Monmouthshire council officers have welcomed news that Wikipedia co-founder, Jimmy Wales, is to become an unpaid adviser to government departments, helping civil servants develop innovative new technology.
In news published by The Daily Telegraph this week , the paper reported:
“Under his role, it is expected that Mr Wales will also advise civil servants on how the public can be better engaged through the internet as part of its "open government" initiatives.
“Mr Wales was one of a number of “unpaid advisers” who would provide help to civil servants rather than ministers.
Mr Wales will "help to deliver new ways that we can (harness) the internet and technology.”
Monmouthshire County Council has taken a number of steps to become a more innovative and open authority, including:
· adopting the Open Government Licence on its website
· social media use such as encouraging Freedom of Information requests via Twitter;
· and its ‘digital deal’ strategy.
Chief Executive of the Council, Paul Matthews, said:
“It’s fantastic that visionary entrepreneurs are willing to share their expertise with the public sector like this.
“Of course Mr. Wales is especially welcome here in Monmouthshire since we are home to the world’s first Wikipedia town.
“In Monmouthshire we are also tapping into the thinking of some inspirational leaders from around the world and will use our learning to deliver better outcomes for Monmouthshire people.”
Monmouthpedia is the first Wikipedia project to cover a whole town. The project aims to cover every single notable place, people, artefacts, flora, fauna and other things in Monmouth in as many languages as possible. Monmouthpedia will use QRpedia codes, a type of bar code a smartphone can read through its camera that takes people to a Wikipedia article. QR codes are extremely useful, as physical signs have no way of displaying the same amount of information and in a potentially huge number of languages.
Monmouthpedia belongs to and can be contributed to by everyone and involves people from all over the world contributing their time and knowledge. More information can be found at www.monmouthpedia.org