Adhearsion Developer Community Writing Apps for America
@3lsilver (aka lewdsilver) has brought to my attention an application that he and a team built for the Apps for America contest. Apps for America is a contest sponsored by Sunlight Labs, where their moto is ‘turning government data into usable information’. Sunlight Labs provides a set of APIs that exposes such information as census data, congressional data and much more. The APIs are intended to power mash-ups to drive government transparency and citizen participation.
At least two of the applications submitted to the contest use the combination of Adhearsion and Asterisk. Speak for Change, submitted by @3lsilver and team, allows citizens to leave voicemails for their representatives by calling a toll-free number, then makes these messages public for all to listen to and comment on. The second application, Call Congress, provides a website with a click to call capability to find and then contact your Senators and Representatives.
As I have said before, radical transparency is the way forward out of the current US predicament, not excessive regulation. This includes the government and financial markets. It is great to see open source telephony and Adhearsion playing their roles. These applications are great examples of open source making it possible to do things today that would have been prohibitively expensive and difficult before.