The time has changed, the times have changed, the days are getting brighter - what better time for Sunshine Week.
Sunshine Week is a [United States] national initiative to open a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include print, broadcast and online news media, civic groups, libraries, non-profits, schools and others interested in the public's right to know.
Through their Twitter I find an interesting article from The Economist - Track my tax dollars.
THE taxpayers do their part, and faithfully fling their hard-earned treasure into the gaping public maw. Surely they should be allowed to know what happens to it. So why not put government spending online?
This also gives me a chance to link to a great TED video of Sir Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the WorldWideWeb) talking about "linked data". He talks about the importance of sharing data because you can build so much on raw data. The data part starts at about 3:58 in, and the government data specific part starts about 9:46 in.
I also very much liked his simple message of "Raw Data Now!" - my experience with Linked Data, at least at Open Repositories 2008, was that it very rapidly descends into obscure discussions about the philosophy of data representations (e.g. "do we point at the data, or the metadata about the data?"). The most important thing is to just get the raw data up, and then we can work to have wonderful semantic markup things once we actually have something to work with.
Tim B-L video via ReadWriteWeb via TED