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Your Guidelines to Open Data Guidelines Pt. 2: Stages of Development

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In revisiting Sunlight’s Open Data Policy Guidelines for our Version 2.0 release, we took a closer look at other sources for open data guidance that have been released over the years. To see a comprehensive round up of open data guidance (complete with a timeline!) see Part 1 of Your Guideline to Open Data Guidelines: The History.

Although it’s only been eight years since the first resource of this kind was created with the Open Knowledge Foundation's Open Knowledge Definition, exploring open data guidance in its totality not only shows how much these recommendations build on each other, but how the movement has matured. Moreover, many of these resources occupy separate-–but overlapping-–arenas of expertise, though an outside perspective may not immediately catch their nuances. Below, we’ll explore in more detail the three major themes of open data guidance: How to Define Open Data, How to Implement Open Data, and How to Open an Open Data Discussion.

The sequence, prevalence, and layering of these themes showcase the developmental stages of the open data movement thus far. Over the years we have seen open data advocacy emerge from its nascent expert-driven defining period to becoming (quite self-referentially) a public discussion. We’ve seen different missions of the major players in the open data movement inform nuanced definitions and implementation recommendations, and we have seen an increase in best practice assessments, academic critique, and diverging schools of thought.

To understand this larger story, let us look at each piece.

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Best practices for state and local bloggers

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With contribution from Amy Ngai Earlier this month, a few of us from the Sunlight Foundation attended two of the major online political organizing conventions: Netroots Nation 2012  and Right Online. Both events highlighted the challenges faced by local and state bloggers, and gave recommendations for bloggers on how to reach a broader audience. We always encourage local bloggers and writers to share their experience in promoting government transparency in their local communities by writing guest blogs. You can read our past guest blog posts here. Blogs prove time and time again to be one of the quickest inexpensive ways of getting the word out – in real time. And if used right, they can be an important platform to call for accountability and transparency from our respective governments.

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