Monday, March 2, 2009

My Weekend @ Transparency Camp

Those that read regularly know how important I think transparency is when it comes to making our government work the way it’s supposed to. I was fortunate this weekend to go to an event called Transparency Camp, where people from all over the nation with the same basic belief came together to figure out where we are and where we need to go.

At the event, I was able to meet all of the people responsible for the sites I use all the time when talking about Representative Scott Garrett (OpenSecrets.org, Tax Payers for Common Sense, Govtrack.us); as well as some I hadn't fully explored (FollowTheMoney.org, OpenCongress.org, Sunshine Week). It was truly one of those amazing life experiences.

What I took away from the convention was a better understanding of how all of these sites worked, internal government issues getting in the way, as well as what to look forward to (there’s a doozey dropping in a few weeks) and a renewed sense of purpose.

A few projects of particular interest to are:
One thing that was said in a number of seminars I attended was that bloggers hadn’t earned the general public’s trust at this point, largely because there was so much garbage out there. This is true, and as a community we have to raise our game.

With newspapers dying, and television becoming more of a reactionary as opposed to pro-active force, we’re what’s going to be left. In that sense, I really hope those of you that do blog will take advantage of Sunshine Week, to learn about the tools they have available.


At the end of the day it’s our government, our money they're spending, and our data that could save lives. It was an amazing weekend, and I hope if nothing else, my attendance will make this a more useful and accurate source of information than folks have already told me it is.

2 comments:

nwatzman said...

Good post. Looks like you made it back to Jersey. I got back to Denver, although my plane was an hour late. (I'm the one you saw at the Carlyle.)

rmfretz said...

Thanks. Glad you got home safe. Hopefully, they worked out the coat situation for you. Keep up the great work.