Virtually at OpenTech

The importance of using a hashtag

I did sign up to attend Open Tech, the “conference[s] about technologies that anyone can have a go at” and at the time I had every intention of heading to London on a Saturday morning to be amongst other people who have an interest in ‘open’ – source, data etc.

I only decided not to attend in person this week – it’s been a busy month already with our usual workload plus we went to a family get together in Wales, we’re restructuring the IT in one of our contracts, I’ve started going to a rebounding (trampolining on low trampolines) class, I went to a funeral, we volunteered and ran a session on working with the voluntary sector at Blue Light Camp, we’ve attended one half of a day course on innovation, we had a VCSSCamp planning meeting, we took part in a New Economics Foundation event on Responding to Austerity and last night I represented the regional funders network at a barbecue. It was time to have a weekend off.

But this morning, in rain-soaked Birmingham, in a (chain – sorry!) cafe, I couldn’t resist ‘tuning in’ to the #OpenTech hashtag and, in reverse order, found out about (and shared) much of the following:

  • changing the way academic research is accessed
  • Blockchain provides trust, it takes the place of a third party who would otherwise provide trust
  • Voting selfies: “Nothing in the law specifically bans photos, but the Electoral Commission strongly discourages them” …,
  • @agentGav talking about the ‘state of the data’ and making it clear that ‘big data’ is a nonsense term created by vendors
  • @FullFact, the charity, is looking for a developer this summer , and
  • “Many politicians *still* mix up ‘big’, ‘shared’ and ‘open’ data. It’s terrifying,” says @agentGav

These particular tweets were important to me because: I want research data to be made more available, including to me; I’d heard of blockchain and wanted to know more; I had wondered about taking photos when I voted; I refer to big data in my work and now I know what an expert thinks of it; I think that, in the not too distant future, many charities will employ developers – I’ll certainly be encouraging them along that path; I am making it my business to ensure the politicians I know are clearer about the differences between ‘big’, ‘shared’ and ‘open’ data – and it’s good to know the ODI is too

Hashtags (and people who use them) – it’s one of the many reasons I love Twitter 🙂

Thanks to everyone who posted using #OpenTech