rewriting Note, editorial board, comm/outreach -- Re: [minutes] eGov IG Call, 10 June 2009

All, I'm responding to discussions on the latest call and Charter 2.

John and I met F2F in Madrid on Tue/Wed and most of this comes from  
discussions we had then.

> ...
>   Rachel: The way that we write the more technical stuff is important.
>   The clearer the language is, the broader the audience that we can
>   work with and that we can expect to reach. Can we do anything to the
>   current doc?
>   Kevin: Judy Brewer provided input on several sentences at the front.
>   Our understanding was that we were not allowed to touch the paper
>   once it was published. Judy reminded us that we could indeed rewrite
>   it. Based on what is out there now, we can revise and rewrite
>   certain sections that are there. It is lengthly and meant to be read
>   in sections, not in one sitting.
>   ... In second year charter, I am suggesting that we publish shorter
>   documents more frequently and more topically.
>   Daniel: Plain language means to me that we need more editing. Policy
>   needed to clarify publishing and editing cycles. Work backwards from
>   deadlines.
>   Kevin: Good point. The editing cycle on the first one precluded
>   editing to the extent that we had hoped.
>   Owen: Who are we writing for? If academics, perhaps the approach was
>   fine, but if policy makers, need brevity.
>   Kevin: We need to reach both sides of the fence. Some policy people
>   are highly technical, but some will glaze over.
>   ... To reach the mission we need to communicate out in different
>   ways.
>   Daniel: I agree but still think clarity is a separate issue. The
>   issue of clarity is relevant no matter whether the doc is technical
>   or not. As people look at it, we can call out the pre-requisites of
>   technical expertise needed to understand specific content.
>   ... We added a glossary but maybe what we need to do is realize that
>   for eGov we need a Quick Guide for Execs or something.
>   Rachel: It is not that they need to understand how XML works, but
>   why it is important.
>   ... even when talking about tech issues, it must be presented in a
>   way that is clear.
>   ... it is sometimes difficult, but can be done. It takes time and a
>   level of understanding of tech issues as well.
>   ... I have volunteered to clarify language.
>   Sharron: Plain language must be part of our stated commitment.
>   Rachel: I agree.
>   Daniel: I suggest that we formalize it so that we have an editorial
>   committee and that the editors are not the writers. Because we have
>   different audiences, we should always have a nontech intro. Allow a
>   minimum amount of time that is standard to the publishing process.
>   Rachel: I agree, and propose two weeks out of any publication date.
> ...

I really like the idea of having an editorial board. I believe that  
the most important objective this group can help accomplish is to  
bridge the gap between the policy and technology layers.

As such, I also like the idea of having our comm/outreach activities  
in the charter and expect the group will spend significant amount of  
time on them. I don't think we need to spend time on doing very  
technical work. That is better done by other Groups and we should  
setup as much liaisons and maybe even Coordination Groups (CGs) with a  
mixed Membership from eGov IG and the other groups, i.e. we don't need  
to reinvent existing technical work.

Example: OGD is at the crossing of eGov and SW/LinkedData. Maybe a CG  
with Members of eGov IG and SW/LD community to develop "design  
patterns for open government data" could be the way to go. Maybe a TF  
within eGov IG with SW/LD people participating.

We should provide the forum for connecting / linking Governments with
W3C standards and work, and vice versa; it is more than producing best  
practices, it is about the dialogue, which may result in nothing more  
than a deeper shared understanding.

I also like the idea of developing several but shorter and easier to  
understand documents.

I'm no sure what the plan to rewrite the Note is. I think there is no  
hurry for doing so. We also need to take into account we released a  
draft before releasing the final one and that we might want to do same  
with the rewritten version to gather input from the community.


Jose M. Alonso <>    W3C/CTIC
eGovernment Lead        

Received on Saturday, 13 June 2009 22:37:06 UTC