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Planning follow-up website(s)

Page history last edited by KM 12 years, 5 months ago

Yellow highlighting indicates links I will add  when got a moment KM.


Overview: Programmers working on open-source projects such as The Public Whip and mySociety's democracy websites could be very useful partners for us.





What are 'The Public Whip' and 'mySociety'?


'The Public Whip' (and other websites, run by mySociety) are websites that help citizens do things very like some of the things we want to do (eg write to an  MP or Government department,  see what letters others have sent,  read the replies,  measure the responsiveness).


The Public Whip was the forerunner.  The co-founding programmers  were  Julian Todd (who is also a peace activist, whose analysis of the parliamentary approval of the invasion of Iraq started the whole thing), and Francis Irving (who is also a campaign organiser and was later funded by Rowntree to write mySociety's Freedom of Information Act website). 


The software is all open-source (which means anyone may use it or adapt it).  Participants in this open-source community also have (presumably?) access to  shared databanks and are expected to reciprocate by adding more information to the public domain.


mySociety is a charity-owned business  which funds programmers to work on such projects by selling services to paying customers (and by administering grant money from eg government  and Rowntree). Many of its participants, however, are volunteers.  The Public  Whip remains solely volunteer-run, and takes no government funding.


Possible ways forward


Possible ways foward include:

     ask their advice

     ask if any existing participants could help further

     find our own volunteers (I'd have jumped at the chance when I was a programmer. KM)

     seek funding to pay for programming work (perhaps Rowntree might fund mySociety again?)


Links to more info

Wkipedia article on The Public Whip


Is it possible for geeks to fix the United Nations? Guardian article.


Page listing and describing all mySociety's websites




Page about Rowntree providing funding for WhatDoTheyKnow (and TheyWorkForYou)



The page on which the proposal to build a Freedom of Information Act website was first aired




Page describing relationship between mySociety, ThePublicWhip and the parliamentray parser


Wikipedi entry on parliamentary infomatics


Page for potential volunteers with The Public Whip - things they could do



Julian Todd co-founder of public whip (and peace activist)


Francis Irving  - co-founder of public whip (and campaign organiser)


About 'policies' as used in The Public Whip (it means a belief, or voting stance,  held by an MP, not by the website or its participants).  Policies are identifed by volunteer researchers working online.  http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/policies.php   Example policy:  'In favour of invading Iraq in 2003'  http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/policy.php?id=1049


This wiki's policy on positition statements and points of view



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