Gone But Not Forgotten

Hello, you've landed on DATA eh? - Open Data Toronto's original blog space for data discussions. This is not an active blog at the moment but legacy posts are still here. Have a read ... you can still provide comments.

Monday, September 21, 2009

One giant (baby) step ... our first post

NOTE: This is content from the web re:Brand posts going back to November 2010. We have kept the re:Brand posts as a legacy archive but, on a go forward basis as of October, 2011, the new DATA eh? content takes over this space.

A City of Toronto blog?
What's this web re:Brand thing?
_____ is to _____

Answering two questions and issuing one challenge today on the web re:Brand blog.

Lots of people, when they find out I work on the City of Toronto web pages, ask why the City has no blogspace. Those who know I am a part of the toronto.ca web rebranding team go even further and say things like: "D'ah, why haven't you started a blog yet?" Or, "I'm really surprised you haven't done a blog." Or, "seriously, why haven't you been blogging?"

So, if I'm hearing all of you right, there is some agreement "out there" ... we should be blogging!

Well, we agree, a blog is one way to have a two-way conversation.

You can't talk to a city but you can talk to me
Of course, you can't talk to a city - you have to talk to a person - and since our web team is looking for discussions about improving toronto.ca, I'm real pleased to announce the beginning of the toronto.ca web re:Brand blog.

We're quite serious about looking at the website from top to bottom, content and colours, navigations and news - quite literally a full examination. One of the reasons we're calling it a re:Brand is that we want to fully capture what the website means to our users - YOU!

So, we'll be making this as much a two way street as we can. By our definition, this "blog" is less about "what I did today" and more about hearing what you think about toronto.ca.

A baby step towards more communication
This won't be the only City blog but it is the first. We hope to bring on true forums, wikis and more later - but this is our first baby step. Actually, our very first step was in March when we offered up a comment space linked off of our refreshed home page. We're going to leave that page up as a "Comments Wall".

Some readers may want or expect me to cover anything and everything that bothers them (or pleases them) about the City. My focus, however, is on toronto.ca and I've got lots to throw your way. I want to hear back from you so our team can have a really solid idea of where we should be going as we make toronto.ca better.

So, I'm going to keep the conversation tightly contained to the website and web issues. As time goes on, and other bloggers come online, there will be room to enlarge the conversation.

A note about toronto.ca/open
And just a small note to the open data community: I'll be talking some about the toronto.ca/open project but we intend to provide a separate blog for more focused discussion. I expect that will roll out in a month or so (but don't quote me).

Let's begin with a challenge:
Do you even care about our toronto.ca web? If you do why? If you don't why? You could start your comment by completing this sentence:

toronto.ca is to Toronto as _________ is to ___________

Then feedback some thoughts about your experiences with toronto.ca.

In coming posts, I want to present some of the specific ideas we have for the website to have a full ideas exchange.


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Anonymous said...

I think the blogging space is a good idea as it is a venue to get people's thoughts out about the website and its development in the open space.

What's the news on makibng good on the open data promise from the Mayor? Saw the update page but any more details on the types of data that could be made available - like Vancouver's post page?

Keith from the TO web re:Brand team said...

Thanks for the comment - you are the first one and glad you found us! We'll be ramping up publicity for the blog to get more awareness happening btw.

I'll refer to you as #1.

The /open project is moving along. I've personally been involved in several meetings discussing it. I have a meeting today on it as a matter of fact.

Our main thrust at the moment is clarifying what we have and bringing some context to it to get it to the page and out to you. A lot of the data (I'm learning) is of the "1" or some other variety - meaning you would have no idea what the "1" references in the stream until we can provide some elaboration. That's something we are working on now.

Official announcements will be made on the toronto.ca/open pages and we do plan to have a blog devoted to this entirely.