Change.gov

And so it begins ...

Enter your ideas, comment on ideas, and vote on ideas in the Citizen's Briefing Book.  As soon as i polish my idea about no-fault malpractice, i will submit it there.


01/21/2009 This site has now moved to whitehouse.gov ... please see my comments below about this.

Tags

  1. change.gov
  2. obama administration
  3. whitehouse.gov
  4. 3rd street
  5. sunlight foundation
  6. filibusted.us
  7. recovery.gov
  8. open government
  9. semantic web

Comments


Mark de LA says
seth 2008-11-11 02:21:59 10819
M 2008-11-10 16:37:08 10819
Obama's Agenda Disappears. I wonder if all those campaign promises are going to morph into reality now.

The other one was copied from the campaign site.  I suspect this one will get fleshed out a bit more as time goes by.  And yes, i expect, it will be more targeted to reality.   The down side would be that it gives partisans a real handle on tracking his promises.   Obama has a lot of guts to actually do this, hopefully he will keep it up.  You i expect will be ragging on it and his agenda, but then that's just partisan life as usual. 

I have a idea re health-care for his suggestion box that I'm going to research and submit ... probably in my blog first.  So me thinks we are just a might closer to democracy here with this if Obama can sustain it. 
   My measure of integrity in a person is that he says what he is going to do & then does what he says. That's not partisan! 
(It's a wonderful measure of one's own integrity as well as the integrity of those who are politicians )
   BTW, in case you missed 7894 Newt Gingrich has been running a website called American Solutions since long before Obama was a household name. It is a good example for participatory democracy & problem solving via the internet. It goes well beyond blogging & partisan bickering. If you are interested in the healthcare part you can find links to it here.  I hope that BHO's solutions don't just show up as throwing tax money at problems & dictatorial government changes forced upon the public.

Seth says
M 2008-11-10 16:37:08 10819
Obama's Agenda Disappears. I wonder if all those campaign promises are going to morph into reality now.

The other one was copied from the campaign site.  I suspect this one will get fleshed out a bit more as time goes by.  And yes, i expect, it will be more targeted to reality.   The down side would be that it gives partisans a real handle on tracking his promises.   Obama has a lot of guts to actually do this, hopefully he will keep it up.  You i expect will be ragging on it and his adgenda, but then thats just partisan life as usual. 

I have a idea re health-care for his suggestion box that i'm going to research and submit ... probably in my blog first.  So me thinks we are just a might closer to democracy here with this if Obama can sustain it. 

Mark de LA says
It's the partisan spin (read lies) in government documents that impedes real communication.  If you are looking for information flow then it's time to remove that from the government as well as my posts! Government bills & appropriations are intended by Congress to obscure where the money is going & what will happen.  The real information on that is in the conversations that go on in Congress & the lobbyists & the White house.

Seth says
source: M above
The problem is that government thinks it has a mandate to grow larger & larger & is not listening to those who object. It took a tea party to make King George listen ...
Now that is spin.  It takes a side.  It is a change of topic from what i was talking about. 

What i am talking about here are practical ways to make the information that the government is generating more accessible and understandable to citizens.  There is nothing partisan about that.  That does not take a side.  That applies to democrats, republicans, and independents alike. 

Like i said before the reason that i lost interest in your group UnhackTheBrain was that you immediately started taking a political side and all of your items were just about promoting that spin ... similarly with your 3rd street stuff.  The process of really improving government should not be a partisan effort.  More coherent information that is more accessible should focus citizens awareness of what is happening.  Then we can make better decisions as to how to vote and our representatives can communicate their views to us better.  But if you start out spewing spin ... your projects will just remain  partisan horse shit. Subscribe to a group like sunlight labs ... watch the tecture of their consearns ... they are talking about the technology of doing things ... not insulting each other with hyperpartisan digs.  That is no way to get something done ... in case you didn't notice, i want no part of it.

Seth says
seth 2009-01-21 10:01:17 10819
seth 2008-12-27 13:33:30 10819
One question i have about whitehouse.gov/change.gov is which one Obama will use after the inauguration.  Although whitehouse.gov started in the Clinton administration it has certainly grown up under Bush.  Bush offed many of the clinton URIs - which of course goes against TBL's Cool Uris Dont change.  I wonder if the Obama team will find some more discrete method of change?  Will whitehouse.gov be left to the Bush legacy?  It seems to me that change.gov is pointing the way.

Well this question has been answered.  Unfortunately they did not respect the rule that cool URIs don't change.  For example look at what has happened to my reference in 6669 ... it now goes to a 404 error.  I'm a little disjointed in that.


I have submitted the following request via email to comments@whitehouse.gov

Time Berners-Lee has suggested a rule of the web that goes "Cool Uris Don't Change".   I had thought that the new administration took over that they would have respected that rule which tends to preserve hyperlinks on the web.  I was sad to discover this morning that you had not.  My reference in my blog here to a remark by Bush now yields a 404 not found error.  This need not have happened - all of those old Bush URLs contained dates.  They would not have conflicted with your new information. 

Could you please restor the old Bush dated URLs .... please!

--
Seth Russell
www.speaktomecatalog.com

... Who knows ... maybe they will fix it.

Seth says
MR 2009-03-02 11:07:55 10819
I seriously doubt that private parties or the government for that matter can remove partisan spin from their documents no matter how they publish them.  The stimulus & budget documents are full of spin - starting with their names.   A lot depends on how the information is structured.  My main complaint so far is that budget & other bills refer to other bills. Note that a PDF is not as parseable as plain text. RDF &/or XML are not easy either. Plain text can be searched automatically by regular expressions.  Your HTML idea should include a link to the documents that are being amended &/or changed.
I haven't said anything about "removing partisan spin from government documents". 

Note that the objective of publishing documents in XML would be so that they could be presented to humans in human readable formats - there are plenty of XML tools.  Clearing up the references is a harder job because that requires every thing to have a unique URL that when dereferenced replies with a useful human readable document.  And those URSs should be persistent.  It seems to me that most of the efforts designed to digest and republish government documents are relying on scraping.  I think that is the wrong approach.  The government should be forced to provide that information in a coherant machine readable form whith perhaps some kind of standardized referecces to begin with.  Aaron's mention of RSS for the stimulus bill is the first hint of that happing that i have seen.

Seth says
M 2009-01-13 14:56:58 10819
no-fault malpractice sounds like an oxymoron! You might want a better brand. I like the idea of a strong guild of highly professional medical caregivers having their own extra-judicial process of policing their members including expulsion & loss of licenses;  no lawyers, insurance people or politicians allowed.
Sounds a bit like letting the fox guard the hen house.  I would favor something like ..
source: HHMS.gov
Some time ago, Johns Hopkins hospital began requiring non-emergency patients who came to them for elective procedures (individuals who had the option of going elsewhere if they so chose) to sign an agreement to take any malpractice claims to mediation prior to going to court.   In 2003, Hopkins mediated 24 cases and resolved 21 of them.  As a result, Hopkins 2003 claims expenses decreased almost 30 percent.  Mediation is typically much faster than a court case and involves far lower attorney’s fees.  In short, patients who are injured get compensated at a higher level and in a shorter amount of time.  Furthermore, this reform has helped the hospital communicate more freely with the patients, and probably with the professional staff, in order to be sure the mediation is successful and the highest possible quality of care is achieved.
... There would be physicians on the mediation board ... but there would be other interested parties as well.  Please discuss further on 11238.


Seth says
I don't care what you say, this is evidance of the Obama administration engaging US citizens more in the process of governance ...
source: personal email to me (emphasis mine)
Dear Seth,

We wanted to tell you about a new feature on Change.gov which lets you bring your ideas directly to the President.

It's called the Citizen's Briefing Book, and it's an online forum where you can share your ideas, and rate or offer comments on the ideas of others.

The best-rated ones will rise to the top, and after the Inauguration, we'll print them out and gather them into a binder like the ones the President receives every day from experts and advisors. If you participate, your idea could be included in the Citizen's Briefing Book to be delivered to President Obama.

Visit the Citizen's Briefing Book now and share your ideas:

Citizen's Briefing Book

Throughout this Transition, a truly inspiring number of citizens have gotten involved. We hope that you remain involved through the Inauguration and beyond.

Thank you,

Valerie

Valerie Jarrett
Co-Chair
Obama-Biden Transition Project
The bolded message tells us what happens to these ideas.  Pretty nifty, don't you think?


Seth says
M 2009-01-14 13:57:50 10819
How about floating this up the flag pole - a 6 month to 1 year tax relief where nobody pays taxes for that period of time. I wonder how far you would get!  It is the most efficient way to get the money to the people & bypass the graft & corruption up & down the money chain. Cuts out all the middle men & women.

You should go propose it ... that way you can see how many others will vote for it ... if enough do then Obama will see it in his moring briefing book.

Seth says
MR 2009-03-02 09:50:43 10819
This article shows that there are still more problems.

Yes it's a interesting article confirming what we already knew - the government has a lot of rules and red tape that sometime get in the way of progress.  This is why whitehouse.gov and recovery.gov do not look like change.gov was starting to look like prior to the inaguration. 

I''m beginning to think that opening the government to total transparency should be taken on by the private sector.  There are a lot of indications of this starting to want to happen ... check out yeswescan.org and places like opencongress.org and sunlightlabs.com/projects/.  Seems like the old semantic web crowd is getting involved.  What might be necessary is the government make the information available in easily parsed form (like this) and then private websites can digest and display and focus comment. 
Things can happen like my idea of having all proposed bills (and passed bills as well) available from a website with all references hyperlinked and hyperlinked to voting records as well. 

This is not a partisan issue - rather if you want to know more about what is happening in government - if you want to shed the light of awareness on that process, spend some effeort and get involved, rather than hyperpartisan crapping around the edges.  What are the actual problems with the way governmental information flows?

Mark de LA says
Sounds just like the expected BHO purge of the GWB stuff.

Mark de LA says
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.
  - Dr. Seuss


Seth says
Well i finally got a response from my email of 2009-01-21.  See below ...
source: personal email
Dear Friend,

Thank you for your message.  On behalf of President Obama, we appreciate hearing from you.  The President has promised the most transparent administration in history, and we're committed to listening to and responding to you.

In order to better handle the millions of electronic messages we're receiving and respond more quickly, we've implemented a new contact form on our website:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Please note that this web form has replaced comments@whitehouse.gov.  That email address is no longer monitored, so we encourage you to resubmit your message through the link above.  Thank you for using the web form and helping us improve communications with you.

Sincerely,

The Presidential Correspondence Team
... Ok, so i'll try again.  Looks like they are slowly getting up to speed.  At least now they have transcripts of news conferences etc published within a day, but still no live video or any of the nifty stuff that used to be over at change.gov.


Mark de LA says
I seriously doubt that private parties or the government for that matter can remove partisan spin from their documents no matter how they publish them.  The stimulus & budget documents are full of spin - starting with their names.   A lot depends on how the information is structured.  My main complaint so far is that budget & other bills refer to other bills. Note that a PDF is not as parseable as plain text. RDF &/or XML are not easy either. Plain text can be searched automatically by regular expressions.  Your HTML idea should include a link to the documents that are being amended &/or changed.

Mark de LA says
Apparently there is some trouble in Obama's paradise of open connectedness. Read this political neutral article from foxnews.  Spam or spin of any flavor is a fascinating detour from open communications. Since both campaigns were rumored to use vast internet campaigns to hoist their flags it's not surprising that they continue.


Seth says
MR 2009-04-13 12:38:39 10819
Apparently there is some trouble in Obama's paradise of open connectedness. Read this political neutral article from foxnews.  Spam or spin of any flavor is a fascinating detour from open communications. Since both campaigns were rumored to use vast internet campaigns to hoist their flags it's not surprising that they continue.

The foxnews article doesn't have all that much spin, but your characterization of it as "trouble in Obama's paradise" certainly does.  As anybody who has tried to do anything on the internet knows, you need to deal with trolls and pestilence.  That this slows progress on transparency and connectedness does not mean that progress is not being made.  I expect that the most dramatic changes will come about not exclusively from the administration's websites, but from a collaboration between the administration and innovations from the internet development community - like, perhaps, the things going on at the Sunlight Foundation.  More later when something acutally happens.

Mark de LA says
seth 2009-04-13 14:06:06 10819
MR 2009-04-13 12:38:39 10819
Apparently there is some trouble in Obama's paradise of open connectedness. Read this political neutral article from foxnews.  Spam or spin of any flavor is a fascinating detour from open communications. Since both campaigns were rumored to use vast internet campaigns to hoist their flags it's not surprising that they continue.

The foxnews article doesn't have all that much spin, but your characterization of it as "trouble in Obama's paradise" certainly does.  As anybody who has tried to do anything on the internet knows, you need to deal with trolls and pestilence.  That this slows progress on transparency and connectedness does not mean that progress is not being made.  I expect that the most dramatic changes will come about not exclusively from the administration's websites, but from a collaboration between the administration and innovations from the internet development community - like, perhaps, the things going on at the Sunlight Foundation.  More later when something acutally happens.
Yep, you may always assume that my editorial comment is the one I am expressing. I don't pretend any neutrality in my postings. I do, however, reserve the right to present things from any point-of-view I choose at the moment.


Seth says
Winners of Sunlight Lab's Apps for America contest released today.  And the winners are Filibusted, Legistalker, Hello Congress, Know Thy Congressman, and Yeas & Nays.

Seth says
Tim Berners-Lee has a new initiative that is well worth a study ...
source: Abstract of Putting Government Data online by Tim Berners-Lee June 2009
Government data is being put online to increase accountability, contribute valuable information about the world, and to enable government, the country, and the world to function more efficiently. All of these purposes are served by putting the information on the Web as Linked Data. Start with the "low-hanging fruit". Whatever else, the raw data should be made available as soon as possible. Preferably, it should be put up as Linked Data. As a third priority, it should be linked to other sources. As a lower priority, nice user interfaces should be made to it -- if interested communities outside government have not already done it. The Linked Data technology, unlike any other technology, allows any data communication to be composed of many mixed vocabularies. Each vocabulary is from a community, be it international, national, state or local; or specific to an industry sector. This optimizes the usual trade-off between the expense and difficulty of getting wide agreement, and the practicality of working in a smaller community. Effort toward interoperability can be spent where most needed, making the evolution with time smoother and more productive.
... The article contains specific technologies and recommendations.  Obviously this is Tim pushing to implement the Semantic Web for open government.  It has stirred up a bit of new interest on the semantic web mailing lists which had almost dried up. 

Seth says
seth 2009-06-17 16:24:18 10819
Looks like the Sunlight Labs is going to bid on doing recovery.gov.
I hope they get it.  I've been on their mailing list for some time.
Unfortunately it looks like Sunlight Labs didn't get the contract .  ABC news reports $18M Being Spent to Redesign Recovery.gov Web Site ... err by Smartronix Inc

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