The last week or two I’ve started working for mySociety, a new charity which builds websites which are civically useful. We’ve got funding indirectly from ODPM (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) to build five interesting projects.
First up is Fax Your Representative (working title) which is an updated version of FaxYourMP. You enter your postcode to find out who all your elected representatives are at different levels of government, and their areas of responsibility. Then you can easily send your District Councillor, Welsh Assembly Member, London Assembly Member, County Councillor or whoever an email or fax. And you have a clue for the first time who they all are, previously very hard information to find out.
What’s the point of all this? It’s partly to use the internet to engage people, to give us all information and resources to help us influence and improve government. It’s also to make new ingenious web services which aren’t profitable, so no company will make them, and which are too hard for an individual unpaid volunteer to make. For example, Pledge Bank is a clever system which lets you say “I’ll do something if all you lot do as well” and follow it through.
I’m spending a bit over half my time working for them at the moment.