Show us a better way – not just for real people

I’ve been following the show us a better way competition – asking people to come up with ideas about making better use of public data – with great interest over the last few weeks. The scale of ideas has been seriously impressive, in fact its so much so that its seriously messed up my RSS reader.

One thing that has bothered me though is that the competition isn’t really being promoted around Whitehall, partly because civil servants are not eligible for the prize for the winning entry (£20,000 if you’re interested, and why wouldn’t you be?).

Earlier today I was at a workshop to discuss the recently published principles for civil servants participating online (I’ll post something about it separately soon) when it was mentioned that a separate prize has been put up for the best suggestion from a civil servant, a Macbook Air. That’s right a Macbook Air.

That’s not a shabby prize by anyone’s standards. We should be shouting this from across the rooftops of Whitehall because there are a lot of ‘owners’ of data sets in government and I bet a fair few of them have ideas about how they could make better use of them. Now they have a pretty good incentive to do so.

Now, how about mashing up blue flag beaches with bus routes, GPS coordinates for buses and health inspected ice cream parlours? Might be able to fit another tutti-frutti in before the last lift home. Mmm ice cream…….

  1. Nah, too late. My entry will win! 🙂

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