I've been watching the discussion trying to figure out the DIY City's wavelength.
I think part of what we see emerging on the local (neighborhood) Issues Forums hosted by E-Democracy.Org fit your model of citizen problem-solving. My experience is that at the very very very local level people will pick shovels and do stuff, while up the chain people prefer their tax dollars to do the work so they don't have to be bothered.
On my local neighborhood Issues Forum - http://e-democracy.org/se - we've had people start community garden efforts, ask if people want to do a blood drive and then promote it, suggest and then organize a volunteer lake clean-up (only to run into trouble getting connected to the right person in the parks department for permission), buy flower bulbs in bulk for their homes with some left over for public space, etc. Recently, a mugging at a new local light rail stop generated a flurry of activity: http://blog.e-democracy.org/posts/355
Anyway, since a number of you will be at Participation Camp, I thought I should say hello. If any of you would like to talk neighborhoods online to gather tips from 15 years on the front lines of e-participation, check out the two sessions I'll be leading or virtually note - http://e-democracy.org/if - for an existing Webinar and some links here: http://pages.e-democracy.org/Social_media_in_local_public_life
Cityleft has worked together with Travelsharing.netsons.org to develop an open source website for car pooling.
Carpooling (also known as car-sharing, ride-sharing, lift-sharing and covoiturage), is the shared use of a car by the driver and one or more passengers, usually for commuting (Wikipedia).
However Travelsharing.netsons.org extended this approach to other forms of mobility such as biking, hiking, and so on.
The website is still at its beta version. Users should join to the community in order to translate contents in local languages.
To take part to this Travelsharing.netsons.org project visit:
Following yesterday's presentation and working group session with the City's IT Manager at OpenWebVancouver09, Luke Closs has setup a Google Group specifically focused on the Open Data component of Andrea Reimer's "Open Data, Open Standards, Open Source" motion.
You can join the group at http://groups.google.ca/group/vancouver-data/
I'd like to know if there is some web downloadable open source software or free service allowing to manage a barter system.
Here in my city we have a place where periodically people meet to exchange stuff.
A web service where everyone can show the stuff who's going to bring on the programmed meeting, and users can say they're interested in something or another, specifying what they'll offer in exchange for that, and eventually receiving answers like "that will be ok", or "no way man".
Not a system to "place" a real order, just a system to show the stuff you want to give out, and attract potential users interested in it. The "real thing" is always the periodic live meeting.
I wonder if something ready could be used for this, supporting photos, tags, votes, etc.
After I saw the huge success of @TamaleTracker I thought, we can't be the only people who could benefit from a real time messaging service like this. Why not utilize what Twitter has provided for me, a common data source that people are becoming more and more familiar with, combined with this technology and make it available for anyone who wants to create their own tamale tracker or other service to aggregate their followers content. So I created the Spotd service to do just that.
Spotd and its a free service that listens for @replies sent to a Twitter account and then relays those messages through itself. It's the same functionality as the Tamale Tracker but this can be used for anyone and anyone can set one up. Simply register a Twitter account to the Spotd service and any reply sent to the account will be retweeted.
In addition to being a bot for Twitter accounts, Spotd also is my try at creating a real time communication device for cities and towns across the world. I spend a lot of time walking around Chicago and see interesting things happen all the time - people getting arrested, car accidents, buildings on fire, bank robbery, protests and other news-worthy things. I tweet about them, but I wanted to create something to give people a common source of communication throughout their city to stay on top of things that are happening right now without having to wait for major media outlets to cover them. That’s where the Spotd news service comes in, it is an aggregated, user-submitted news feed for interesting things going on - so far, I created accounts for @SpotdChicago, @SpotdLA, @SpotdSF and @SpotdNYC; with more to come and any user can create their own Spotd news service for their own city.
I hope you can see the value in this as much as I do, if you'd like more information, have any suggestions or would like to help me work on this, please feel free to contact me.
Open Gov NYC is running a workshop on collaborative policy building:
It's process-focused for now, but will hopefully lead to application development in the future.
I wanted to let share with the group a new project I just started working on this week using the same technology as the @tamaletracker (twitter.com/tamaletracker). I spend a lot of time walking around Chicago and always notice interesting things going on – from people getting arrested, to celebrity sightings and news-worthy events. I tweet about these sort of things, but have always thought it would be nice to have something or someone to tweet these to, a common data source and place to go for this sort of information. That’s where @Spotd (twitter.com/spotd) comes in, it is an aggregated, user-submitted news feed for interesting things going on, specific to the city you live in - Chicago for now.
I, like many people, always want to be on top of things going on in Chicago (from the standpoint of locals) – this is the perfect way for people to stay updated on what’s going on, right now, in their city. This includes and is not limited to crime reports, breaking news, celebrity sightings, traffic incidents, etc. Best of all with the support of Twitpic users can get actual footage of things that are happening instead of waiting for the major news networks to get out and report on them.
The functionality is the same as the @tamaletracker system. Users tweet a reply to @spotd when they witness said arrests, celebrity sightings and news-worthy events. The system then will relay their message through the http://twitter.com/spotd user account.
In the next couple days(I hope) I am going to whip up a web page and some more descriptive text about the service and make it more extensible than the built in Twitter functionality. As of now I only created an account for Chicago, however this can easily be expanded in a manner of minutes.
I hope you can see the value in this as much as I do, if you'd like more information or have any suggestions, please feel free to contact me.
I see a few new people have joined the Milwaukee/Open Data group. If that's you, would you mind introducing yourself with a reply here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org?
What would you like to see being done on the web in Milwaukee?
FYI, we are also at www.creamcitizen.org.
Our project, http://suddenly.org , uses print publications, visual art, public gatherings, and conversation to pursue the same political forms and futures that DIYcity catalyzes with newer technologies. We publish books, present visual art, invite people to gather, eat, and talk together, and then we write about it and bring the conversation to new places and people. This activity has taken shape across a huge geography. From Sergio Pastor's suddenly post 10/3/08 http://suddenly.org/?p=593 : "Suddenly is not only an inquiry, but also an attempt to enact a new urban form of gathering and dispersal — a deliberate form aimed at the creation of a public, a publication. This new urban form [is] a directed attempt to take inspiration from the models and possibilities of the organization of resources provided by new urban patterns in order to take these new patterns seriously." From DIYCITY: "How can these technologies — Twitter bots, aggregators, social software, mobile apps — be applied to transform urban spaces, changing them from the centralized, hard-coded things they are today into finely-tuned, fluid, user-operated systems that are efficient, sustainable and fit for life in the 21st century?" Suddenly asks the same question, but of the older technologies of printed matter and physical gathering and conversation. I think the awesome common path ahead for us is to bring these older and newer technologies together in a a big robust ecology of self-inventing, shifting, morphing cities.
Transit Television Network, a subsidiary of Torstar (owner of Canada's biggest daily newspaper), has filed for bakruptcy.
In Milwaukee and other cities where it set up on buses, TTV seems universally loathed for reasons mentioned by this LA blogger: http://metroriderla.com/2006/12/03/transit-tv-how-we-hate-thee/
Worst of all, TTV has been an infection in public space. As a local rider puts it, TTV content screams one message over and over: "You are a Bus Rider; You are a Loser. This xxxxxx will save you from your misery. $19.95 and operators are standing by." Or a free PC by giving up your phone number and checking account number. Or the scams that came to us with the SAME actor, different names for the scams, but just call 800 xxx xxxx and your life will be turned around -- $500,000 from your home in one month. No one in their right minds would call such a number but that shouting sent a clear coherent message: You Are A Loser. And that message has pervaded bus service for the last decade.
My question: is there any way the existing hardware might be repurposed by creative groups to have a more publicly edifying message?