A two day conference made up of both traditional and unconference scheduling.
The point of the conference is to bring together several state and local officials as well as interested citizens with a goal of making government more transparent and accessible.
Day 1 [with video links]
- Tribute to Gary Chapman
- LBJ Student Panel: Current Course Research
- A look at the Texas Tribune with Evan Smith
- Social Media in Government
- Texas Parks and Wildlife with Julia Gregory and Lydia Saldana
- Texas Department of Mother Vehicles with Loulia Miller
- City of Austin with Eve Richter
- Unconferencing. Not all of these smaller sessions were being recorded. Here you will find all of the video’s made available by EFF Austin.
Overall the conference went well. It had it’s slow starts and the turn out was a little disappointing but it did not take away from the quality of brains that were made available.
My favorite presentation was made by Keynote Evan Smith. He defines Data Driven Journalism, using live examples from The Texas Tribune. A newspaper dedicated to presenting citizens with usable information in story, graphical, interactive, and raw format.
His passionate straight talk about our government, our data, and our citizens is enough to get anyone inspired. Amazing presentation.
It’s my understanding that these video’s are unedited raw coverage and that they will be edited soon. I watched a couple of these archives and they are not the highest quality, but I appreciate the efforts made by EFF Austin for both the live feed and holistic set of videos they’ve put together.
My takeaway from this event is that we are a lot further behind in government transparency and accessibility than I had originally believed.
Some wonderful quotes that can more accurately explain my takeaway. I apologize for not sourcing the majority of these quotes and some are paraphrased. Although I can tell you that the last quote is by Evan Smith, CEO & Editor in Chief of The Texas Tribune
“We cannot wait for government, we must set an example for government to follow.”
“Elephants don’t dance very well.”
“Today’s transparent government websites are equivalent to giving people a phone book and asking them to look for a specific phone number.”
“It takes individuals to make a parade, and there is no parade to join yet.”