Compensation offered for feedback on city websites & applications

I picked up a flier from a group called CivicMakers the other day "looking for residents to give feedback on city websites and applications" – potentially an opportunity to weigh in against government information-harvesting and other user-unfriendly practices. I haven't heard of the group before, but am guessing it's either the project of some city agency, or is a for-profit or non-profit group that works with government.

  There are a handful of questions on the sign-up page, but nothing too intrusive – name, email address, whether you are looking to rent or own housing in SF, how you go online (computer or mobile phone), etc. You can sign up online at www.bit.ly/inputsf .

  They say they may not be in touch right away, and people may only do one session every 6 months. Participants are promised, "You will receive a $25 grocery gift card in appreciation after each feedback session."

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  When participating in stuff like this, I always keep in mind that the point of participating is for them to hear more pro-freedom opinions from members of the public and make decisions accordingly, and that it is not necessarily desirable – usually undesirable, in fact – for them to obtain any other kind of useful information! Remember that INFORMATION IS POWER, and it is not in our interest to give government or other authoritarian institutions more power.

  With these axioms in mind, here are some useful rules of thumb to follow:

1) Don't volunteer any personal information other than your opinions, including even apparently trivial data like how you heard about their survey (that info helps them plan their marketing campaigns)!

2) When required to give personal information, give accurate responses only when you think it necessary or helpful for your purposes (e.g. a correct email address or phone number if you want to be contacted, etc.), or to avoid looking non-credible and having all your responses discarded or considered fraudulent (use your judgement). In other cases, just make something up – whatever response you think will best advance the cause of freedom.

3) When given the option of an "other" or fill-in-the-blank response, choose it; take the opportunity to make a pro-freedom point, even if your response does not answer or even relate to the particular question asked

Love & Liberty,

((( starchild )))