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The Writing Epiphany

I’ve been back in Edinburgh for over a week since my little trip to Norway, and as an epiphany the sudden realization of how much I have to write until mid-August. I’ve picked up many interesting points the last week from doing experiments with Open Data, and visualizations learned from the book Visualizing Data by Ben Fry. In addition I read the first half of Clay Shirky’s Here comes everybody (This book was recently listed on the Guardian’s 100 best non-fiction books).

It is a common conception that a text will be easy to write as soon as the thoughts are structured in the mind. I have several times been a victim of this idea. Several times I have read far too much, without getting a word to the paper (or in my case, to the text editor). This is a dangerous trend as words tend to change as they leave the dynamic, flexible realm of the internal mind when they manifest themselves as an own entity in the form of a text on paper or in a computers hard-drive.

This time I wanted to challenge this common conception, and rather try to start writing early. Already in May I started to gather some notes from literature, but much of what I wrote now seems redundant. From the same trip I do have a good conversation with Sverre Lunde-Danbolt, the project leader for data.norge.no, (thank you for your help) which I need to transcribe. I also have some questions to formulate to further interviews, but I feel I have more knowledge about the subject area now than when I decided to write about the data.gov phenomenon (if you read this, do you have any better term for this phenomenon which does not contain the word ‘phenomenon’? )

Today’s goal is to have a good text on the governmental data sites for the UK, US and Norwegian government.

 

The picture is taken by Mike McKay, and licensed under Creative Commons. Please refer to his Flickr-page for more information.

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2 Comments

  1. I’ve been reading the follow up to Here Comes Everybody for the past year or so (just never made it through it) called the Cognitive Surplus. It’s really good.

  2. I want to read that too. Shirky has some really interesting observations.

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