[OKFN-AU] Melbourne Monthly Meetups

David F. Flanders david.flanders at ands.org.au
Fri Dec 14 22:02:27 UTC 2012

So I've drafted the following blog post which feels far to long and
whaffles on a bit (please do edit down as you see fit, CC-zero licensed),
none the less please do help me out by FWDing to any of your friends in
Melbourne :)  /dff
Monthly Melbourne Open Knowledge Meetups

December 14, 2012 in
Uncategorized<http://au.okfn.org/category/uncategorized/> Edit
this entry <http://au.okfn.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=115&action=edit>

It’s getting closer to that time of Year… ride my bike more, go on a crazy
shake diet, stop smoking, etc – Welcome to the New Year’s resolution
countdown. Just mentioning these things makes me want to procrastinate… But
why do we so often break our resolutions? Perhaps because we don’t really
believe in them, or we don’t find them meaningful enough, maybe our
resolutions are not FUN enough? Is it possible to find a resolution that is

“decide to do a resolution that is both fun and meaningful”

Well in if live in Melbourne you are in luck, as a group of us have started
to talk about just this very idea – “Let’s make our resolutions count”, and
we’d like you to join us: what can we as Melburnian citizens do to make our
city a better place? Most of us don’t have a desire to pick up litter or
randomly bother people on the street; rather, we are taking a modern Web
view of what Melbourne needs to be even better: in short, Melbourne needs
more ‘Open Knowledge’.

What is Open Knowledge and why would it make Melbourne a better place? – In
short, Open Knowledge is any set of data, info or ideas that if set free
and made available to the wider community could better our lives. In short,
Open Knowledge is whatever YOU think would make Melbourne a better place.

For example our first event will be on Saturday January 5th, where we’ll
all get together to make a new Cycle Map of Melbourne that anyone can use.
We’ll be using all kinds of Open Knowledge to do this, read more here.

Our next event will be on February 5th, but we’ve not yet decided what
we’ll be doing (yet).  Each month we’ll decide what activity we are doing
next.   Here is our top ten list of brilliant ‘Open Knowledge’ moments that
happened last year (the types of things we’d like to be apart of this
year[1]): <http://www.flickr.com/photos/s13n1/6194476707/>

   - *No.10*: Launch of the Australian Chapter of OKF at the OKFestival in
   Helsinki <http://okfestival.org/>, joining NN other countries in the
   pursuit of Open Knowledge!
   - *No.9*: Government grant funding agencies (ARC & NHMRC) recognise that
   the taxpayer money they give to fund research “should be widely
   available so that the maximum benefit can be gained from the knowledge
   instead of the current model where Academic publishers get to resell
   research papers for exorbitant prices.
   - *No. 8*: Experimental dataset published by the Bureau of
Metereology<http://lab.environment.data.gov.au/> that
   can (some say, ‘magically’) interlink itself with other datasets making it
   easier to know how meteorologist data can help our lives and businesses be
   more prosperous on a day to day basis.
   - *No.7*: Launch of the first Australian government sponsored website
   that publishes the data <https://www.data.act.gov.au/> that taxpayers
   are paying our government officials to produce (“democracy is
   transparency). #dataACT
   - *No.6*: ABC releasing 22 files of archival news
    to Wikimedia
   Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licences.
   - *No.5*: The State Library of New South Wales encouraging 22 of their
   staff to be trained by Wikimedia
Australia<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:GLAM/SLNSW> to
   edit Wikipedia about Australian newspapers and NSW
   - *No. 4*: Greater recognition by Government organisations that hackers
   are brilliant at making good things happen with their code/data skillz,
   e.g. through events such as #GovHack <http://govhack.org/>. NSW Bus
   Tables Data &#eRes2012<http://dfflanders.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/the-developer-lounge-and-challenge-at-eres2012/>
   - *No.3*:
   - *No.2*: The launch of data journalism publications like Crunch
   The Age’s Data Point <http://www.theage.com.au/data-point> where
   is *data driven*<http://www.smh.com.au/data-point/from-stolid-to-sexy-vive-la-data-revolution-20120915-25zir.html>
   of opinion pieces based on un-cited evidence. #ddj
   - *No.1*: 30th anniversary of FOI in
   and launch of the ‘Right to Know’ website <http://righttoknow.org.au/> which
   make it easier to make a request as well as helps you track it in the
   public so other can benefit as well.

The way we will decide what ‘Open Knowledge’ activity we are going to do
next is simple: we’ll decide as a group the month before the event.  So on
January 5th while we are making our new cycle map of Melbourne we’ll
naturally think of new Open Knowledge things to do, and so we’ll decide on
January 5th what we are going to do on February 5th.  Accordingly, our next
event will be on March 5th 9and be decide on Feb 5th), and then April 5th,
and then May 5th… and so forth and so on.  In short: REMEMBER, REMEMBER THE
FIFTH OF <the month>!).

Why not try committing yourself to attending one dozen Open Knowledge
activities (one per month).

[1]= Disclaimer: This is Flanders own personal top ten list (please add
more or your order in the comments
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