[@OKFNau] Announcing Open Knowledge Melbourne
budgetaus at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 1 05:55:36 UTC 2015
Hi Lachlan & Keith,
Given that for the past couple of years I have been working full time on open data projects for no remuneration, the issues you bring up are of great interest to me. The recently formed Open Data Australia meetup has members from all over Australia (and elsewhere) http://www.meetup.com/Australia-Open-Data/
During the first meetup a couple of weeks ago one of the features for me was to be able to hear from people working in open data around Australia - I normally only interact with Sydney-siders. However we did not get much of a chance to talk about the problems faced by open data advocates and open data projects. I think this would be a good theme for a future meetup if people are interested. I'm co-organiser of the group so am open suggestions.
I also participated in Random Hacks of Kindness here in Sydney recently and it is one hackathon where they do give support to teams (a meeting place) to continue the projects and problem owners/teams can also attend future RHOK's and get further input. It would be good to do collaborations with existing organisations like RHOK http://www.rhokaustralia.org/
I see no reason why projects begun at other hackfests can't become RHOK projects.
Rosie Williams BA (Sociology)________________________________________
NoFibs.com.au - Open Data Reporter InfoAus.net - Founder and Developer
From: keithamoss at gmail.com
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2014 09:05:22 +0000
To: okfn-au at lists.okfn.org
Subject: Re: [@OKFNau] Announcing Open Knowledge Melbourne
I just wanted to pass on a belated thanks for this post of yours.
It chimes with a fair bit of what I've been thinking about myself - and gives a good shape to some vague ideas we've had over here in Perth about the principles and structure of running open knowledge/data/government meetups effectively.
Please keep us up-to-date with how Open Knowledge Melbourne is going :)
On Sun Nov 30 2014 at 4:59:48 PM Lachlan Musicman <datakid at gmail.com> wrote:
I would like to announce the start of a weekly meet up called Open
Knowledge Melbourne. It will be held on Wednesdays, currently we are
planning on it being at ThoughtWorks, from 6pm-available. (Thanks TW!)
In some ways this is an extension or rebirth or rebrand of the
1. The annual Hackathons are great events, but my personal experience
was that we were unable to take up available funding to continue the
projects because all participants had full time jobs or were otherwise
engaged. This is a shame and a waste of good ideas and good work.
2. There seems to be uncertainty amongst the (perceived) natural
constituency of IT types as to what a *Hack is.
3. Having now participated in Gov and HealthHack, most noticeable was
the lack of non technical participants - designers and artists amongst
others. In Skud's excellent critique* she also notes parents -
something that we have discussed and are looking into being able to
provide a space, food and care that are appropriate for children.
This, unfortunately, will not be available immediately, but is next on
the radar of "todos".
4. Open Data is new, and it is good. It will become an essential tool
to democratic societies. Used well, we can keep government business
transparent in a time of decreasing investigative journalism, help the
government produce better services and to think outside the box, and
develop a better understanding and language around data, it's uses and
5. Data is already being used by the Government and Business. It is
important that civil society has access to that data, can have an
authoritative voice in matters of individual privacy. Steve Bennett
has been doing some excellent work to this end, but I fear he is the
only one. His discoveries and networks need to be documented and
worked with further.
6. Most important: If we don't use the data, it will stop coming out.
The data needs to be used more often than annually. You cannot keep
going to the Government and saying "open your data, you never know
what might happen" if nothing ever happens.
7. Data analysis, data set analysis, data visualisation requires a lot
of hard, boring work. Blue collar, dirty hands, mostly boring, work.
The kind of work that is easier in groups, that takes time, effort, as
wide a representation of society as possible.
8. The Open Knowledge movement should be looking to the Free, Libre
and Open Source Software movement as an example - it can be built, it
will be built, and we will build it.
*9. Skud's critique -
- is valuable and well argued. But there is one thing that I take
issue with, and Skud is not alone in making this mistake - we all
have. A *athon *is* like a marathon. We should be running it all year,
not just over a weekend. Marathon runners do not only run one weekend,
one race. They are always preparing for the race. As we should be.
10. There are plenty of projects that could do with some of this type
of love. Here is an incomplete short list:
a. OpenStreetMap eg, improving via changeset discussions
c. All of Stevage's bike maps
d. the Melbourne LocalWiki project
f. City of Melbourne, Victorian and National Government data -> either into
the above or just generally hacked
This is about Open Knowledge - there is no primacy given to data or
This is about inclusion and democracy, and we will have to put in
special effort to make sure that all people are welcome and able to
come. Racism, sexism, gender or ability discrimination will be
unwelcome and called out. Processes and services will be put into
place to make sure that under represented groups feel able to attend.
Most importantly outreach and dialogue should be entered into with as
many groups as possible to make sure we do all we can to make the
space as inclusive as possible.
There will be a minimisation of speaker centric presentations. They
will not be unwelcome, but I'm imagining a space where multiple groups
are doing multiple things - some people are learning new software,
others are working on particular projects, others are discussing
results, or discussing the organisation of the night and the work that
So. That's my proposal. A small amount of discussion has happened
between a handful of people to get to this point. I encourage you to
get involved in any way you feel comfortable - all ideas, advice, and
criticism is welcome.
You have to be really clever to come up with a genuinely dangerous
thought. I am disheartened that people can be clever enough to do that
and not clever enough to do the obvious thing and KEEP THEIR IDIOT
MOUTHS SHUT about it, because it is much more important to sound
intelligent when talking to your friends.
This post was STUPID.
The Most Terrifying Thought Experiment of All Time
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