[@OKau] Move from the mailing list to the new OK Forum?

Rosie Williams budgetaus at hotmail.com
Sun May 24 22:19:40 UTC 2015

Hi all, 
I thought I'd contribute to this thread with my observations about strategies and audiences for open data in Australia.
There seems in my mind, to be two different pushes on within the OKAu community. One is to build international networks and the other is to build more local connections and engagement. Perhaps both these directions need to be catered for in different ways or in different places.
Personally, I'm behind improving understanding and engagement with open data within Australia. What I mean by this is educating the general population (people from all walks of life who may not be technically savvy). I don't see much point in telling people in another country about open knowledge in Australia when the vast proportion of Australians don't know about open knowledge/data in Australia. 
This list and in my opinion the OKAu site is not general public friendly. Right now the 'open data community' in Australia consists of developers and other experts (many of whom work for government ie very clever, middle class people). I see people out in the community asking for improved or new data but there's no specific place for them to channel their requests (other than my initial efforts at the InfoAus wiki).
Most events run by the open data community seem to be aimed almost exclusively at the professional class and often focus on the needs of developers or other experts. There is little comprehension of the role of the general public in shaping where open data goes in this country. I do see there is potential for a better way for our current list to discuss topics provided by different functionality however I also see that discussion has only really sparked up here in recent weeks and if it was moved now we might lose the sense of community emerging here. 
I have enjoyed the discussion lately on this list. I'm always watching to see new contributors and find out who is actually here since I have no idea unless someone posts something. However I also see a another level of engagement that needs to occur not so much with international experts but with regular folk who don't speak in jargon but who do often know the information they want. There needs to be a forum non technical people can ask for the data they want. I aim to do a fair bit of engaging with a wide audience through various channels over coming weeks as I move toward public requirements gathering and crowdfunding.
Ultimately I think this list is more of a stage in the process of creating forums that will hopefully lead to larger scale engagement in open knowledge (both internationally & locally) however IMHO I don't think now is the time to end the engagement that has sprung up here and I also think that focusing on international conversation is not the full picture of where open knowledge needs to go in Australia.

Rosie Williams BA (Sociology)________________________________________
 NoFibs.com.au - Open Data Reporter | InfoAus.net - Founder and Developer 

Date: Mon, 25 May 2015 01:19:15 +1000
From: steven.decosta at linkdigital.com.au
To: okfn-au at lists.okfn.org
Subject: Re: [@OKau] Move from the mailing list to the new OK Forum?

I think this mailing list works well for discussion within Australia on topics which have a fairly short lifespan. And for general updates.
However, the list isn't so great for connecting with folks outside Australia or for discussions with a longer lifespan.
And, if people drop in then the backstory on things won't be obvious to them.
I will likely start using the ok discussion board for a few things related to CKAN and running events. I'm still keen to know if we can run an opencon satellite event but apart from a few emails there aren't enough 'likes' for me to know if anyone on this list cares about the opportunity.
That opens a different discussion related to capacity within our community. I'm pretty much maxed out with the things I'm doing while also trying to run a business and have a life. Lots of people will also be at capacity with GovHack and their own projects.
To do something new, such as opencon, we'd need a small team of people who aren't already maxed out. I don't think any of the usual suspects on this list would have capacity so OKAU might need to reach out more to recruit good folks.
We also need to consider how our chapter is lending its own weight to help move forward the global initiatives of OK working groups. We tend to spend lots of time concerned with local jurisdictional matters (which is fair enough) but more hands working on global initiatives would also be a good investment.
Anyhoo, I agree with Steve that this list ain't broke. I also agree with Stephen that the new discussion forum might be worth checking out.
I'm undecided about badges :) 

On Sunday, May 24, 2015, Steve Bennett <stevage at gmail.com> wrote:
On Sun, May 24, 2015 at 7:14 AM, Stephen Gates <stephen.gates at me.com> wrote:
Open Knowledge has a pretty new forum to discuss things over at https://discuss.okfn.org.  It presents a much more modern interface that may encourage a broader audience to participate.
What do you think about moving the OK Australia conversation over there?
IMHO, if it's not broke, let's not "fix it". The quality of discussion on this mailing list over the last few months has been really good.
OTOH it does look good, so it may make sense to start individual discussion groups for specific projects there. If that seems to take off and momentum shifts in that direction, perhaps worth considering then. As contributors you can see everything you’ve done (e.g. https://discuss.okfn.org/users/stephen/activity) and you can earn badges (gotta collect them all!).
<curmudgeon>Bleh...I hate badges. Am I the only one? </curmudgeon



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