Last Tuesday I went to the first of what I hope will be many Citizen Beta meetups. Citizen Beta is a group of folks that are interested in the civic technology space. It’s exactly the sort of group I was just starting to think about setting up myself so I’m very glad that people with much more experience than me have made the effort so I don’t have to!

It’s based at NWSPK House in Bethnal Green, will run monthly and is open to anyone that would like to attend. A quick aside – I’m not wild about the name for the “newspeak” organisation. It feels a bit “right on” for my tastes – perhaps I’m just getting old. I applaud what they’re trying to do but if they want to be open to folks in government and people from large companies working in this area coming along, and I very much hope they are, then I’d rather their brand seemed a little less confrontational.

All that said – I really enjoyed the evening. I saw a lot of familiar faces, chatted with some people I’d not seen for a long time and met lots of new interesting people too.

I apologise to the folks who’s talks I can’t remember (I remember them being good!) – I should have taken more notes. I do remember Josh talking about plans for Citizen Beta and Democracy Club as well as Madeline Carroll from 38 Degrees who, amongst other things inspired this:

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I’m really looking forward to going every month. Hopefully it’ll motivate me to get on with the things I’ve been promising myself I will get going in this area (more of which to come) and despite what James quoted me as saying a while back:

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perhaps I’ll get the opportunity to chat to Parliament Digital Society folks and the lady from 38 Degrees about my idea for a platform for civic participation (we’ve all got one squirrelled away) :-).

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