[@OKau] After the hackathon: 4 classic recipes

Steven De Costa steven.decosta at linkdigital.com.au
Fri May 1 08:01:20 UTC 2015

I got chess eyes Cobi. They might look shifty sometimes, but that's me just
looking a few moves ahead ;)

I think we'll see more people buying in than selling out. But in a thinly
traded market we'll still see lots of spikes and dips for a while yet.

Good knowledge workers operate in a global community. It's certainly
healthy to look at all opportunities to pursue your passion whether in AU
or abroad. OK is a global network too, so lots of opportunity to connect
with good people, ideas and projects.

And one more for Rosie, take a look at the AMP Tomorrow fund- for
individuals to pursue their vision for positive change :)


On Friday, May 1, 2015, Cobi Alison Smith <cobi.smith at unimelb.edu.au> wrote:

>  +1
>  I earn nothing working in/researching open technologies compared to when
> I worked as a management consultant (cue tiny violin) or even when I worked
> in a charity.
>  But seriously, it's not sustainable. I was funded (a "volunteer"
> allowance) through AusAID most of 2013; that opportunity literally doesn't
> exist now. Half of last year I was on EU research & tech dev funding...
> obviously can't do that from Australia. After my PhD I have no idea what
> happens.
>  It will be interesting if I have to decide between selling out (cue
> people like Steven rolling eyes, fair enough) or running away from
> Australia to live as a Buddhist nun. They're equally appealing at this
> point. Or move to another country again - brain drain - which is
> realistically most likely.
>  I've said this before but third time's the charm maybe... Rosie you
> should apply for a Shuttleworth Fellowship :)
>  ------------------------------
> *From:* okfn-au [okfn-au-bounces at lists.okfn.org
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','okfn-au-bounces at lists.okfn.org');>] on
> behalf of Rosie Williams [budgetaus at hotmail.com
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','budgetaus at hotmail.com');>]
> *Sent:* Friday, 1 May 2015 10:48 AM
> *To:* okfn-au at lists.okfn.org
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','okfn-au at lists.okfn.org');>
> *Subject:* [@OKau] After the hackathon: 4 classic recipes
>   BudgetAus and the resulting input into budget transparency can be seen
> as an outcome of GovHack given that BudgetAus (as it was originally
> conceived and implemented) began by using the csv created during what I
> suspect was the original GovHack event. As a programming student I was
> seeking data with suitable copyright conditions for publication in my first
> database. That is how I happened across the concept of open data and came
> across the GovHack project created by theopenbudget.org.
>  In fact, that csv (containing data scraped from about half the federal
> portfolios) was my first ever look at a 'table' and from there I went on to
> create my own data set encompassing all portfolios and broken down to the
> finest grain to make the data searchable across all portfolios. At the time
> the existing app created during GovHack did not provide this. The team that
> did theopenbudget.org was then employed to create the CSV (according to
> BudgetAus specs) for last year's first ever publication of budget data in
> machine readable format.
>  The point of this all though in my mind, is the improvement to
> government accounting that has been put in motion as a result of these
> combined efforts:
>  - the first publication of budget data in usable formats including a
> machine readable version that made it possible to use the data in BudgetAus
> and other similar projects. Without the csv which contained all the data
> broken down to line item level, the data would only have been published in
> 173 separate excel files.
> - the budget office has been asked to publish MYEFO data in usable formats
> and broken down along the same lines as the data published on budget night
> ie broken down to line item level so that it can be integrated with
> existing data
> - submissions have also been sought from people such as myself working
> with budget data into the PMRA and Joint Committee of Public Accounts &
> Audit on specifications for the publication of financial reporting
> including annual reports due to networks built among people working outside
> government on budget data.
>  These are not insignificant outcomes, however I suspect they would never
> have come about had I not worked constantly and continually on budget
> transparency through BudgetAus since it's inception. I have done this to
> date without any financial support and under the most difficult of
> conditions which brings the topic back around to sustainability of open
> data projects and the need for incubators and other support. Had I been in
> the position of most other people with similar skills, I'd have obtained a
> professional position & decided I could not afford time to work on a
> 'volunteer' project. None of the existing or potential outcomes would have
> occurred. This irony is not lost on me.
>  While budget transparency (and the expertise in government spending that
> I gained) is invaluable to our democracy - which is why the project
> received both government & media support, this value is not easily
> monetised. I have recently reconceived BudgetAus to be a more marketable
> product with a defined target market using grants and tenders data rather
> than the 'top down' data published on budget night in recognition of this
> observation.
>  For open data projects to survive beyond the hackfest stage, there
> either needs to be sufficient market value to them to attract backing or
> sufficient public engagement to underpin ongoing funding, infrastructure
> and labour. Code for Australia and the Open Data Institute in QLD are
> presumably striving to fill the void in supporting/incubating emerging open
> data projects. The NSW State Library DX Lab (launching in a few months)
> also aims to nurture open data projects. I think that if we want quality,
> sustainable open data projects then we need to build an ecosystem where
> open data projects need not rely so heavily on the volunteer labour of
> coders.
> Rosie Williams BA (Sociology)
> ________________________________________
>   NoFibs.com.au <http://nofibs.com.au> - Open Data Reporter
>  InfoAus.net <http://infoaus.net> - Founder and Developer

*EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR*www.linkdigital.com.au
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