Welcome to the new DIY.mysociety.org blog. The “About” page will give you an overview of what we’re trying to achieve here, but put simply: our goal is to share a lot of our hard-won lessons about what’s involved in building tools for civic engagement.
Our first major step in that direction is a guide on “How To Build A Site Like TheyWorkForYou“. In keeping with our own principles of getting early versions in front of people as quickly as possible, this is a first draft — somewhat rough in places, and missing some key topics we want to add later — but there’s still a lot of useful information in it about the sorts of things you need to think deeply about when building a Parliamentary Monitoring site.
We need your help to turn it into what we really want it to become. There are lots of groups with lots of experience in this field — we certainly don’t claim to be the only ones with useful information to share! So we encourage those of you who have built similar sites to contribute stories and ideas and lessons learned. Or anyone who has seen other sites do useful or interesting things, to share those with us (even if, or perhaps especially if, those are bad things! What would you wish no-one to ever inflict upon the world ever again?) Or, if this is simply an area you’re interested in — perhaps because you’re thinking of building a site like this in your country — please, please, please let us know what parts of the guide were useful, or not so useful. It’s not a technical manual — it’s primarily for decision makers, not developers. So if it’s too geeky in places, please let us know. If you disagree with any of our advice, please let us know. And if there are things you wish we’d covered, but haven’t, please let us know. If it encourages you to go build your own — we’d love it if you let us know that too!