Wednesday, March 25, 2009

White House Open for Questions

The White House has launched a web site for open questions that is pretty much the same as what was used for the transition. While an interesting experiment, it is unfortunate that with all promise of developing new web services, they couldn't come up with at least some improvement. My main complaint is that it is chaos. The categories are extremely broad and there are a ton of repeated questions, questions that are too broad (i.e. how are you going to fix the economy?), and many more that are just commentary. What I'd really like to see would be moderator summaries and sub categorization to organize the issues better. All of the original questions could still be linked to where moderators thought they belonged, and if a person still thought it was different then they could still appeal. It'd also be nice to allow people to submit answers or suggestions separately and follow the same process as questions.

Anyway, I've submitted a few, I'd appreciate any votes (even it's a no). To find mine, first search the Open For Questions for: research consortium

At last check, two of my questions were the only ones that used that phrase. You can then click on my name to get the rest. You do have to sign up to vote, but it only takes two seconds!

Here's Obama's sales pitch on it as well:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tim Berners-Lee on Linked Data

Tim Berners-Lee gave a pretty compelling talk on demanding linked data. Yet another call out there to turn the corner on the next generation of web technologies that are going to help us solve problems we have too long labeled as impossible.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Putting the Recession in Context

Google documents has a pretty cool gadget for looking at time-series data. Check it out below. Move the window sliders to narrow the view and then move the view over the past dips in the GDP. What was a huge drop at the time is now only a drop in the bucket. What will a big recession look like now? This is the Google Spreadsheet, with data and the gadget in a nicer larger view.