Tony Hirst (blogger)

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Tony Hirst is an academic in the Department of Communication and Systems at the Open University,[1] but better known for the OUseful Blog[2] on practical applications of Open Data.

Notable Achievements[edit]

In February 2009, Hirst and colleague Joss Winn, established WriteToReply, to re-publish the UK Government's Digital Britain Interim Report in a way that allowed readers to comment on each paragraph. This was among a number of experiments to promote greater online public participation in government consultations.[3]

In March 2009, Hirst created a technique for extracting and presenting subtitles generated from Twitter status updates in SubRip (*.srt) format[4]

Hirst won the 2011 "Open Up" contest for his ideas about the use of UCAS data.[5] The Open Up contest was run by TSO (formerly "The Stationery Office", a publishing company that supplies the UK Government) and came with a £50,000 development fund to enable the idea.[6] Hirst was chosen by a judging panel headed up by TSO director of digital products Robin Brattel, and included artificial intelligence expert Sir Nigel Richard Shadbolt and Open University director of communications Lucian J Hudson.[7][8]

Hirst was described as "brilliant" by The Guardian data blog for his work analysing the use of Twitter by journalists.[9][10]

Media work[edit]

Hirst has been an academic adviser and expert contributor to the BBC World Service programme Click, formerly Digital Planet. [11] [12]

He was co-founder of the Open University Robotics Outreach Group, which led to the Blue Peter/RoboFesta Competition in 2001. This competition - which required children to "Design a Really Useful Robot" - had 32,000 entries.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biography at Arcadia Project". Arcadia Project. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  2. ^ Tony Hirst. "OUseful Blog". Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  3. ^ WriteToReply (Tony Hirst and Joss Winn) (2009-02-05). "What's it all about?". WriteToReply Blog. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  4. ^ Tony Hirst (2009-03-08). "Twitter Powered Subtitles for Conference Audio/Videos on Youtube". OUseful Blog. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  5. ^ Tony Hirst (2011-04-06). "Blog Post From Tony Hirst, OpenUp Winner 2011". TSO OpenUp Blog. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  6. ^ TSO (2011-03-23). "OpenUp – TSO Launches Open Data Challenge with £50,000 Development Fund". TSO Press Release. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  7. ^ "UK Digital Technology takes another step – Open Data | Lucian J. Hudson, Director of Communications, The Open University – personal blog". Open.ac.uk. 2011-03-26. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  8. ^ "OpenUp Panel Chair Robin Brattel, shares the panel’s ‘judging thoughts’ « TSO Open.Up Blog". Blog.openup.tso.co.uk. 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  9. ^ Simon Rogers (2011-04-11). "UK journalists on Twitter: how they all follow each other". Guardian Data Blog. Retrieved 2011-04-11. The brilliant Tony Hirst on his blog Ouseful has [...] 
  10. ^ Tony Hirst (2011-04-10). "UK Journalists on Twitter". OUseful Blog. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  11. ^ "BBC World Service Programmes - Click 01/02/2011". 2011-02-01. Retrieved 2011-05-05. In the first of a series of programmes on openness, Tony Hirst of the Open University joins Gareth Mitchell to discuss these ideas, looking at open source, open data and open standards. 
  12. ^ "Digital Planet investigates the history of the PC". 2009-05-15. Retrieved 2011-05-05. Dr Tony Hirst from the Department of Communication and Systems at The Open University and academic advisor for the series [...] 
  13. ^ "The Blue Peter – RoboFesta Robot Design Competition". 2001-03-23. Retrieved 2011-05-05.