Sunday, September 05, 2010
Another public records project—digging deep over at Poinography
by Larry Geller
Let me introduce you to another person who is working very hard, without a paywall, to organize and make available public documents.
Check out Doug’s project over at Poinography. He’s hard at work cataloging and indexing boxes of legislative documents. If your work or interest overlaps what he is doing, you need to follow him. He has several articles posted, so scroll down a bit.
Doug’s blog was one of my inspirations in starting Disappeared News. He doggedly followed and analyzed current events, especially as reported in our commercial press. Doug has re-emerged as a researcher willing to invest time in a project that will yield public benefit. It’s still in progress, but stand by for data.
Thanks for the plug, Larry! To be honest, this weekend I am slacking on the project (in favor of riding a new motorcycle), but I am still working a little bit each day. The records were a year old when I finally got them, so it's not as if they are "news" at this point...
I echo your earlier comments about Civil Beat, especially the part about them (and here I mean Mr. Temple) joining the comment fora on the local blogs. Not that Temple is alone in that offense, since I never see DePledge, Borreca, et al, participating in comment fora either... Shapiro at least engages commenters on his personal blog, if not those responding to his SA columns.
I reckon the pros consider it "unprofessional?"
I understood (but have not verified) that Advertiser bloggers were not permitted to post elsewhere. I could be wrong.
That was my understanding as well, Larry. Never did see a copy of the employee manual, however. I think it was implied several times every time the Advertiser came under fire at HawaiiThreads.com.
I'm awestruck by Doug's project. First of all, he paid for it. (Had DHRD replied to me with even a hint that my request would cost over a thousand dollars, that would've been enough to stop me in my tracks!) Second, the sheer time and effort required to scan, post, and index it all is impressive. I'm not sure if I'll ever ask for anything more exhaustive than a spreadsheet!
Ryan, please, don't remind that I paid them!
It took so long for them to comply that I was billed in increments, so it was somewhat less painful, haha. (My ohana really didn't need any Christmas gifts, right?) Seriously, though, I reckon they had hoped that the original fee estimate would scare me off, but by that point my records request was as much about the principle as about the records.