Wanted: A Dashboard for Internet Citizenship

One thing I’ve wanted for a long time now is a dashboard that helps me track the wide array of tech policy issues I follow.

One place where I could check, every morning, to get a sense of what issues are trending & developing, what longer-term issues are brewing, what specific milestones are approaching, and what opportunities there might be for me to get engaged.

Something akin to Techmeme + Crunchbase, but focused on policy issues.  

I’ve been thinking of this as a “dashboard for internet citizenship”.

Here’s what I do, in the absence of such a thing. I read Techdirt and Ars Technica’s Law & Disorder religiously, and I keep an ever-growing Google Reader feed that tracks tech policy thinkers.  And all of this is great.

But what I really want is something a bit more structured — that breaks issues down by sector & type (e.g., copyright vs. transportation vs. international, etc.), and understands things like timelines, which are particularly important with policy issues (and which are constantly changing).  And I want something that spans many sources, and is peer produced and peer curated.

Last year, I started to prototype a take on this, which I dubbed “Threat Vector” — a simple site for tracking issues and topics, and associating them with news stories:

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A demo is running here (code here)- but it’s been sitting in half-baked form for several months now, which is a shame. 

I also spent some time last year sketching out a more involved idea for a social network for tech policy, which I could see as growing out of a simpler starting point like Threat Vector.

I really want something like this. I’ve taken a few half-starts at it, and have a ton of ideas about how it might work, but haven’t really focused on it.  Maybe there is something like it out there on the web already, but I haven’t found it yet.  Something like this would make a great addition to the Internet Defense League.

If anyone is interested in taking this on in some form, I’d be happy to help make it happen.

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Nick Grossman

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