Hacking @UKParliament, inspired by @DigiDemocracyUK and @Meg_HillierMP

Setup by the speaker of the House of Commons, the Commission on Digital Democracy investigated the opportunities digital technology can bring for parliamentary democracy in the UK. It reported on 26 January 2015. A debate was then held on 10 March 2015. Meg Hiller MP was the star of the show.

I watched the entire thing and was inspired. So I did a hack: @CyberChamber

CyberChamber Twitter profile page

CyberChamber Twitter profile page

I could have just followed @UKParliament, @HouseofCommons and @UKHouseofLords. But I like raw, open data and an intellectual challenge. Plus small, bit sized chucks of output via Twitter.

Although Twitter might not be your channel of choice, it’s where I get my news. More importantly it’s where I learn, share, comment and engage with others.

So I repurposed the @new_blog_post hack I did last year, which tweets details of new post posts published on blog.gov.uk. You can read how I did this here.

@CyberChamber is basically the same thing, but using parliament.uk RSS feeds

Have a look at the output and let me know how to improve the format of the tweets, please.

I noticed there is a lot of duplication between feeds, so need to sort that out.

The skeleton of a good #PublicSector #hackday / #hackathon

I’ve been to (and organised) enough hackdays and hackthons, that I can spot a good one.

The best ones have all:

  • done research on the problem they’re trying to solve
  • formed this into a challenge for hackers
  • openly blogged about the above
  • engaged with critics
  • made changes if necessary
  • got any required data into a useable format
  • booked an accessible venue
  • arranged solid wi-fi
  • ordered catering based on hackers dietary requirements
  • facilitated the day very well
  • documented the day and outputs
  • made sure outputs are openly licensed
  • awarded prizes to runners up
  • awarded ongoing development resources to the winner

What have a missed? Can you think of anything else?