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

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.

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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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