- The Slowing Growth of Wikipedia and More Details of Changing Editor Resistance — researchers at PARC analysed Wikipedia and found the number of new articles and number of new editors have flattened off, and more edits from first-time contributors are being reverted. This is a writeup in their blog, with the numbers and charts. It’s interesting that coverage in New Scientist talked about “quality”, but none of the metrics PARC studied are actually quality. Wikipedia launched a strategic review which aims to tackle this and many other issues. (via ACM TechNews)
- The Information Architecture of Social Experience Design: Five Principles, Five Anti-Patterns and 96 Patterns (in Three Buckets) — teaser for upcoming O’Reilly book with some really good stuff. Balzac once wrote, “The secret of great wealth with no obvious source is some forgotten crime, forgotten because it was done neatly,” and many successful social sites today founded themselves on an original sin, perhaps a spammy viral invitation model or unapproved abuse of new users’ address books. Some companies never lived down the taint and other seems to have passed some unspoken statute of limitations. (via BoingBoing)
- Skulpt — entirely in-browser implementation of Python. (via Andy Baio)
- Why Can’t Local Government and Open Source Be Friends? — the Birmingham example is one of many. Government procurement and tendering processes are often fishing expeditions, which biases responses in favour of commercial software companies making mad margins such that they can respond to RFPs that are really RFIs, etc. It’s an issue everywhere in the world because it happens at local, not just central, level.
ENTRIES TAGGED "government"
As many of you know, I’ve built a new conference, Gov 2.0 Summit, around the idea of the government as platform: how can government design programs to be generative, to use Zittrain’s phrase? How do we get beyond the idea that participation means “public input” (shaking the vending machine to get more or better services out of it), and over to the idea that it means government building frameworks that enable people to build new services of their own?
Syadmin Wiki, Physics, National Archives, and Reinventing the British Government
- Server Fault — Wikipedia-like sysadmin guide, built by the Stack Overflow team, who are branching out to reach a more general IT Professional audience. (via Brady in email)
- Sixty Symbols — 5m videos about the symbols of physics and astronomy. Great stuff! (via Glutnix on Twitter)
- US National Archives launches YouTube Channel — a mixture of archives-nerd stuff (directors of Presidential Libraries talking about their favourite items) and wider-interest collections (such as Touring 1930s America).
- Open House in Westminster — the ever-insightful Tom Steinberg from MySociety has an article in the Independent about British plans to reinvent government. Now the talk of Westminster is all about democratic reform. By my count there are over 50 different ideas for changing the way our democracy works being touted by different pundits at the moment. [...] What all these ideas, though, have in common is that they propose structural reforms that could have been achieved any time in the last 200 years.[...] My view is that these proposals are all interesting, and some may be quite critical for a better democracy. But I am also concerned that they do not see Parliament and the process of making laws as a native to the internet would. They don’t ask: “What reforms are possible that just weren’t conceivable ten years ago?”
The Tor Project produces an anonymous proxy services which allows users to evade surveillance. In this interview, Andrew Lewman talks about the Tor Project and discusses some statistics that show its increased use from with Iran. This article also includes some questions and answers with the EFF about the legal implications of running an open proxy server.
Development (4:10 PM CST): The State Department has been in contact with Twitter to make sure that the service remained available for protestors in Iran (reuters). Last Friday, Twitter started to digest the Iranian election results, and the tool became a powerful vehicle for protest and coordination for student protestors within Iran and interested parties outside the country.
- Visual Programming Environments for Kids — detailed writeup of the research and coding done by Shone Sadler to build a visual programming environment for robots, so simple that kids can use it. (via steveweiss on Twitter)
- The Nation’s CTO Lays Out His Priorities — it’s still not entirely clear how the CTO and CIO’s roles differ, as both are focusing on open data and “innovation platforms”. CTO explicitly calls out economic growth through technology and innovation, though, which could be promising.
- Redesigning the Government: The US Supreme Court — the Sunlight Foundation offer a redesigned home page to the US Supreme Court, showing how it could be more useful. How long until the government’s CSS is in a git repository where most people with commit access are outside the beltway?