The International team are taking over a Wednesday mySociety meet up!
As you know, there is a large OGP event happening in London at the end of October. There are also a number of fringe events happening, some of which we’ll be attending, and one of which we’ll be running!
Every Wednesday mySociety holds a meet up at the Mozilla Space in London. On the evening of October 30th we are hosting a slightly larger event and want to invite anyone who is in town for OGP as well as anyone who wants to attend from London or the UK.
As always we’ll provide Pizza and Beer, as well as a range of other snacks and nibbles. We’d love it if anyone wanted to do a short lightening talk about something they’re working on. This would be really informal, no presentations, just a quick, snappy “Here’s my project, here’s why I think it’s important, here’s how you can get involved.” If that interests you, please email me at email@example.com so I know you’ll be there and be talking.
Most of all we want to meet more people from all over the world working on different projects around open data, civic engagement, social inclusion, transparency and accountability and other such topics.
The space is limited to 70 people, so please do either register your attendance on Lanyrd or email me so I can add you to the list.
We’ll be there from 6pm to 9pm, though the Mozilla space is open to anyone working on an “open project” – anything open source, open data etc – from 2:30pm. If you’re not going to be available until later in the evening, never fear! We’ll head to The Chandos, a pub just down the road, from 9pm onwards.
This is one of many events that is a part of Global Transparency Week, please do check out what else is going on!
Hope to see you there!
Thanks to everyone who dropped into last night’s meet-up: we hope you had a good time. From our point of view, it was a fine mix of technical and social, with just as much chatting as coding.
mySociety’s developers Mark and Dave, project manager Ben, and director Tom were on hand, and there were plenty of new folk, who’d come along simply to find out more about mySociety and the work we do.
Quite often these discussions spill over into the whole Open Source world and how that works. After all, we’re at the Mozilla London space because we’re part of that sector, and Mozilla are a great example of people who generously share their (splendid) resources to make wonderful things happen in the tech community.
Meanwhile, Andrew continued to chip away at issues on FixMyStreet, and we also enjoyed Viktoria’s impromptu explanation of how graphene works (she works with it) by ingeniously using the Moz space’s hexagonal-patterned flooring.
These meet-ups are open to everyone. So whether you’re an open source veteran, or just a curious newbie who is bemused to discover that there is such a thing as free software – if you’re interested in anything you see on mysociety.org, please come along.
Every Wednesday, 6:00 -9:00 pm. Sign up here.
Photo by Michael Statham (CC)
We’ve reframed our Wednesday meet-ups: they are now open to all, not just to coders. That’s not to say you can’t come and hack — some people do, and have even been helping us fix some of our longstanding issues — but that is entirely optional.
That means that YOU are welcome, yes you, and you. Come and hang out, find out about our projects or talk about your own. Meet people. Snack, drink.
Last week was the first of these more open evenings, and loads of people came by. It was lovely to host our first “special guests” Richard and Arnaud, and to meet an international partner who happened to be in town, Gaba from DATA Uruguay. Plus Sam, who apparently runs “the funniest computer ever” competition.
Heck, it was lovely to see everyone – we hope that you had a good time and will drop by again.
mySociety meet-ups are every Wednesday in the Mozilla London space, from 6:00 – 9:00pm. And – did we make this clear enough? – they are for everyone. Including you.
Photo by AD Teasdale (CC)
We’re meeting up every Wednesday night at the Mozilla London space. Hope you can join us.
We mentioned that we’ll be joined this week by Arnaud from Google. We’re delighted to say that Richard Pope will also be there.
Richard describes his current interests:
- Location-based design “I have a bee in my bonnet about responsive design just being about moving pixels about, rather than responding to full context. I’m building an api/js library called ‘Habbit’ as an experiment using open street map data”.
- “I’ve just started to get my head around the Remote storage protocol, so it’d be interesting to hear from anyone else who’s been using that”.
Note: While these events have, up to now, been limited to coders, we’ve had a lot of interest from non-coders too. So we’ve decided to open them up to one and all. If you’re interested in any aspect of our work, you’re welcome!
Just add your name to our Lanyrd pages. Then other people with similar interests will know you’ll be there.
When? Every Wednesday, 6-9pm
Where? Mozilla London
Photo by Dan Cook (CC)
As I mentioned on my last blog Dave and I spent this week in Geneva at OKCon.
This was my first time at OKCon and it was great to see a number of familiar faces from both OGP events and AbreLatAm. Though this was definitely a conference, unlike the Latin American unconference, there was still that feeling of being able to walk up to people and easily start chatting about the projects you’re working on. I’ve been inspired by New Zealand (and their idea of open government data as the new “business as usual”), awed by UNHCR (with their open data for humanitarian crises) and discussed the risks of people getting involved in tech for transparency movements in closed countries.
One session we attended was hosted by Code For Europe. It’s an organisation based on the Code for America example and we listened with interest to their approach, and defense when asked questions by skeptics. Their main challenge to the workshop attendees? Instead of trying to solve a huge national level problem and failing thanks to government bureaucracy, find one Civil Servant or MP that has a great idea and work with them. And in fact, some of mySociety’s best known platforms were started before we had any buy-in from the government, but knowing we had support from a few key people.
We made some great new friends, and caught up with DATAuy. Dave helped them set up FixMyStreet for Montevideo right there at the conference. This was a pretty amazing moment for us because it proved that the platforms, especially the Amazon EC2 hosted ones, really can be set up in less than a day! Don’t forget Dave is working on improving the documentation for this so if you are setting it up, please do fill in our survey.
For me, the most inspiring talk came from Jay Naidoo. He spoke about young people using technology and the internet to fight corruption as digital warriors bringing a “tsunami of hope”. The dream is that these young people can get information into the hands of the communities that can use it to hold their leaders to account. The ideal would be that we create a world free of corruption, where aid money and NGO initiatives get to those that need it most, and moreover that once it arrives, people understand how and why to use it – all because they have access to that information. You can read his blog about the talk here.
Thanks to OKFN for organising such a great event with such inspiring speakers. I’m looking forward to the festival in Berlin next year!
The next big event we’ll be at is OGP in London at the end of October, though we’re hoping to speak at some of the surrounding events as part of Transparency Week. Please do get in touch with us if you’re coming to OGP and want to meet up! We’d love to see you! Plus, you could join our Meet up on the 30th October and meet some mySociety staff!
OKCon main room photo by Arnaud Velten | Other photos by Jen
We’re meeting up every Wednesday night at the Mozilla London space. You’re welcome to join us!
This coming Wednesday, we’ll be joined by Arnaud Sahuguet from Google. Normally resident in New York, he’s Product Manager for Google Maps infrastructure.
Arnaud’s areas of expertise are digital mapping, cryptography, databases and data management.
He describes his current areas of interest as “Civic Search Engine Optimisation; open data; and civic CMS. In general, I like to hear about a new problem and try to provide a first quick and dirty solution”.
What happens at a mySociety meet-up?
- Meet mySociety developers and other people interested in civic and democratic projects;
- Talk about project ideas you may have; get advice or find people to help you;
- Chat about our projects, data and tools;
- Do some coding if you’d like to;
- Drink beer, eat crisps and socialise.
There’s no need to book – just turn up; BUT, do add yourself to our Lanyrd pages. Then other people with similar interests will know you’ll be there.
When? Every Wednesday, 6-9pm
Where? Mozilla London
Links to Lanyrd pages:
Photo by Jonathan McIntosh (CC)
Come and say hello
We’re out and about at quite a few local government conferences over the next few months. Come and find us! We’d love to hear what questions you have about mySociety’s digital services.
At all the events below, Mike will be speaking, and both Mike and Myf will be available at our table if you’d like to chat.
Channel Shift in the Public Sector London, September 26th
Digital Public Services Wales Cardiff, October 18th
Channel Shift in Scottish Public Services Edinburgh, October 31st
Channel Shift in the Public Sector Manchester, December 5th
Want to meet for drinks?
We’ll also be around for informal localgov digital chat and drinks, the night before the Cardiff, Edinburgh and Manchester events. Drop us a line if you’d be interested in joining us.
Photo of Cardiff by John Greenaway (CC)
mySociety Developer Dave reports on last night’s get-together.
Once again, the Mozilla Space in London was home to our weekly Civic Hack Night yesterday evening.
It was good and busy, partly because the space was also hosting a meetup in preparation for Mozilla’s upcoming festival, better known as Mozfest.
Our mySociety hack night attracted friends old and new, including Lewis, whose “organ donor” tattoo has a Pledgebank backstory to it; and Ricardo, who may have been surprised to discover that he’s not the only Chilean we’ve been hanging out with recently (a shout-out to our friends at Ciudadano Inteligente).
It wasn’t all tattoos and chat though. We did actually get down to some useful work on Alaveteli and FixMyStreet — so thanks to everyone who came and hacked.
If you fancy coming along one Wednesday night, just add your name to our Lanyrd pages here, or drop us a line.
There’s no formal agenda: you might just want to talk about your ideas, or investigate how you could use our code / benefit from our APIs. Or maybe you’d like some guidance on how to jump in and fix an issue from one of our codebases. Or something else entirely…. Come along: we’re friendly, and we’re at the Mozilla Space every Wednesday.
Photo by Daniel Catt (CC)
In this series of talks, we’re exploring how organisations can present data meaningfully and accessibly – and how to maximise the benefits, both for themselves and for their stakeholders.
If you are interested in attending a mySociety Data For Breakfast briefing, drop us a line and we’ll add you to our mailing list.
It was great to see so many people at our latest Data For Breakfast event, where our Senior Consultant Mike Thompson explored how you can match a data presentation method to your organisation’s aims.
Mike’s uploaded his presentation, along with others in the series, on our Slideshare page, but I’m also going to summarise it here, as Mike said a lot more than you’ll glean from the slides alone – and there was some really useful conversation from our attendees.
Click to read more
Our first hack night at Mozilla London was a lot of fun.
We found the space really conducive, with loads going on, but equally, room to sit and work or collaborate.
Although there’s no obligation to work on mySociety data or tools, it worked out that quite a few people did. Among other things, people were:
- Setting up a new Alaveteli installation so that changes to page templates could be tested out;
- Finding the fastest responses received to Freedom of Information requests on WhatDoTheyKnow.com;
- Looking at FixMyStreet Github tickets;
- Wire-framing an innovative crowd-funding project.
Fancy coming along next time? You’d be welcome. Just add your name to one of our upcoming events on Lanyrd.