What should mySociety do next?
Get your thinking caps on, people
The founder of mySociety is calling on Reg readers to suggest future projects for the organisation to pursue.
It has run similar competitions twice before which resulted in WriteToThem - an easy way to contact your MP, MEP or councillor, and WhatDoTheyKnow - which now accounts for one in ten Freedom of Information requests.
Tom Steinberg threw down a gauntlet for Register readers. Steinberg said: "Winning ideas have to be highly scalable, impactful, and have to show a real insight into what the Internet does really well - it's sort of a super-test of quite how good an internet pundit you are."
Steinberg said it would be great if ideas had a strong offline impact - like fixmystreet and/or brought transparency to some other area of British life like companies, finance or the media.
They are looking for genuinely new ideas and refreshingly want projects that do not contain the phrase "social media".
So either an idea for a brand new service or a radical rethinking of something they already offer. The ideas should be easily explainable to non-political wonks and bring clear social or political benefits.
There is more info here.
The deadline for proposals in 15 September. The winner will be announced in early October.
So get cracking people - feel free to discuss ideas below or get straight over to this page to get your application in.
If you're not aware of the kind of stuff mySociety does - there's a summary of their major projects here. ®
@paul charters !!
Great you broke my elReg !!!!
I have no immediate ideas, but faxyourmp and theyworkforyou actually got me seeing parliament as something relateable as opposed to distant and irrelevant.
How about working on aggregations with FOI info?
I'd like to see genuine educational opportunities - a bit like the OU, but open source. or like the education offered by evening classes from organisations like the WEA.
People who have skipped, or been denied, formal education are often working too hard at low paid jobs to have time to try again. But there is often a few hours a week they can devote to all sorts of displacement activities on the internet.
What about a collaborative education system, where people with suitable qualifications could create small scale teaching material, run seminars, hold closed forums with students and other teachers only admitted, and award small scale certification? Once that was established, then a higher layer could be provided where someone with, say, a dozen of these units under their belt could do a bit more work and glue them together to gain some sort of formal qualification?
Along the way, those in a teaching capacity would also have demonstrated knowledge and commitment and communication skills and would also be entitled to some sort of formalised recognition.
It would matter not if the government were involved or not, as long as users and employers both recognised the outcome as worthwhile evidence of learning, effort, and commitment.