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on August 12, 2007 at 9:13:51 am

Group Notes Sunday


on the drive over


microformats background


Inverting assumptions:

  • Solve small specific problems rather than big problems. Lots of simple problems to solve on the Web, focus on those rather than the big hard problems.
  • Research existing data publishing behaviors and data formats, and then base designs directly on that research, rather than inventing new technologies for new spaces. (difference in focus).
  • Re-use existing vocabularies where possible, rather than inventing your own vocabulary/language (in contrast to XML culture).
  • Provide a solution to marking up data in existing web pages, rather than asking publishers to create machine-only side files in a new format.
  • Solutions accessible to the millions of hypertext web authors out there, rather than just programmers.


Sample data representation problems solve by microformats:

  • people
  • events
  • reviews
  • topics/tags


Basics of open publishing

  • Publish HTML, not proprietary document formats like MS Word .docs or PDFs.
  • Publish on the public Web.
  • Publish at permanent URLs that do not change.
  • Preferably publish at URLs 70 characters or shorter, such references are more robust.


group summaries


Illuminated Budget resonated with a lot of folks. Reference to finely crafted medieval documents / manuscripts.


(Note: we have http://illuminatedbudget.com/ and .net and .us, all of which currently redirect to this wiki)


Need stories of usage - use cases.


Much Thanks to Silona, Taylor, Betty Sue for the workshop.


Following bills over time.


Campaign finance reform affects everything.

recombinant power molecules

a taxonomy of power; multiple toppings on the pizza of a bill; who got their onions on the bill passed who didn't. and what do they want next year?

intrigues political and social classes . betty sue. how to intrigue a large group to work on this tool. like decoding the genome of the honey bee; a tool to tell you how to recombine these elements .first best case would be the environment. a practical amateur chemistry kit for recombining power and remixing power, a mashup, from known constituent elements.

reverse engineering the budget from the embedded political power elements.

an automated machiavelli for the people.

if this tool does not give people a way to get a handle on the levers of power in new ways, people in single units and in aggregate, then it really hasn't done anything. illuminating a budget without making it a tool for citizens to change the balance of power is not success. Kevin Jones

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