The Internet is getting on now – it’s about ten years since significant numbers of people started getting access from home. I meet students who’ve had access to search engines through all their teenage years. My own childhood looks like a drought of information in retrospect. I remember sucking in monthly magazines and books, writing to university friends of my brothers to get vital data. Now they can just Google.
In all that time the Internet has got pretty good at commerce, and not at all bad at entertainment. The missing thing, the thing that we’ve only just begun to see the benefits of, is how the Internet will alter society, local communities, democracy. The charity mySociety that I work for builds simple, tangible websites with that goal.
Two and a half years ago we had a call for proposals, from which we got ideas like Pledge Bank and HearFromYourMP. This year we’re looking for more of the same with a new call for proposals. Follow that link and have a read of what has been proposed so far (not much yet!) and add your own suggestions.
If you please, I’m getting a bit bored of politics ideas. Particularly I’m involved in far too many websites about MPs, so if you must post up political ideas, make it about central or local government. What I really want is a new idea as good as PledgeBank, something which isn’t either left or right wing, which surprises people, which leaps with agility ahead improving all sorts of things in unexpected ways. But I’ll settle for something local, social, civic.