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.

Friday, October 23, 2009

tree-1-1 part 2

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.

So I mentioned quickly in the last post about attending a Social Web Workshop hosted by Chris Messina (open web advocate).  I could get into details about what open web is all about but suffice it to say it comes down to open and non-proprietary web for us users. That's a good thing if you like access and being able to function well in more than one place.

You can get more on open web here and about Chris here
View the video segment at end of this blog

By extension he also talked about identities - yours, mine and friends and how important they are as capital.  We should be able to bring our identities with us in webworld. Think using a Google password to get into facebook or viceversa.

Anyway, lots and lots of information to process. Chris presented so much I'm still processing. Just a few of the quotables worth noting:
  • large and small are all using the same resources e.g. twitter
  • need to get the technology out of our technology
  • data is capital - our identity is capital
  • broadband as a legal right (reference to Finland law)
  • people are snacking on content (information snacking)
  • don't market - engage
  • introduce something new everyday
  • "I" become the platform (or "you" are the web platform)
  • turn your content into social objects
  • social media as playlists
web re:Brand
Bringing this into context to our toronto.ca, I think I can say it's about the fidelity of our information and the fidelity of the user experience.  It means providing enough slam to make grabbing our content worthwhile (even if it's just chunks of our content).  This includes adopting social media where it fits.

And that brings us back to the "tree-1-1" idea.

From tree to web
Given that our Parks and Forestry folks are in process of tagging City of Toronto trees, we thought how much value we could get by extending that to tag/grab some data.  If we can get the tree data to the web it really becomes a starting place for endless possibilities and some of it social.  Think here about accessing environment data, or location data, or insect data or other community data.  Going way out there, you could "friend" a tree and maybe be friended back and invited to a local street BBQ!

Sound crazy?  I hope not.

Opendata just a beginning
As we look at the current and static toronto.ca, and imagine how we can transcend into the future, I don't think anything is off the table or impossible.

The opendata initiative (begun in earnest after Mayor Miller announced in April that the City of Toronto is prepared to open our information layers), is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Who would have imagined a year ago that we would be even talking about opening data let alone actually opening the data?  Aren't governments closed?  If even half of what Chris Messina, and those who think and advocate like him, comes to fruition it's gonna' be a wild ride. Join us and get talking about what you'd like to experience within Toronto and how toronto.ca can help.

To explore more fully what's going on with open data go to toronto.ca/open and you are invited to attend our Toronto Innovation Showcase, November 2 and 3. The showcase will be webcast live.

Call to action: join the Toronto open data community
Participate in the Open Data Lab at the showcase
facilitated by  Mark Kuznicki

Just a few examples of where we can think and get things moving forward together.

This is a clip of the report back at the presentation and gives some more insight into what we were thinking:

BlackBerry video clip of Mark Kuznicki "reporting back"
 at Chris Messina presentation October 21, 2009

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