An amazing day involving metadata, wikis and copyright freedom!

Today was brilliant! The most fun day in my new job working for Senator Lundy! I have been a little lax in my blogging due to being so busy so I thought I’d share a (probably not typical) day in the life of a geek policy advisor :)

  1. Went with Kate to the “Sharing Data, Sharing Ideas” metadata conference for a couple of hours, where the people opening it spoke about the importance of metadata, and openness. I’ve been told all talk slides will be on that website after the conference and Kate will post her speech on her website probably tomorrow.
  2. Posted the draft briefing paper from the first Public Sphere topic on high speed bandwidth on the new wiki, and within 30 mins had the first contribution! I believe this is the first use of a wiki for public engagement by an Australian Parliamentarian, very exciting stuff!
  3. Met with some interesting folk to talk about virtual environments, discussed importance of open APIs and standards, and am considering eventually doing a Public Sphere in a fully virtual environment (easily months down the track!).
  4. Coordinated some material to go into the vodcasts we are doing, and helped another staffer at Kate’s office to look at how to use the website to garner online feedback on an important topic. She’ll likely be also engaging the Facebook community on the topic and it was very satisfying to have the staffer exclaim surprise and happiness that they could directly engage on the website with these newfangled tools :)
  5. Dropped down to the “Copyright Commons; Copyright Freedom” conference which featured amazing international speakers such as Lawrence Lessig (US) and Prodromos Tsiavos (UK, wrote a great paper called Cultivating Creative Commons: From Creative Regulation to Regulatory Commons),  and awesome copyright guru Aussies such as David Vaile, Brian Fitzgerald, Prof Graham Greenleaf, Anne Fitzgerald and Jessica Coates. Recorded an amazing audio interview between Kate and Larry Lessig, which we’ll podcast tomorrow, but I was particularly pleased with their responses to “what is the link between copyright freedom and open government”. They mostly just chatted and shared ideas, which makes it pretty cool listening (I think anyway :) ). Kate gave a fantastic speech which she’ll also post tomorrow. Larry recognised me from a conference I met him at many years ago in Brazil, which was impressive (as  he was totally jet lagged that day).
  6. As part of going to the copyright conference, had my first visit to Old Parliament House, a beautiful building and definitely worth visiting.
  7. Was invited to speak at an eclectic event for geeks to share fringe geek interests and talks, and I’ll likely talk on “being a geek in Parliament House”. Will post more information once I have it.
  8. Was chatting to Liam Wyatt from Wikimedia Australia about the upcoming GLAM-WIKI seminar (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums & Wikimedia). The idea is “a two-way dialogue to determine how to use the two communities’ strengths to a mutual advantage”, should be really interesting!

So although it has been a 15 hour day (who says public servants don’t do long hours!) it has been amazing. I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of this “policy advisor” thing, and one of my main initial goals of being a conduit to the community and industry is working out nicely with the public spheres and some other projects we are working on :)

As David Vaile so eloquently put today, I’m as happy as a pig in mud, and energised enough to be up and blogging at 4am, time to go sleep…

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2 Responses to An amazing day involving metadata, wikis and copyright freedom!

  1. Sylvano says:

    The GLAM-Wiki Media seminar prompts the question in my mind of what qualifies as a cultural institution.

    Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums probably provide convenient points of content ownership with whom wikimedia can set up agreements/understandings around content use.

    It will be interesting to see the outcomes from the seminar,

  2. Lisa Harvey says:

    keep up the good work Pia. But don’t forget to sleep.

    On the issue of copyright and open governement, I’ve often wondered about the impact of the US policy of government created material being public domain.

    As an example, it has always amazed me that all the space program images and data are all public domain. This is an incredible gift to the public.

    I’ve wondered if it changes a fundamentally the way that people view government – it changes the power relationship between government and the public. Rather than “this is our information and you have to have permission to use it”, it becomes “this is your information because the government created it in the service of the public”

    It also redistributes accessiblity to information. As another example, sattelite data that local groups can use for issues on land use etc is available from the USGS and other agencies. From Geoscience Australia there is a substantial cost, putting it out of reach for individuals or small organisations.

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