Our principles for building LinkedGov

These principles underpin our activities and decisions in building LinkedGov and all of its technology.

1.  Leave things as open as possible for experts to improve upon them

(e.g. code, standards, etc).

  • A lot of the expertise we need may be outside of the LinkedGov community or team looking at the problem.
  • For LinkedGov to be useful on an ongoing basis, it will need expertise from lots of areas (both in its technology base and in the standards it uses)
  • An open source model will allow the expertise to be used to provide a best solution where ever possible, and will allow the community to tailor tools where necessary to fit their needs
  • Collaborative techniques should be used as a matter of course to make sure we gather expertise from every possible source.
  • The collaboration should be facilitated to remove blockages if needed.

2.  Make LinkedGov more attractive than any alternative for cleaning data, as an incentive to use it.

  • LinkedGov will need to be the ‘filter’ of choice when publishing public data.
  • It must be easy to use for technical and non technical people.
  • It provides a public ‘standard’ for cleaning that is widely used
  • It must be simpler for developers to use than cleaning data themselves (manually), so that they will continue to choose to use it as new datasets are released.

3.  Engage as many experts as possible in their own areas. Make it easy for them to get involved and help.

  • Crowdsourcing allows those that would like to get involved to get involved
  • All aspects of LinkedGov to be open and transparent
  • LinkedGov should incorporate the industry standards, best practice or most useful approach for all of the data and technology it holds.  Involving existing experts is the best way to make this happen.

4.  Spread ownership and direction across the community, including the leaders we still would like to engage.

  • This should prompt them to participate in the future.
  • Allow stakeholders to comment easily

5.  Involve others who will champion our cause

  • We must bring a lot of people to LinkedGov for this to work. We should make it easy for everyone to spread the message about our activities.

6.  Assimilate existing technologies and programmes where they are adding value

  • We aren’t here to compete
  • We should incorporate existing technologies, ideas and help wherever feasible.

7.  Our main purpose is to deliver cleaner, more usable and more available public data.

  • All decisions should support this.
  • Neither the public data we host nor its meaning should be fundamentally changed in LinkedGov.  We are here to clean, link and reformat, not to rewrite.

8.  Do things once and only once wherever possible.

  • Leave a trail, comment your code, share your work and learning with the community.

9.  These tools should help people understand and learn about open data.

  • The more people understand what we are doing and why, the greater support we will get and the faster we will get through our task list.
Jan 2011

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