Nov
14

mySociety Online Petitioning and Innovation

posted on November 14th 2006 in Democracy with 0 Comments

mySociety, famed for eDemocracy sites such as Pledgebank and theyworkforyou.com, have developed an open source online petition service for the 10 Downing Street site (http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/). It will be interesting to see how well it gets used.

It’s been launched as a Beta site so should change over the coming weeks and months.  Tom Steinberg states the importance of that in that

"it reflects a willingness to see a public IT service evolve in response to users, not simply fulfil a contract agreed in advance"

I applaud the attitude as it is the right one.  Certainly many companies include a bug-fix and improvements allocation in their budgets, but it is understandable that this can’t continue forever and products sometimes date.  The only way to avoid that is for suppliers to have some interest in developing the product through ownership or license to sell, but that doesn’t always happen when government funding is used.

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