Beat to the punch

First post of this new blog was about a conversation I'm having with Jesse about a neo-Victorian- / steampunk-style volunteer collaborative initiative to build ... democratic, I guess (??) ... information infrastructure. Our first attempt at a name was "Her Majesty's Royal Society of Pragmatists Building Open Infrastructure for Evidence-Based Decision-Making".

Today / yesterday Carl just tweeted this:

I should have known that whatever ideas we came up with, Carl would get there first. He's the guy that's been doing open data / open gov since 1995 when he pushed to get SEC filings publicly available.

On the other hand, considering I got into open data in 2003, I could look at this less from the perspective of being behind Carl again, to improving from being behind him by 8 years to only a few months.

After working on this for 6 years (mainly through Powered by Data) I'm kind of burnt out on trying to convince the nonprofit sector to care about open data or open information infrastructure. It's understandable - they're not familiar with technology and they have other priorities. I'm still excited about getting access to funders structured data (open grants data & GRNDS) Instead, I'm spending time these days chewing on how to do a mass collaboration project to build information about civil society, with a focus on the delivery of social services through nonprofits. I feel like I need help with coming up with a solution from a mix of mix of Carl Malamud, Jon Udel, and Clay Shirky with his "Here Comes Everybody" hat on (I'm less knowledgeable about what Jennifer Pahlka knows, but her too, I'm sure).

If you know other smart people or interesting resources on designing online collaboration, please let me know. I'm still following some semantic web conversations from afar and the WikiData effort. But I imagine (hope) there's other stuff out there that I'm not aware of.

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