Links: data.govt, temporariness, paywall wait launches

Great to see that the government, via the Ministry of Internal Affairs, has launched, a website that aims to pull together all manner of non-personal government data in formats suitable for developers to work with. This is what the people at were pushing for and it looks like the site is off to a good start with some useful datasets and a discussion area for developers to talk to the site owners about what they need.  Here’s Jason Ryan on the NSPC blog, and Nat Torkington gives it a first appraisal on

Twitter is not only distracting, but problematically temporary

Jeff Jarvis hits a nail on the head when he notes that he tweets more than he blogs these days, and one potentially troublesome side effect is the loss of information over time – tweets are temporary whereas blogs can be searched months/years later.

Twitter is temporary. Streams are fleeting. If the future of the web after the page and the site and SEO  is streams – and I believe at least part of it will be – then we risk losing information, ideas, and the permanent points – the permalinks – around which we used to coalesce. In this regard, Twitter is to web pages what web pages are to old media. Our experience of information is once again about to become fragmented and dispersed.

I talked about this shift on a recent Rebooting the News with Dave Winer and Jay Rosen (audio here; shownotes here).

My own worry is that I’m twittering more and blogging less. Twitter satisfies my desire to share. That’s mostly why I blog – and that’s what makes the best blog posts, I’ve learned. I also want to store information like nuts underground; once it’s on the blog, I can find it. But when I share links on Twitter, they’ll soon disappear. I also use my blog to think through ideas and get reaction; Twitter’s flawed at that – well, I guess Einstein could have tweeted his theory of relativity but many ideas and discussions are too big for the form – yet I now use Twitter to do that now more than this blog.

Knight to develop plug and play version of Everyblock

The Knight Foundation is to make a plug and play version of the EveryBlock project to make it easier for more news organisations to install the software, reports Patrick Thornton on PoynterOnline.

Knight funded the development of Everyblock and its code was released earlier this year under the terms of the funding deal. Everyblock itself has since been acquired by MSNBC. Now Knight wants to make sure other news organisations can benefit from the code.

[Gary Kebbel, director of the Knight Foundation’s journalism program,] said he and his colleagues realize that most news organizations don’t have the staff and programming expertise to utilize the code.

The Knight Foundation is working with advisers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to form a team to further development of EveryBlock and make it much easier for news organizations to set up the software on their sites, Kebbel said. Knight will work with several news organizations around the country to install EveryBlock for them. Once this additional development is completed, the new code will be released.

Murdoch delays paywall


Murdoch said the goal of having users pay for content on the media company’s newspaper websites by the end of this financial year may not be met. “We are working all very, very hard at it but I wouldn’t promise that we are going to meet that date,” Murdoch said during a conference call with journalists. “It’s a work in progress and there is a huge amount of work going on, not just with our sites but with other people.”

Asked about the delay, Murdoch said he was “not prepared to comment on that at all”.

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