Mash the state!

No, that’s not a rallying cry to attack the closest politician with a potato masher. Thanks to the people at mysociety and the Guardian tech blog, I stumbled across this site, mash the state, as it was being launched.

This is a site that’s campaigning for every local council in the UK to get RSS feeds for their news services. Why would they want to do that, I hear you ask, and come to mention it, what on earth *is* an RSS feed?

I asked both these questions to Adrian Short, founder of mash the state, and using his great answer, we came up with this: Why RSS? A guide for councils. Helpful for anyone who doesn’t know what RSS is, as well!

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Corinne Pritchard

Corinne Pritchard

Information Designer at Simply Understand
I believe design and designers can and should make the world a better place. I love designing things that help people understand complex ideas.
Corinne Pritchard

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2 thoughts on “Mash the state!

  1. I'm pretty dubious about the value of this – RSS lends itself to news feeds, but if the users need to search council data (for example planning applications, proposals for works etc) they need a search engine like a Google Appliance rather than the drip-feed RSS gives. Right tools for the job! 

  2. The other point about RSS (which isn't much use to councils, but is to geeks!) is that it puts council website data (often in obscure, inconsistent formats) into something that can be read and used for more than just feeds. Once its there, API and geo-caching projects can take it to a whole new level, and come up with solutions and neat tech to help people interact with councils better! 

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