1. mySociety DemocracyPub: Manchester, 20th Jan

    Thursday 20th January, in Manchester, mySociety, Democracy Club, and friends invite you to join us in the Briton’s Protection from 7:30 for conversation on democracy, engagement and tea.

    mySociety runs projects such as TheyWorkForYou.com, FixMyStreet.com and WhatDoTheyKnow.com, while DemocracyClub.co.uk is the new independent volunteer network for the upcoming election to keep track of how parties campaign in your local community when they think no one elsewhere will notice.

    Come join us in the pub (20th Jan, 7:30), or sign up online at http://www.democracyClub.co.uk.

    The Briton’s Protection is just behind the Bridgewater Hall, postcode M1 5LE. You’ll find us in one of the two back rooms, wearing a mySociety hoodie or carrying a clear sign.<

    Tom looks like this: https://www.mysociety.org/about/

    A Facebook event is now open.

  2. PublicExperience.com

    Had a public service? Do you care? Tell publicexperience.com!

    Banish frustration and pointless griping about public services. We can all stop shouting at the radio. From today there’s an easy way to share the customer view of public services, and suggestions about how they might be better:

    Publicexperience.com is a pilot project hosted by mySociety, conceived by some mySociety friends, funded by the Ministry of Justice, which seeks raw, unvarnished feedback from the point where the person in the street meets Whitehall. If there’s a gap between what that feels like and what it should feel like, just say “wouldn’t it be better if….”

    It has the ear, to put it no strongly than that, of officials in Treasury and the Better Regulation Task Force. Their interest is in cutting pointless red tape and saving money (for which there is now, to put it mildly, some urgency).

    Of course there are already any number of usual rowdy channels for political discourse, digs at opponents, foul language and rehearsing entrenched partisan views. That’s not what PublicExperience is about. PublicExperience is basic ethnography: the dispassionate raw description by the person who has just encountered the workings of the Whitehall tribe. It recognises no opponents. It’s merely futher evidence that raw, unvarnished and constructive feedback is coming.

    It’s an idea originally kicked around five years ago under the name UKFeedback or “the Wibbipedia” on Idealgovernment and at the Young Foundation, and when PatientOpinion was starting to do it. Health is trickier. Patient Opinion was doing it very well, and it was emerging that people largely wanted to use it to say “thank you” to their care providers. Health feedback is still better directed to PatientOpinion. If you want your street fixed then FixmyStreet is smarter at directing the right issue to the right local authority. There’s a lovely Fixmysite idea from the Rewired State event for a neat way to report web site failings. Horses for courses.

    But if you’re on the receiving end of the workings of Whitehall and you’re not apathetic, if you care about what happened and especially if you encountered pointless red tape or wasted time or money use Publicexperience.com. It could’t be easier. The right people will be listening. If we use it constructively, they’ll continue to listen. Share your experiences, and we’ll see where that takes us.

  3. mySociety Manchester II – Weds 20th August

    The next mySociety Manchester Meetup will be on Weds 20th August in the Briton’s Protection at 7:30 till 9ish.

    Informally covering the range of remotely mySociety antics, and anything else we fancy 🙂

    You don’t need to have done anything technical, a fresh approach is enough. If you can’t make it this month, just come along next time, dates and beer mat minutes will be posted to our mailing list.

  4. mySociety Manchester

    Meet up with the some of the friends of mySociety in Manchester for a social evening in the pub in Manchester.


  5. Join us at OpenTech on 5th July

    OpenTech on 5th July is an informal one-day conference about technology, society and low-carbon living, featuring Open Source ways of working and technologies that anyone can have a go at.

    mySociety related sessions:

    • mySociety session – more on time travel maps, and the launch of WhatDoTheyKnow.com, and a few other surprise announcements
    • No2ID and Open Rights Group: State of the Nation
    • Here’s the UK EFF
    • Power to the People – One year one from the Power of Information Report
    • …and much more


  6. Wiki Government

    What NEED does this meet?

    Aim: To create a loom for weavers of social fabric.
    ie: an open source social programming environment.
    ie: to provide a structure for the people who wish to effect social change to do so.
    Imagine an open source legal system.

    interactive: WikiGov is to government as tv is to internet.

    What is the APPROACH?

    Fully interactive virtual-government website.
    See the general consensus on an issue. Influence it with your vote. Create a new issue.
    Join in with a discussion. Create a discussion. Ask why something is the way it is. Share some knowledge. Such discussions will assist responsible decision making.

    See at a glance – what are the hot topics?

    What are the BENEFITS to people?

    It should dissolve the us/them powerlessness mindset that it’s easy to fall into, when we percieve the way politics happens — eg westminster live.

    it will bring intelligent discussion into politics, and fish out lies and contradictions.

    if it grows big politicians won’t be able to ignore the ebbs and flows of opinion polls. thus it becomes a huge magnifying glass for channeling a hive-mind.

    What is the COMPETITION?

    ok. step back. how do we get info? usually papers. that’s basically: everything that happened yesterday that is atypical — ie interesting / fascinating etc. what are the biggest outrages / most horrid murders / greatest unfairnesses/injustices.

    its entertainment, or at best a set of emotional triggers with which we reaffirm a social identity — “this is who i am defined by what i stand for and what i am against”. that’s comfy but non-constructive.

    What BUDGETS & LOGISTICS are required?

    maybe 5 programmers for 3 months (tho i havent a clue :)). only problem i can see is ensuring people are who they really are (ie no spam). maybe use a national insurance # or passpt # or address as unique id.