Great Partnerships and the advantages of Face to Face meetings

Over the past 6 months mySociety has been working in partnership with Fundación Ciudadano Inteligente to write collaborative…well let’s call them components for now, as there will be more information on these projects coming soon both from our Chilean friends and ourselves. This initiative is called POPLUS and we’re really really excited about what it means.

Most of this collaboration so far has happened via Skype or Google Hangouts, which due to the distance between our two countries probably won’t surprise you. However as mySociety were invited to attend the first AbreLatAm unconference in Uruguay on June 24th and 25th we decided that spending some time meeting FCI face to face would be invaluable for moving our joint projects forward. And we were right.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the advent of video conference methods like Skype and Hangouts have changed the way we can collaborate and I’m grateful. Sometimes though, it’s good to be able to sit down in a room and really understand through all that is and isn’t said, which ideas have inspired the team and which need to perhaps be shelved for another time. Marcel Augsburger, one of FCI’s developers, said it best when he said “I just want to go and work on all of this now!” at nearly 7pm on a Friday night.

It was good to be able to work out niggly issues and share experiences with different systems. And to learn. Felipe Alvarez introduced us to FCI’s incredible website Vota Inteligente which is a great tool for comparing candidates for elections. We discussed micro-activism and why we think it works, we also discussed how to test if something does have any impact (we should have more to share on research soon!) and we discussed our hopes for attracting other people who would be interested in being a part of a larger community of developers, activists and civil society organisations who work together to create amazing things.

For the moment if you want to work with mySociety on any of the sites that we create internationally (Alaveteli, FixMyStreet and Mzalendo) please email and ask for Jen (That’s me!).

I’ll bring you some more information soon on POPLUS and how to get involved with that!