Its been a great weekend in OpenAustralia Hackfest, first let me thank the organisers who have done an amazing job, Matthew Landauer, Alan Noble, Pamela Fox, Henare Degan and Tim Ansell who organised the event. And a special thanks to our amazing sponsor Google who gave us the space, the food and the great prizes.
A big get well out to Rob Manson, getting sick in the first day and missing out. Hope he gets better soon.
There were some great hacking done on government data and some nice things that have not matured to applications during the weekend.
There is one thing, that keeps blinking at the back of my mind.
Is the crowd we are serving the data ready?
Will they be able to use the interface we give them?
It seems there is a gap, a big gap, between the technology world and the political realm. there is always a gap, i was not aware of how deep it is. Reading License to Drive in the Digital Economy exposed me to a troubling figure, a quarter of the people in this land are social web illiterate,
“27% of those surveyed aged 14 and over were not currently participating online. These statistics give some indication that about a quarter of those surveyed would struggle to become active participants in the digital economy.”
This poses a big question about utilisation of the Government 2. and the usefulness of these tools.
It seems that the information gathered from these types of applications will be biased towards the more capable social layers, thus creating a worse situation to the social segments not represented.
What should we do?
How can you enable all the crowd to be part of this participation age?
This is a big questions that got some mentioning
My take is that we need to child proof our applications and match them to the profile of a non technical and non social aware person.
As we develop our systems we should strive to get the information to the users in the most simple to follow and understandable form, thus making it easier to consume and make available to all users of the web.
Keep your interfaces accessible, make them conform to WCAG 2.0, if you are not a front end developer DON’T develop the front end.
There was a cry from Tim Ansell, during free hacking sessions and later in the lightning sessions, to find any one who can prettify his interface.
Do the same, there are a lot of people that are very capable and would love to do so.
May the web be with you.