Have you seen the little BETA next to the OPEN logo at the top? We’re rather proud of it! It’s our way of saying “bear with us while the dust settles” but we hope it never fully settles.

Software development typically goes through a beta phase before being released. It allows details to be ironed out and finalised. We see Open Glasgow as a work in progress: we won’t wait until we have everything worked out on paper to start designing and creating solutions. We’ll get started, test, review, adjust, experiment, cancel, add, refine, re-try, share…

So the beta will be here a while.

This flexible approach is in line with design principle #7 of Government Digital Service adopted in the OPEN Manifesto:

Iterate. Then iterate again. The best way to build effective services is to start small and iterate wildly

Our mission: to validate new ideas

Open Glasgow is part of the Future Cities Demonstrator funded by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB). The TSB uses Demonstrators to “enable large-scale testing of new products and services in the real world” and “bring partners together to validate ideas and overcome barriers”.

So the point of a demonstrator is to test new solutions. No one needs a demonstrator to stay on the beaten track!

We might not always get it right

For the most part, this is uncharted territory for Glasgow. Some things might not work out the way we had intended and will be an invaluable source of knowledge.

We accept that there is always room for improvement and discussion.

In line with the G8 Open Data Charter and the OPEN manifesto, we will be transparent about the process: we’ll share our experience and let others participate.

Enable others to test new designs

Not only is Open Glasgow on a trail-blazing path but we are also inviting others to join us. By opening up city data, Glasgow invites innovators to experiment and deliver tangible improvements no one had even considered before. We don’t know what these will be but the experience of other open cities shows that open data does lead to practical solutions with real benefits for the city.

Get involved

What do we mean by “bear with us”? We don’t mean come back in a few months and hope that things magically improve. We mean speak to us, get involved and give us a hand. Did you see something that doesn’t work, that challenges you? Spot something you are interested in or just have something you want to say? Simply get in touch: email, tweet, share your ideas and ask questions. We are waiting to hear from you. Tell us – what do you think of our work-in-progress so far?