Transcripts of public meetings should be easy to find, search or share

An elderly man and woman sit at an orange table with a stack of papers and some coffee. The image is taken from above.

When your local council has a meeting, they may well put the transcripts or minutes on their website. That’s great: it means that the workings of democracy are available for all to see.

But often, these transcripts aren’t in the most user-friendly format. They might be on downloadable PDFs, or Microsoft Word documents. Either way, it’s not as easy as it could be to browse them, search them, or share a specific snippet with your friends.

The solution

SayIt

Upload a transcript to SayIt, and it becomes a fully interactive text, presented in an elegant, organised interface.

SayIt lays out transcripts so that the viewer can cut and dice them to best suit their needs. Want to see everything said by one speaker? Everything said on a specific date? Search for every instance of a particular word or phrase? You can do all of this and more.

When transcripts are organised in this way, they also become highly visible to search engines such as Google — and it’s a doddle to share one particular speech or section.

Originally designed for the publication of council meeting proceedings, SayIt also works for any kind of conversation: trials, play scripts, interviews and more.

In order for data to be uploaded, it needs to be in the Akoma Ntoso structured format  — please get in touch if you need to know more about how to prepare your transcripts.

Not sure where to begin? Drop us a line

Implementations

Parliamentary monitoring

People’s Assembly, the South African parliamentary monitoring site uses SayIt to publish Hansard.

That means that each and every speech is published alongside a picture of the speaker, and includes a link so that users can share a specific snippet.

Opening council doors

Philadelphia City Council published several months of council meeting transcripts with SayIt.

They’re now simple to search, browse and share.

Public inquiries

The Leveson Inquiry in the UK was available only as unwieldy PDFs until we imported it into SayIt.

Playscripts, too

The plays of Shakespeare are now searchable, shareable and accessible, showing that SayIt works for all kinds of transcripts, including playscripts.

 

SayIt and you

SayIt is free, open source software for anyone to use.
However, setting it up takes a little technical know-how, so you may need some help.

Drop us a line if you’d like to find out more.

 

Image: Digital Internet (CC)