eGovernment Interest Group Teleconference

16 Sep 2009


See also: IRC log


Josema, Kevin, Owen, Sharron, Sandro, Brand, John Sheridan, AdamHarvey, Rachel


Agenda adjustments and next meetings

Kevin: There being no adjustments, we will move along.

Charter under review

Kevin: Progress on Charter...it was submitted, is out for public comment. So far, I haven't seen any public comment that would change the proceedings. Jose, any updates?
... do we have the time or date that we expect a decision?

Jose: We have received a few reviews but need many more. The deadline is Sept 28. By then we need much more input.

Jose: It is my experince that big companies take some time to review and comment. Those of you who are AC reps, please submit comments by then.

Sandro: The awkward thing is not knowing if the bigs will eventually comment or if they are not planning to.

Jose: I will keep advocating for input and ask others to do the same.

Kevin: Had started with approach of looking at specific tasks and will continue to plan so that we have a definitive work plan once Charter is approved.

Kevin: That will help with messaging and partnering
... Recent interview comments were reported inaccurately and out of context.

<sandro> (a journalist quote someone imperfectly? never!)

<josema> I learned those things happen frequently when managing W3C Spain; learned to live with it ;(

Data.gov.* memo

Kevin: we are working on the response and correction so people know the memo is out there and that we correct the inaccurate perceptions.
... talking with peers on federal side and realized that specific practices on archival data are challenging. What gov will do with legacy data and the archival and preservation aspects.

<josema> nextgov article

Kevin: Any group members gotten feedback related to memo?

<josema> I heard a good thing of two from the community here in Spain; will reach out to them more in the coming weeks

Kevin: we talked with Rick Murphy at GSA and referenced the fact that the memo was available.

<Rachel> I've been working w/our Federal CIO Council to draft their strategic plan and plugged the memo to that community.

Kevin: Congrats to everyone. I know there were challenges but it was a good step in our plan to continue to communicate out about what we envision the future to be in this field.

Sandro: I am concerned that we have had no comments. Any input about why?

John: When the memo went round, my collegues responded by asking management if we could do this. It was pushed around to relevant officials saying, hey this is useful, helpful. Can we plan to do it?

Kevin: That is great to hear. Rachel, comments about process?

<josema> Hugh's email about the process

Rachel: Hugh spelled out the problems in his email to the group. We need a different venue than Google docs. Need enough time at the end for the ETF to do the best job possible.
... a couple of days to turn it around with a global team is not reasonable. Sandro, any ideas about vehicle we could use?

Sandro: The wiki is good, provides a common area for edits.

<kevin> Adam, any update on the egov website?

Rachel: We should plan to use the wiki then rather than Google docs. Any otehr feedback?

Jose: Lack of wysiwyg is a problem. During the process this time, the authors were not regularly updating the changes in Google doc. Previously, I had posted edits to the wiki with comments. I missed those on this round.
... a company we discussed had a wysiwyg editor

Owen; It is XOPUS

<Owen> http://xopus.com/

Jose: That may be a solution and is Worth exploring.
... maybe systems team at W3C would install an editor on our wiki

<scribe> ACTION: Sandro to ivestigate and report back [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2009/09/16-egov-minutes.html#action01]

<trackbot> Created ACTION-90 - Ivestigate and report back [on Sandro Hawke - due 2009-09-23].

Adam: Talking with Daniel, we were holding off on the website until we knew about the Charter. Are considering Plone.

<josema> hm... installing a CMS at W3C server? uh, oh... not sure that will fly

Kevin: New W3C site is just a few weeks away from release. Since it is imminent, we should rethink our plan.

Sandro: The next step is to hear from those who had problems about what those problems were and how to avoid going forward.

O'Reilly Summit debrief

Kevin: Summit was good. People got comments out, introduced directives, much discussion of initiatives but no dates.
... Don't recall hearing much about apps.gov

<AdamHarvey> http://www.apps.gov/

Kevin: The idea is to bring together partners who have cloud computing resources that can be used by government.
... much revolved around privacy aspect. Risks associated with moving to the cloud. How to protect privacy and security.

Sandro: View from the stage was so upbeat and optimistic. A pep rally for government releasing open data. Off stage it was considered a bit oversold. It was fun and exciting, but not a very tech-oriented group. So it was energetic but not real tech specific.
... the attitude seemed to be that however we get the data, we'll find a way to make it work. Down the road, data integration will be a problem. Expect more focus on that as they get more serious. When that happens, there will be more interest in W3C technology.

<AdamHarvey> That means there's a good opportunity for W3C to fill that tech/policy bridge! (or what Sandro said)

Kevin: Very much agree with Sandro's assessment. I was suprised that there were many more non-government people there. Given that many of the same faces there to express desire for gov to start doing this.

Rachel: Fascinating that so many conferences are people from outside government asking gov to do things in this or that way. But structure it so that government people can not attend.

<johnlsheridan> People should come on our calls instead!

Kevin: You would think that if you are petitioning the government, you would make arrangements that would facilitate government agency participation.

<johnlsheridan> To talk to gov people ;)

<johnlsheridan> People like telling us what to do - the tricky part is delivering these things from inside the system

Kevin: I agree completely.
... the challenge for W3C is to get practical solutions out to address the hype that is out there.
... to let communities know that we have tools and standards to help people do this. Need to make people see these tools in a more appealing way.

Rachel: I have been grateful to work with this group because of the benefits for me and my agency.

<johnlsheridan> We've learnt heaps from you Rachel

Rachel: hope I contribute perspective from inside government.

Kevin: Absolutely! There is sometimes a disconnect between what is on the stage and on the ground in an agency.
... having that context is critical for real progress

Owen: I wasn't there, but have read some of the reports. The statement for developing and publishing plans for Open Data. I think those plans must themselves be published in open formats.

Kevin: Beth is now looking for concrete examples of linked, open data.
... she would then champion those.
... can we get someone on the group to survey agencies. Who is most ready based on data they are releasing. Can we discover and create a Top 10 kind of list for those most ready.
... we could then work with and support those efforts.
... a few on this group could tak on that task of a general assessment.

<johnlsheridan> its OK, we're having the conversation I was going to prompt

Owen: Could we put out a general call to the larger group to recruit volunteers to help with that?

<scribe> ACTION: Kevin to put out call for volunteers to survey agencies for those most ready for next steps in creating open data projects [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2009/09/16-egov-minutes.html#action02]

... about the disconnetc: President issued Open Gov initiative, but no one seems to be actually crafting plans to open government.

Brand: At EPA, we have received the initiative and been charged to respond.

Kevin: yes, yours is a responsive agency. W3C is interested in partnering with EPA on data cataloging, etc.
... anything you can do to help move that along is useful.
... Sandro, is Jim Hendler recently joined this group?

Sandro: Yes, but more interested in participating in a sub group on items of specific focus.

<josema> eGov IG participants

Brand: What do we anticipate in future versions of data.gov ?

<AdamHarvey> http://federaldata.wik.is/

John: There is clearly the need for people to see that this really can work. There is a chicken and egg situation to illustrate how useful linked data can be when we have few examples.
... I am encouraged to hear Brand's report.

Kevin: If we find those examples, we must write them up so that it becomes better known.

<josema> I'm wondering if we should revive the use cases with a focus on Linked Government Data (in any case, I think we need to discuss them again anyway) http://www.w3.org/2007/eGov/IG/wiki/Use_Cases

<AdamHarvey> Should the next short paper be about Linked Data?

<kevin> good idea

<josema> +1

<josema> but would like to discuss about the future of the current working draft, too

John: Many departments have multi sheet work books of data. Maybe I could make an MS Office based tool that allows them to mark up the spreadsheet sufficiently to publish. Convert complex spreadsheet into nice RDF. We need those kinds of easy to use conversion tools.

<AdamHarvey> Those are great points, John.

John: Those pragmatic tools would help make it less painful and more easily sucessful.
... there is a significant underestimate of how difficult it is.

Kevin: Very well stated. From the US perspective, knowing that we have those challenges, it is useful to know that those challenges are shared.

<josema> Probably Sandro's post could serve as basis for a Linked Government Data doc... http://decentralyze.com/2009/09/11/linked-government-data/

Rachel: If they watch TV, they probably think of the secret gov rooms where all data is aggregated and slickly manipulated. The reality is sooo much different.

<AdamHarvey> and John's points about planning it to integrate with existing office software...

<josema> +1

Kevin: Together, we need to project out what we see this world to be in 18-24 months from now. Agencies need reassurance that we are working to help them solve these challenges.

John: The longer I spend working in this area, the more important I understand it to be to start from where people actually are. Narrow the ask down to the very smallest thing we ask folks to do. You lose them fast if they get even a hint that it is difficult or complex.
... if we ask them to do a small thing, not too painful, show useful outcome. Mixing pragmatic, minimum intervention with good outcomes will be most effective I think.

<AdamHarvey> You'll get better buy-in from local govts with the small approach too

<johnlsheridan> Thanks Rachel

What else is going on/coming up?

Kevin: SEO conference at the beginning of October.

<johnlsheridan> http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page20595

<josema> that was "[UK] PM welcomes Sir Tim Berners-Lee to Downing Street"

John: Update on what is happening here, posted a link to a story about a presentation that Tim gave to the Cabinet. It went very well

<AdamHarvey> Any thoughts on data.gov apps like: http://www.datamasher.org/ or http://www.thisweknow.org/

Jose: Blogged about linked data yesterday...but it is in Spanish.
... have a number of interesting things around modeling data, so far all internal.

<johnlsheridan> What type of data are you modelling?

<johnlsheridan> Would love to see examples ;)

Jose: Will have more specifics by end of the month.
... lifelong learning offer from state government. Three different data sets that were not meaningfully but when combined they were much more meaningful.

<johnlsheridan> often the most interesting data and apps don't involve complex modeling

<AdamHarvey> Right on

<josema> ac th

<josema> http://www.thisweknow.org/l/CO/Gunnison

<josema> "1 Official reported on 1 Factory (within 36 mi.) "

<josema> "tweet this"

Jose: In the first version, the tweet was meaningless. But it seems they have fixed this, adding the name of the town at the end.

Kevin: United Cerebral Palsy is hosting an Economic Forum: Extreme Users Drive Economic Value

<johnlsheridan> those crazy guys!

<scribe> ACTION: Sharron to contact Kevin about attending [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2009/09/16-egov-minutes.html#action03]

<trackbot> Created ACTION-91 - Contact Kevin about attending [on Sharron Rush - due 2009-09-23].

<AdamHarvey> There's all kinds of places like that out west... :)

Kevin: Develop some panel ideas, keep in a queue. Anything else?

<johnlsheridan> not from me

<AdamHarvey> nothing here...

<josema> nope

Kevin: Don't anticipate much change to the Charter, we should have a decision by the time of next scheduled meeting. Getting together at TPAC, we will work on the media panel. Egov is part of plenary agenda.

<johnlsheridan> its good

Kevin: Profile of eGov has been raised

Owen: Next meeting occurs during XML conference, so I won't attend this meeting.
... XML tool summit in the afternoon is free

<josema> [ADJOURNED]

<johnlsheridan> sounds good

<johnlsheridan> Nop, nothing to add - good call today!

<AdamHarvey> hasta luego

Summary of Action Items

[NEW] ACTION: Sandro to investigate and report back [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2009/09/16-egov-minutes.html#action01]
[NEW] ACTION: Kevin to put out call for volunteers to survey agencies for those most ready for next steps in creating open data projects [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2009/09/16-egov-minutes.html#action02]
[NEW] ACTION: Sharron to contact Kevin about attending [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2009/09/16-egov-minutes.html#action03]

[End of minutes]

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$Date: 2009/09/17 21:29:35 $