Monday, February 01, 2010

American Indian Giver

From a digital rhetoric perspective, I am not quite sure about the tone of "They Gave Us The Beatles, We Gave Them," Vivek Kundra's entry on the White House blog about new online transparency initiatives being launched by the British Government.

Although the closing paragraph makes the point that the "Federal Government does not have a monopoly on the best ideas," since all are "part of an increasingly complex network of communities, ideas, and information" in the digital age, there is a certain condescending tone that seems inappropriate, given how the UK has actually led the U.S. in a number of state-run digital initiatives for digitization, remix culture, and citizen participation.

As in the U.S., the British version at has an Apps Page, where third-party sites are encouraged to use information from government databases in applications for searchable databases, mapping, mobile phones, and other kinds of mash-ups. Visitors can rate these sites, but like the "tool catalog" in the US version, relatively few bother to weigh in.

One could argue that the Brits bring more transparency to such rating systems by allowing text comments, where viewers can note system crashes and price discrepancies at sites like Mouseprice, which uses land registry information from the government to compare home prices in specific neighborhoods, an important part of establishing "comps" as well as of fostering violations of certain commandments against covetousness.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home