MediaMill Gazette 4:

[aesop_content color=”#333333″ background=”transparent” columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” floaterposition=”center” floaterdirection=”up”] Defra, pizza, musical GDP and David Icke. It’s your weekly tales of the unexpected Media Mill.


** Local government data dashboard (

Based on available data, FOI requests and user submitted info, this app aims to “join the dots between what folks are asking for and what councils are doing”. Worth a look. As is a ‘behind the scenes’ blog post from Steve Peters (

** Open data is on down curve of hype cycle (

I heard Lucy Knight from Devon CC talk about this at last week’s openlocal conf. It’s nice to see it fleshed out and if the twitter reaction to the message that things might get hard before they get easier (echoed in similar posts ( ) are anything to go by it strikes a chord with many. (Pic by Ian Watt @watty62)

** “I find politics inaccessible”: User testing voter advice apps (

It’s all purdah all the time at the moment. But this post on user testing voter apps is a lesson, not just in UX, but in the difference between
apparent effectiveness and actual effectiveness when it comes to the democratic uses of open data.

** Making data mean more through storytelling

Ben Wellington is a computer scientist and data analyst who blogs at Quant NY ( . As you’d expect from a Ted talk, it’s quirky and polished but a great insight.

** How will the UK’s new government use open data? (

Given the dependence on Open Government Data to underpin its development, it continues to come as surprise to me, how many open data projects don’t factor in politics as a risk. So this article (and the links in it) makes for useful background and context. The ODI have had a look through the manifestos ( to see where parties are .It’s an interesting read with some good analysis. I’m struck by the separation (but not really) of open data and open government. A sensible one, but a church and state that seems hard to maintain.

Simon and Mark gave us a sneak peak of their new data video at the York launch last week. Think Minority report, terminator and fitbit in a video but cooler 🙂 It made me think of data driven video and how it could be integrated in real time. That got me thinking about this video from Arcade Fire from 2011 ( (does that count as old school). Data driven music video. It’ll be massive.

You might want to take a look at Unspeak, ( one of an ever growing number of interactive documentaries online that use data. I-docs ( is a great resource for more of this kind of thing.

** Open Manifesto

Speaking of manifestos…I really like this open manifesto from Glasgow ( (who were at the localdata event last week). The tie to Future Cities tells you something of where the momentum (and money) is – we all know that future cities are where it’s at!. But the idea of a local manifesto is something we should see more of – being open about being open.

** Data Visualization and Photo Resources For Your Visual Journalism Toolkit (

“Improving the visuals on your site can have a dramatic difference in how your stories are received and how they spread, but we find that many INN members do not have photographers on staff or the budget to invest in complex data-driven news applications and visualizations.”

So say the institute for nonprofit news ( (INN). It’s a problem that hyperlocals will recognise (as well as a few councils!). So this round up of tools, with some nice commentary is worth a look.

** Demystifying data report: Councils at risk of becoming irrelevant. (

It doesn’t say much that’s new – people need to be more excited about data, better rural broadband etc – but this report on local government open data use from new thinktank the New local government network (NLGN) (an elite group of around 50 organisations from the public and private sector!), offers some useful ammunition if you’re looking for a different angle to approach stakeholder.

The recommendations (summed up by (http://ttps:// ) suggest
* Bringing senior council directors together to scrutinise their current approach to data and create local data strategies
* Collaborating with each other and with local further education institutions and employers to foster digital skills
* Developing skills in their existing workforce by forming exchanges and placement partnerships
* Identifying where data can help create business cluster and help place shaping
* Creating a Local Government Digital Programme including a cross sector skills development programme
* Building regional public data analytics hubs to pool staff, students and volunteers to solve local problems using data

The last one is not a suprise given that it’s sponsored by Socrata, but, given the existence of the MediaMill project, that may already be happening. We’d all agree that maybe there should be more.



Marvel colours…The coolness spiral of death, iconic manchester bands:printed and data wearables inspiration from 2013.
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