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James McKinney

915 days ago
Upcoming Events where Poplus could be promoted - please add your events here!
  • 31 January - 1st February 2015: FOSDEM, Brussels. Applied for a session and a lightning talk but didn't get either. 
  • Is anyone from the Poplus community going? (please add your name here)
  • 9-10 February 2015: NGO OpenGovernment Unconference in Malaysia - organised by SEATTI with Sinar Group - add more details here! 
  • 21 February: Open Data Day event in Buenos Aires, Martin organising
  • There will be possible grants from Open Knowledge to organise Open Data Day events around the world
  • Late Feb/March: Meet-up or mini hackathon late Feb or beg of March main goal to make Cartogafias project easily hackable, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Anyone going? (please add your name here)
Andres S Martin @sr_humo // cargografias.org proyect (based on popit)
  • 24 - 25 March 2015: RightsCon, Manila - Too late to submit session proposal but worth going to spread the word
  • Anyone going? (please add your name here)
James M
  • 25 March 2015: TICTeC,  London - February 6 deadline to submit abstracts and proposals
  • Anyone going? (please add your name here)
James M
  • (mySociety, presumably!)
  • 8 - 16 April 2015: PyCon, Montreal - Too late to submit talks and tutorial proposals, but could present an open space session
  • Anyone going (please add your name here)?
James M
  • Anyone going? (please add your name here)
  • Anyone going? (please add your name here)
  • 20-22 May 2015: CeDEM15, Austria. More info: The CfP is not only related to full fledged academic papers but  welcomes short reflections and workshop proposals also. In addition to  that there is a bar-camp style open space, where a presentation could  take place. Chair contact is Noella Edelmann at noella.edelmann@donau-uni.ac.at 
  • Anyone going? (please add your name here)
  • Anyone going? (please add your name here)
James M
  • James McKinney and others from Open North. We're on the planning committee so feel free to get in touch!
gemma@mysociety.org Conferences that are yet to be announced:-
James M
  • Transparency Camp? - end May/early June, Washington, DC
  • OKFest? - July, Berlin
  • Condatos/AbreLatam, Chile - in September date TBC
  • OGP Summit in Mexico - November
Andres S
  • Hacks Hackers BA's MediaParty 2015 // mediaparty.info
859 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Myf Nixon , James McKinney , Guglielmo Celata 859 days ago
James McKinney not present - any updates about Represent Boundaries?
James M
  • JM: Nothing to report!
Difference between MapIt and RB: we are not fully familiar with RB
Myf N
MapIt is a simple service that takes a lat/long and returns the IDs of any admin boundaries that that point falls within. Exists as an API that returns JSON or html that can return readable pages. It's used in FixMyStreet so when you click on a map it will return the councils responsible for that area; we also use it in WriteToThem to match postcodes with representatives. We rate limit it a bit but anyone can use the API. 
James M
  • JM: Yes, fundamentally MapIt and RB do the same thing. The link above describes the fine-grained differences.
Paul: In the UK it's being used for a voter advice application in advance of the election. Will use the MapIt information to match user to constituency and tell the user how others are planning to vote/what opinions are in their constituency.
  • JM: RB is frequently used for same purpose.
Guglielmo: speaking about the effort of integrating Poplus components, have published an integration toolkit on github https://github.com/openpolis/poplus-pci
Guglielmo C The toolkit will allows easy connections to any poplus component's API to anyone developing in Python.
It currently speaks with Mapit (read-only), and Popit (read-write).
It's going to speak with Sayit, soon, extensions to other components are straightforward.
It's been used to import italian parliament members into http://parlamento.popit.mysociety.org,
It's been used to implement the prototype published at http://politikos.openpolis.it, which is a django project that mashes up data from http://mapit.openpolis.it and http://parlamento.popit.mysociety.org, without storing them into a local database.
The prototype implements some of the user stories outlined in the PolitikOS user stories document (E1, and partially E2 and E4). Want to rebuild the whole http://politici.openpolis.it using Poplus Components. 
Myf N This task was funded by the Poplus awards and it's underway right now.
Felipe: Is it configurable?
Guglielmo: Yes you can grab data from a number of different components simultaneously, perhaps we could have an in depth tech call another time to talk more about that.
Some of the difficulties we've found using Components:
  • we've been trying to get everything out of them. One thing - MapIt has a weird urls schema. The API is not really REST and doesn't use HATEOAS principle. It's difficult to navigate in the API, move from one result to the other easily, or turn result pages
  • For the use cases we're using right now it's mostly ok.
It's a django project but an old fashioned one, doesn't use Django Rest Framework or Tastypie.
Dave W: MapIt was built for our own purposes, management tasks on the command line to write to the data, you're right, and it isn't suitable for all tasks and yes, it is old.
Guglielmo: Could be easily rewritten using Django Rest Framework or Tastypie. Could offer more RESTful API.
Guglielmo: By the end of March we will have finished the prototype although it's not very clear which parts we are going to integrate. We wd like to add SayIt so that we are integrating three different components. There is a prototype that is live right now.
Citizens are also using YNMP directly to find out about the candidates for the forthcoming UK general election. About 3.500 a day at the moment and growing exponentially.
Jen: mySociety research event: Conference sold out. Social media around the conference plus videos of sessions avail after conf
1068 days ago
Governance and Finance Committee Call
Paul L Next meeting - Tuesday 9th September 16.00 BST (Jen to sort out the hangout details)
Action - define agenda items and (potentially) put timings against them 1 week prior to the meeting?
meeting - 21/08/2014 17:00 BST
1) Review actions from the last meeting
2) Defining the membership of this committee and who the members are representing (if any wider group)
  • Steve Clift to be de facto rep for the "Communications and Events Committee"
  • Paul Lenz - representing mySociety and founding stakeholder
  • Nicolas Cristi - representing FCI as founding stakeholder
  • Martin Szyszlican - for this meeting representing the Components Committee - role to be potentially represented by others
Martín S
  • Chris Setz (first last)
3) Entity - make a firm decision about the plan out to the end of calendar 2014: No disagreement to Paul's point here. Agreed: no need to create legal entity in the short term
4) Needs and asks from the other committees
  • a) Support for questions on components needs to be more responsive - it can take several days for people to get responses in some cases
James M
  • (James comment: Honestly, *days* is not bad. *Weeks* would need improvement.)
Paul L
  • b) Code walk-throughs proposed as a possible useful tool - to be taken back to the components committee 
  • c) Funding for training for all members of the Poplus community
James M
  • (James question: in the minutes, can it be specified what sort of training this would be?)
Paul L 5) Objective setting at a high level for the organization
  • a) Continue to grow the community
  • b) Continue to support the successful re-use of the components
  • c) Consult the community to ratify our aims
  • d) Effectively community successful cases
  • e) Response to requests for governance
James M
Paul L 6) Review of opportunities and actions from the other committees - including requests for funding / spending money
7) Agree actions for the next call
8) Agreeing the date and time for the next call (including a hangout URL)
1) Continue to keep meetings open (decision not action)
2) Offer onboarding meetings - streamed to You-Tube - action for Comms committee to investigate
James M
  • (James comment: curious to learn what's meant by onboarding once the minutes are ready)
jen@mysociety.org 3) Publicise meetings on Facebook / Twitter - Always putting the event on google plus (to make the hangout link) - Comms Committee 
Paul L 4) Jen to investigate "Googlehangouts on Air" to improve documentation of meetings
James M
  • (James comment: I don't think we need to go overboard on meeting documentation. It is a very rare individual who will listen to hours of our conversations!)
jen@mysociety.org 5) Martin to propose Code walkthroughs on air to the components committee
6) Put line item in the budget for training of poplus members at a future date - probably popluscon and development comes first - PL to add in
Paul L 7) Create a hierarchy of funding demands - what is going to be most likely to be successful (based upon the poll)
8) Clift to Create a poll about priority of seeking funding - action - someone to make to make a list of what the options are:
  • Seeking feedback on what the options there are from the community - grab from draft budget sheet (Jen to gather info)
  • Vote on options
Steven C
  • Give community one week to add ideas to poll
Paul L 9) Make clear where the successful implementations of the components  - can this be owned by the comms committee ?
  • Onboarding hangout could be a good thing to have; potentially run by Comms committee
  • Onboarding and other such things can be handled by the community coordinator if and when that's funded.
  • Communication on issues for some projects is not very fast. This could be improved - can take up to several days. Perhaps indicating on the project when a developer is away? Or encouraging other organisations to help out with component queries? 
  • Support functionality to the poplus community.
  • How to finance people's work and how to connect someone that wants something done with someone that can help. 
  • Is there a way to show what time and resources people have available?
  • Organisations could do stand-ups or blog based stand ups? 
  • Code walkthroughs would be really useful if we could do them live or recorded!
  • Could seek research funding for poplus specifically
  • ACTION: Do it - Paul and James to raise this on the finance call which is arranged for next Thursday (done)
1082 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Steven Clift , Nicolas Cristi , Paul Lenz , James McKinney 1082 days ago
Paul L Notes from the call:
a) Proposed that we combine the governance and finance committees - agreed that it makes sense.  Action: PL to mail out to group
b) Keep to one call every two weeks for the time being, but if call doesn't take place due to attendance challenges don't reschedule - skip the call
c) Propose that there is a chair for each committe - agreed by the committee - to oversee the admin of the committee - arrange calls, make sure that things get done
d) The budget was disccused - agreed to come up with a "Stretch"  / Blue Sky scenario on there as well
e) Micro-grants were discussed - opening up for individuals or groups to apply for technical development support:  https://docs.google.com/a/mysociety.org/forms/d/1s0vJ2tDugRhqc74HQ39kmQpQ8noK8WF3R-wLFbyfToE/edit  Action - PL to share with the team in finance committe call minutes.  PL to send out dedicated email - call to action for groups who may want to contribute to future grants etc
Window for applications of fours weeks
James M (James question: how large are the micro grants?)
1g) (Steven) [comms] Use of the word "activist" on front page of poplus.org
Steven C 1f) (Steven) Introducing Poplus to Knight Foundation - Introduced via email, unable to meet as planned in Chicago, John Bracken agreed to take a look - seeking indication of their interest in teleconference meet and greet with project leaders and Knights open gov team  (on a related note, I introduced it to the Smart Chicago Collaborative yesterday and think MacArthur Foundation should also be on our introductions radar)
1.5 Practical organisation and strategic questions:
(Gemma) We have a list of upcoming events which we think Poplus members should go to. However, when current members aren't going anyway, we don't have any funds to help get them there. E.g. The GoOpen conference in Norway has asked someone from Poplus to speak, and some members are interested in going, but are unable to self-fund. Should we have funds for this purpose? 
(Steve) I think we are lacking a blue sky vision of what this could be beyond the core budget for coordination and engagement of better resourced civic tech groups that are leveraging far larger budgets. I want to inspire potential funders that this will bring new developers into the global sharing mix from a far more distributed base of cities and countries. If we agree that this our core budget for Poplus federation maintenance and relationship building so we can seek more or less 25-50K quick discretionary contributions from typical big funders as an easier seeding ask, I can go for that. However, the real fun of having Poplus reach millions more people via far more orgs and developers in many new places is in my view a 3-5 year effort needing hundreds of thousands of dollars if not a couple million.
  •     Core funding support for the Poplus organisation.  I have highlighted some cells in the budget document, but I think that the ask stretches to covering the costs of a facilitator + marketing ($80k pa) through paying for a global conference (total cost now $160k pa) through to covering all of the core budget costs ($170k pa)
    (Nicolas) Embassy / Foreign Offices / State Departments
Nicolas C
  •     Normally Embassy have found for local organizations, to found from local activities up to flight tickets to/from their home country. The amounts to fund and the topics that have priority depends of the person in charge in each embassy. For example in UK embassy in Chile last year civic society participation was the main issue, today as the person changed the new topic is environmental sustainability. The big opportunity with this entities is to bring participants to local workshops or to take them to a workshop in their home country. 
    (Nicolas) Local gov - e.g. municipality funding a hackathon
  •     Municipality in Chile are more likely to give products to an activity more than free funds. For example for Populosaurio (populosaurio.cl) one Municipality is going to give all the marketing products for the project, to print documents, and more products that they can put inside their budget.
    (James) Women in Tech groups - to fund exchanges - need to look at their sponsors and funders, as the groups themselves are less likely to fund an exchange
1119 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by gemma@mysociety.org , Chia-liang Kao , James McKinney 1119 days ago
  • b) If none is going already, then can we fund them to go as part of Poplus? This is a question for the Funding Committee really. 
  • ACTION: Gemma to join the next funding committee to ask about funding for this. 
3. Update on Events Kit: What materials do we think are most important to include in this kit?
Action: List of what people could do at events - scale from going along to network and chat with others about Poplus to giving a session/workshop. Could list things that don't depend on wanting to present? 
  • What funding committee needs: The only costs to be covered are airfare and lodging. How long will the exchanges be, on average? Can we get a sense of how far people are likely to travel? For example, are people interested in doing an exchange with FCI mainly from Latin America? Even a rough idea will help us create a budget for flights.
1126 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by James McKinney 1126 days ago
James M Welcome to the Poplus Hackfoldr
This page gives you easy access to all Poplus committee agendas, minutes and other relevant resources. Simply choose the document you want to read from the left sidebar.
1159 days ago
Events Group 1st Meeting - Agenda and Notes
1. What is the best way to document Events Group discussions? Trello board? Google group posts? Wiki? Etc
Jen B
  • At last meeting there was talk of each group having a trello board; usually used for concrete outcomes as opposed to the slightly more hazy view of events group. If we see what outcomes come out of meetings we can decide what platform to use.
  • Possibly a google doc or hackpad would work better, plus posting on the google group
  • Maybe we can use trello when we have an event to plan. 
  • Monthly Hangout or Skype for lightning talks/catching up
Perhaps the hangouts are a little too heavy for these kinds of meetings. Has to be optional. Video chats 1 x month could work best.  If we want to reach larger numbers of people we could do a hangouts on air where it's broadcast on youtube. 
Should we be organising generic weekly Poplus hangouts? Action points: we need to start a thread on the Google group to ask people what they want from hangouts/weekly meetings. Gemma can start this. 
Martín Szyszlican is arranging events about data journalism and also trying to explain to people about what he can do with Poplus components in Argentina. This is something the events group could help with.
3. What external events are people going to to spread the word about Poplus?
- Action point: We need a calendar for the group so we know internally and also can share externally what everyone is doing. Martín Szyszlican looking at options for this.
  • Action point: create an email thread a little before the date of these events to see who's going and what they might need. gemma@mysociety.org can start doing this. 
  • Action point: create a small marketing pack for people who are travelling to events that they can distribute to people - this should contain posters, flyers - needs to be someone with a designer (perhaps mySociety or FCI - or put out to Google groups to see if there could be a designer who could be involved. Design files need to be shared with everyone - action: Myf can post to Google Groups)
  • 30-31 May 2014: Transparency Camp, Washington DC
  • Lightning Talk about Poplus - can’t be product specific but the problem Poplus is trying to solve could be presented, which includes talking about Poplus
  • Session about Poplus could be proposed during the Camp - this could be discussed at the Poplus meeting beforehand. 
  • Session accepted: Citizen Report Knowledge Sharing – Mariana Mas (DATA), mySociety, Ushahidi
  • Who else will be at OkFest? Should we get together? DATA and Martin Szyszlican will be there. DATA will be organizing a kind of "emerging sessions/unconference" stream for those two afternoons. 
  • Worth trying to run a Poplus Fringe Event too? 
  • 1-3 October 2014: AbreLatAm, Mexico
4. How/what should we communicate about Poplus at the above events? And what will be the objective? (i.e. make them subscribe to a group, become beta testers, fill a form to identify needs)
Jen B
  • We need to decide how we can talk about Poplus based on what kind of groups are attending.
  • Poplus is only going to be useful if there are groups using not individuals
  • We need to be represented at a wide variety of events with different demographics so we can target all kinds of people
  • Our aim to is spread the word about the poplus federation and get people involved if it's something they can use.
  • Invite people to have input on Poplus 
  • Create bridges between organisations that have tech skills and those that need them.
5. Which basic materials should we create to communicate about Poplus? eg. Repository of logo, posters, prints in digital format.
  • What sort of merchandise should we be making and bringing: we have tshirts, sweets for TCamp. 
  • We should create stickers and a flyer with some information
  • we need to make it clear what Poplus is and how people are involved so people don't think it's just a new FCI/mySociety  brand.
  • We should ask for what people will need for different kind of events; so will need to create different kits for different events. Links to action point in qn 3.
  • JM: Should we have another PoplusCon? People seem to like the idea, but we should maybe validate how important a priority it is.
  • A: one every year/ 2 years to get everyone together in the same place would be best.
  • JM: Since organizing something like PoplusCon requires significant funding, should the strategy be around having Poplus represented at other civic events (that people are already attending), and to organize meetings at/around those events?
  • A: having events at a local level and gathering feedback there from the communities attending would be our main priority now.
  • JM: Should we encourage regional events, where having broad, international participation is not an expectation?
  • A: This could be a really good thing to do. Getting local coders and orgs together and perhaps with a wider group than would be able to come to an intl event. 
  • local events could be used to get people together to start working on a new project.
  • On the list, the idea of mentorships / exchanges between organizations had been discussed. Not sure if this falls within “events” but it seems likely that the sorts of funders that would sponsor events would also sponsor such exchanges.
  • Linking mentorships to events makes them a lot more fruitful so we should think about making sure that these two things are around a similar time
Our wishlist to tell the funding committee:
  • Money for a biannual or annual conference for everyone involved in Poplus
  • Small amount of funding for marketing tools including postage etc
  • Funding for mentorships of up to a month for both the people mentoring and the mentorees.
  • Small amount of funding for regional events (merchandising, mobility, food)
Next meeting: 
  • TCamp people will report back after tcamp! And will arrange next meeting via google group when needed.
Action Points from this meeting:
  • Start a thread on the Google group to ask people what they want from hangouts/weekly meetings. Gemma to do.
  • We need a calendar for the group so we know internally and also can share externally what events have Poplus delegates. Martín Szyszlican to investigate.
  • Design files need to be shared with everyone. Myf to post to Google Groups
  • Thread to be started on google groups asking what people will need for different kind of events; Jen to do.
  • Create different kits for different events; Need designer - Post thread in google group asking for available designers. Someone needs to own this.
  • Google Group thread on Poplus exchange programme should be bought up to the top again - Gemma to do. 

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