Information is fast becoming one of the most powerful tools for social change. A new, draft report from the Australian Taskforce on public sector information (I have been a member of the reference group at distance) scans best practice internationally and makes some great suggestions on how its government can unlock the information that it collects.
The report cites Three Laws of Open Government Data developed by David Eaves, another member of the reference group. This is: if it can’t be spidered or indexed, it doesn’t exist; if it isn’t available in open and machine readable format, it can’t engage; and if a legal framework doesn’t allow it to be repurposed, it doesn’t empower. He sums this up as the ability to “find, play, share.”
The report also cites a nice reminder on the wisdom of crowds, that in Who Wants to be a Millionaire, asking the audience gets it right 90% of the time, whereas phoning a friend only gives you a 65% chance of success.
Knowledge, like people, works best in communities.