Posts Tagged ‘Open Government Initiative’

The DISCLOSE Act: New Media, Old Politics, and the Fight for Public Data

In Linked Data, Technology, Transparency on July 7, 2010 at 9:02 am

Source: Beth Kanter on flickr


Read my entire post on The Scholarly Kitchen. An excerpt:  

While the notion that information wants to be free has driven many movements around government-financed data and research, it pays to remember that covert political maneuvering and paying for influence are as old as civilization. And some of these forces don’t want information to be free.  

When some of the most well-funded corporations and interest groups also have a commercial stake in supporting transparency, you have all the ingredients for a real battle.  

Advances in networked data technologies in the new media and research sectors have made new kinds of relational analysis possible. Tim Berners-Lee’s 2009 TED Talk centers on the creation of the web of linked data—a shadow layer that will underlie the web of content, the principal vehicle of global information exchange with which we are all familiar today.  

Networked data is intrinsic to the semantic web and to data visualization, which propose alternate ways to  describe, associate meaning with, and reveal relationships between data entities. Early examples, built from publicly available government data, can be found on project pages from Open PSI (in the UK) and Sunlight Labs (in the US).  

The power of analysis that can be derived from the semantic Web and visualizations of linked data relies entirely upon the accuracy and scope of the data itself—which is where the DISCLOSE Act (Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections) comes in.  

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Advertisements Selling the Government and Democratization of Information

In Internet Business Models, Linked Data on May 29, 2010 at 8:03 am

Read my complete post on The Scholarly Kitchen. Excerpt:               

Last Friday marked the one-year anniversary of the Obama Administration’s Open Government Initiative (OGI). The occasion was honored with a cupcake and candle on the landing page of the newly re-designed site and a widely disseminated announcement from the White House.             

Source: Laura Padgett on flickr


For global publishers who have generated a significant portion of revenue building and selling databases, a requirement to make their data freely available is a mixed blessing. Despite the fact that global access and use of the data are expected to rise exponentially, balance sheets will take a hit.               

Databases are not just part of a publishers portfolio, if done right they can be the most profitable part and have sometimes carried the less profitable and declining parts of the publishing line up — namely, books. Presses being impacted by this change must quickly seek new ways to recapture publishing expense and reinvent the services they provide.               

Conversely, if a business has retooled to conceive of and build data services, it’s a golden egg.  For publishers in adjacent spaces — CQ Press,  Bloomberg, LexisNexis, Thomson Reuters, National Journal, CQ-Roll Call, the Washington Post — access to troves of free, authoritative, updated data presents a significant opportunity to create new revenue streams by developing bespoke products and services that monetize free content.               

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