample Expelled: white&  case ?
> * Ping Erik re lists of non-registered known companies / consultancies
> * Feature: Subscriptions - needs notion of activities
> * Facet by country - or compare with another register?
> * CSV/Excel download support
> * More info for Erik re Hackday (see below for abstract)
> * Get IRE account: http://ire.org/resource-center/
> Links to current data-cleansing tools:
> Mark up connected entities:
> http://pybossa.com/app/openinterests-entitymarkup/newtask
> De-duplicate the canonical names:
> http://nomenklatura.okfnlabs.org/openinterests-entities
> (Separate tutorials to follow on both of these)
> RE HACKDAY (Please consider any refs to ERDF removed):
> Journalists, designers, coders, data wranglers, policy reasearchers
> and interested citizens are invited to the "Track the EU Money
> Hackathon" in London, during 24-25 November 2012.
> As a journalist and citizen, to understand institutions, policies and
> commitments, you have to look where the money goes. EU publishes
> information on its spending but this data is difficult for journalists
> and citizens to make sense of. Browsable databases that allow people
> to easily find information about recipients of EU funds, tools and
> platforms that allow people to create their own visualisations of how
> funds are distributed in the EU and mobile applications that let users
> acquire information about EU programmes and opportunities are
> necessary tools for approaching the complex issue of EU spending.
> Some of the challenges that the working groups will be approaching
> during the hackathon are:
> * Who are the major influencers of EU policy-making?
> * EU funds for corporations: How does the EU fund corporations? Who
> are the biggest recipients on EU funds? How can we match company data
> to EU spending data?
> * European Regional Development Funds (ERDF): Who are the major
> recipients of ERDF?
> * Can we get the data for all ERDF projects and map them?
> * Making EU lobbying data accessible to journalists and the public:
> Can we build an EU lobbying news app?
> * How can we map farm subsidies recipients across Europe?
> * What data tools and platforms can help us better understand the
> financial crisis in Europe?
> This hackday is organised by the European Journalism Centre and the
> Open Knowledge Foundation with partial support from the Knight-Mozilla
> OpenNews programme.
> _______________________________________________
> eu-lobby-data mailing list
> eu-lobby-data at lists.okfn.org
> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/eu-lobby-data

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