1. Sejmometr.pl last week

    Sejmometr.pl has just introduced search for MP’s based on postal addresses and regions of Poland. It looks like this in practice:

    MP's from region 22, postal address "37-207"

    MP's from Sub-Karpatian Region of Poland

    Here is how the team managed to put this together:

    “In order to make this search happen based on postal addresses we have combined the data from three sources:

    1. „The Registry of Postal Addresses” (Polish Post)
      Database of all postal addresses and regions in Poland.
    2. Using this website (official website of National Voting Committee), we have built a database of regions connected to voting areas.
    3. Using this website (official website of Sejm), we have built a database of MP’s connected to voting areas.”

    Great work!

  2. WriteToThem Slovakia collaboration with SME.sk

    KohoVolit.eu team has also talked to representatives of SME.sk – major news portal in Slovakia. It looks like the news portal is interested in the integration of local WriteToThem clone into the SME.sk website.

    “They are interested in an easy way to immediately write to the politician directly from the article where he is mentioned. We expect to insert the writing form also to their web and create a simple widget for inserting to articles that refers to the form. Thus readers can write to a particular politician directly from the SME portal. More advanced features like search of the best representative to write to or browsing in sent messages marked as public and the respective politicians’ answers will be available only on our main site.”

    As mentioned by Jaroslav in his original post, integration will take place in May, when the Slovak clone of the site will be completed.

  3. WriteToThem in Czech Republic and Slovakia

    Jaroslav from KohoVolit.eu team has posted an update on their local clone of WriteToThem portal. The team has decided upon names of the local domains:

    “Among a dozen of candidates the classics won – the domains being registered this week are NapisteJim.cz and NapisteIm.sk which means exactly “write to them” in Czech and in Slovak language. So, together with the Lithuanian ParasykJiems.lt and UK WriteToThem.com the family of “write to them” named sites is growing to at least four. (I wonder why the UK version is on .com domain.)”

    Team is working on development of of the scrapers and updaters for two chambers of Czech parliament and hopes to finalise the Czech site at the end of April. Slovak part of the portal is planned to be completed in May.

  4. Update on InformataZyrtare.org

    Valon has sent us a quick update on InformataZyrtare.org. Apart from few meetings with various local NGO’s Valon has also presented about the project during TechSoup Global meeting about “Community Driven Innovation”.

    “Present were representatives from a number of mission based  NGOs and a number of local technologists.  In the meeting we explained InformataZyrtare project, how we got the idea, what mySociety has done, etc. We also emphasized very good cooperation between us (FLOSSK) and Gap Institute in InformataZyrtare project which is leading to new concrete ideas about new projects in the near future.”

    The team has also worked on the guidelines for public institutions, which is basically a collection of team’s ideas for better implementation of the FOI law on the digital front. How about development?

    “On the development front, Faton has made the changes in the code to suit our law. Now, more or less we could have had the site online but we decided to wait a bit more until the multilingual (i18n) version of the site is done. Seb is working on that and Faton is getting up to speed with it as we speak, hopefully they can have a production version ready for next week.”

    Valon is also researching the best approach to the interface, which should be documented shortly.

  5. KohoVolit.eu this week

    Jaroslav posted on KohoVolit.eu blog that their team has finished data scraper for Chamber of deputies of Czech parliament:

    “The scraping of official website will be performed periodically to keep the data up-to-date. Three issues are needed to address within it: insert new information that appeared on the official website into the database, update the information that is already stored in the database but it has changed on the official website and finally mark the information in the database that is no more present on the official website as obsolete. The obsolete information is rather marked than completely deleted in sake of references to history or providing some statistics in time. The same is true for any database updates – the original information is never deleted but together with time interval it was valid through moved to the set of historical records.

    Thus the scraper that solely extracts the data from source is called by an updater that controls the process of updating data in the database.”

    Next steps? Similar scraper for the Senate and updaters for both!;)

  6. WriteToThem clones in the region

    After the meeting in January, Darius has worked with Jaroslav and Danko on changes to the WTT clone in Lithuania required to make it possible for other teams to use it as a starting point of their own platforms.

    Most of the internationalization work is done, although email templates and some small things still needs polishing:

    “I have made necessary DB refactorings, so that it would be possible to import data for Serbian and Chech/Slovakia WTT.”

    There is still work to be done, but it’s really good to see this international cooperation arriving to the stage where others can avoid re-inventing the wheel, instead building on the work already done in Lithuania.

  7. Parasykjiems.lt last week

    Darius has updated us on the developments at Parasykjiems.lt. After series of tests run on their data it looks like the team has quite a big chunk of data to look through still. Some of it needs correcting, some of it is missing. Darius is meeting the representatives of Transparency International Lithuania this Wednesday to discuss potential additional resources for this task. He also added:

    “There are also some small programming things that need to be addressed:

    * migrate from sqlite to mysql on our server

    * merge DB refactoring branch

    * make some other small improvements, such as introduce “Subject” field in the message, and improve “Feedback” form, as we have no means to contact the person who contacted us.”

  8. KohoVolit.eu and their videos from eDemocracy Day

    Veronika Sumova has published two videos documenting eDemocracy Day we have recently posted about.

    First one is a general overview of the event:

    eDemocracy Day – barcamp-like event 12th March in Prague! from KohoVolitEU on Vimeo.

    Second is their interview with Jakub Górnicki from Sejmometr.pl:

    Jakub Górnicki from Sejmometr.pl on eDemocracy day in Prague (March 2011) from KohoVolitEU on Vimeo.

  9. Sejmometr.pl this week

    Following the example of Facebook’s wall, Sejmometr.pl has introduced “MP’s wall” this week:

    “On Sejmometr every MP has their own wall, where all recent updates are featured. This functionality is independent from MP’s will or activities meaning that the updating of the wall does not require any actions from MP’s themselves”

    Users can subscribe to MP’s wall though RSS feed at the moment but as the next step in development of this particular functionality Sejmometr’s team is planning to introduce portal specific notification system – once again using Facebook notifications as original idea.

    To see all MP’s walls click here, but here is an example:

  10. Activism vs. Slacktivism debate in Oxford

    MySociety Director, Tom Steinberg, delivered a presentation during the Activism vs. Slacktivism debate in Oxford yesterday. His main point was the importance of valuable, quantifiable research in field of transparency. He also contributed to the Q&A session with really good points on rational approach to revolution in Egypt as well as other mentioned topics.

    If you are interested in all notes, here are the collected tweets.