At one of the very first sessions of #tal10, @countculture pinned me with a pointed look. “Talk About Local need to do something to bring together the geeks and the non-geeks”. And as he is the man who made council websites a million times better, who was I to argue? Through the day, I made notes of many wonderful ideas but it does seem true that there is no one platform bringing them together and many tools are being built for one hyperlocal context that could easily be reused, adapted and improved in other settings. So, we’ll have a go…
The web is brimming with free resources, tools and communities working together to solve problems and build stuff.
With your help, this section of Talk About Local Labs will make links between the techy and the non-techy to share knowledge, help answer questions and think about suggestions for when a tool or data can help overcome a hyperlocal problem.
Although paid-for services are quite fairly being developed for the hyperlocal blogging community, at this stage the focus of this section is to ensure offline communities can make the most of the free, open web and the tools published under open licenses that many of us enjoy every day to make tasks like publishing, reporting potholes, collaborating or looking up council agendas quicker and easier. In addition, we want to make sure that developments to free public data benefit all communities.
This section, therefore, is for people to find out how to learn more advanced skills, or ask someone technically-minded for help. The TAL team and anyone else working with offline communities can also use these resources to ‘translate’ community issues into the sorts of problems with parameters that developers love to get their teeth into. We don’t want to reinvent any wheels, so please use this very simple and friendly questionnaire to ensure we’re not missing anything that already exists, or if you prefer dive straight into the editable Google document of this page to add content.
The proposed sections so far follow and as this develops sections may move into separate pages, wikis, forum threads, tag lists or even some sort of magical developers’ garden that I haven’t even imagined yet.
Ideas for bringing together geeks and non-geeks to make cool things happen in communities, plus networks and camps of developers looking for projects.
Social Media Surgeries | Friendly Geeks list on Twitter | data.gov.uk Local Data project | Speed-dating | Pimp my Geek | Scraperwiki
Web building step-by-step
Recommendations, tutorials and links to communities for people who want to move from free hosted platforms to self-hosting, installing plugins and into development.
Where community problems get developed into programming/data problems that can be solved, or people post up requests. Also links to forums and tags where people are helping each other.
TAL10 Google Group | Lazyweb tag on Twitter | Friendly Geeks on Twitter |
Showcase and Ideas
Developers like to see their work used, so this will include things they have developed, or offers of things they would be willing to develop if enough people are going to make use of it.
A page of bright ideas | Openly Local council info widget |
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