Open data? Awesome, and we are making tracks.and:
Open Government? HARD, and we are not banging on that door yet."
So what’s the next challenge for Open Government data?This is the conversation we need to be having. Why? Not to work out "how to do it", but because it questions what is valuable and necessary in government.
Forget the data.
Find a way to enable these revolutionary ideas, apps, websites and widgets that save time, money and mind-numbing frustration from those who have to engage with government.
Do that, and only that.
Open data isn't a technical thing. It's about relevance. If you could do everything, what would you do? If you were hungry, would you eat, or would you talk about how to find out what the best thing to eat is and what the best way of eating it is?
"Open data" that lacks a medium for turning creative use into real-world change is irrelevant. It's what bad businesses do - they invent a million great things, but never actually want people to use them. Instead they use them as examples to tout how great and creative they are, in the strange hope that a people will think a symbol of progress is as good as progress itself.
Until, that is, someone comes along and not only has a better idea, but also actually builds it. For everyone to use.
Is that difficult? Of course - building stuff requires foresight, management, flexibility and the wisdom of knowing what your goal is. Do people do it all the time? Look around you.
Open data needs to be about other things now - including how it's funded, what the audiences are, and what the future holds. But none of these are about data. None of these are technical. We already have a society that runs on data, so data itself isn't a new paradigm.
We can't keep thinking of open data - and possibly even our entire creative efforts - as some kind of "continual prototype". We need to apply it like we applied sewage systems and electricity.
We need to understand that this isn't just about making the game easier to play, but about a whole new game.