My dreams for 2010 (speaking formally)

ABC Unleased asked me think about what I want for 2010, in the context of my writing about the Internet and suchlike. My comments didn’t get a run in their piece My dreams for 2010 today, so here they are for you now, Gentle Readers.

From the government, I’d like more openness and the active inclusion of citizens in decision-making from the beginning. We’re not just an audience to be sold a policy cooked up with noisy lobby groups and the big end of town. The Government 2.0 Taskforce recommended a declaration of open government and, amongst other things, making all public sector information free and freely reusable by default, easily discoverable, and published in machine-readable formats to open standards. Let’s start seeing some of that — and not stuff at the edges like the public toilet database but big slabs of core government information.

From media magnates, less whinging about new competitors “stealing” your audience — we’re not your property! — and a lot more about making yourselves relevant to our new needs. We’ve got so many ways of informing and entertaining ourselves now, so do take that on board. Also, sourcing a comment to a random person on Twitter is not journalism. Find out who and where they are and give a bit of background.

And from the Twitterverse, quite a bit less self-congratulation and a quite a lot more practical work. Turning your avatar green or red or black changes nothing. “But I’m raising awareness” it not a valid explanation, either, because chances are your friends already agree with you. Open communication with someone well outside your normal circle and make a difference. Please.

The ABC piece is worth reading too, with contributions from editor Jonathan Green, Sophie Cunningham from Meanjin, comedian John Safran, opposition leader Tony Abbott, refugee and human rights activist Pamela Curr, futurist Mark Pesce, researcher and author Chris Berg, Julian Morrow of The Chaser fame, Robert Manne, Catherine Deveny, human rights lawyer Julian Burnside, artist Gerard Oosterman, scientist Julian Cribb, journalist and former writer for The Chaser Gregor Stronach, and Keysar Trad from the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia.

I haven’t had a chance to think about what I want personally. I was working on some urgent, stressful documents right up until close of business on New Year’s Eve, and went to bed early, exhausted. Maybe today’s beautiful showery day in Sydney, or tomorrow’s thunderstorms, will provide that inspiration.

4 Replies to “My dreams for 2010 (speaking formally)”

  1. @stilgherrian

    Point 1: Government’s have a tendency to act as “elected dictatorships” for the period of their term. I was reading an article yesterday regarding politicians who have changed their minds during 2009 – possibly as a result of twittering and open democracy.

    Point 2: Reader’s Digest aren’t whinging about new competitors. My employer of just over 20 years is facing the realities of the on-line world. On January 15th. 2010 they enter a new era (Section 11 bankruptcy “emergence” which I understand may be resisted) In the final years of my employment 1976-1996 I attempted to explain that perhaps the Internet and it’s ramifications might be important. Over the Christmas break I discussed the (slightly remote) possibility of a book on the technological changes ( computer technology amongst other things ) such as the technological revolution that took place in printing books and magazines. When I started back in ’76 the Digest was printed on a device called a “Halley Aller” (enormous device with about 20 people crawling over it) and the old Reader’s Digest building in Surry Hills was built around a mainframe computer which could be observed by visitors from behind a glass screen. It was their pride and joy. Following the collapse of the educational institution that leased it I believe it is now empty and a living monument to “technological change”.

    Point 3: Alex Hawke MP (Liberal) changed his icon as a result of #nocleanfeed. If other people hadn’t done so – or if there were no #nocleanfeed hashtag – I doubt if he could have expressed his doubts regarding Internet censorship.

    Hoping to survive at least to December 2010 I greet thee hoping to finally solve Stil’s script challenge – all I need it time (sigh)

  2. Addendum to my reply regarding the “Halley Aller”. This image provides an idea of what a Halley Aller looked like:-

    After printing the pages has to be collated, wrapped and labelled. The quality of the paper was quite important as a tear in the paper stream could bring a production run to a halt. It was impolite to use the term “cost of paper wastage” with possible suggestions for the reduction of this cost component.

    What replaced the Halley Aller ? If I recall correctly it was Apple Macs (expensive ones) and I left (retrenched) while discussing “computer to plate” technology with the production manager who was quite a nice bloke.

  3. @Bob Bain: Good point about Alex Hawke, and I suppose having a symbol to attach your comments to does make it easier for the politicians.

    Yes, do feel free to tackle the Script Challenge again. Some people are starting to get close to unlocking it…

  4. @stilgherrian re Alex Hawke MP (ultra right wing Christian conservative) here’s his tweet to an article regarding the nocleanfeed issue. His avatar is still black.

    With regards to the Script challenge may I suggest that some people were allegedly close to unlocking it including myself. I had a flash of inspiration but with my memory the way it is I’ve forgotten what it was.

Comments are closed.