Government

Solving city problems the open source way

I was privileged this past weekend to be involved in a twenty-first century version of participatory government.

CityCamp Raleigh was an 'unconference' with little planned structure other than the first day. We learned about unconferences, CityCamps in other cities, and problems facing citizens and state and local governments. The event brought together government, business, neighborhood, non-profit, and academic communities to re-imagine the ways in which open source collaboration and technology will shape the future of Raleigh. » Read more

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Top 5 features of new utah.gov

Data drives everything. And if you haven't taken a trip to Utah.gov lately, you're missing one of the top data-driven destinations on the web. Launched on June 1, their website redesign was based on two primary factors: (1) closely monitoring visitor behavior via website statistics and (2) pulling in diverse datasets from across the state to create what is potentially unrivaled search performance.  

I was already a big fan of the user experience in their previous iteration, built back in 2009. Believe it or not, Utah's pulled off another stunning web revitalization effort that sets a new bar not just for government web design, but for any location on the web.  

Below are my five favorite features in the new launch: » Read more

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Keeping an open mind on open government

What is innovation? In this week’s edition of Time Magazine, Fareed Zakaria writes: “We don't really have a good fix on the concept. We know it when we see it. But this much is clear: it encompasses more than just scientific or technological breakthroughs...” » Read more

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CityCamp: Organizing an unconference for a transparent city government

Organizing an unconference is easy if you've got passionate people with the right talent, leaders with a strong vision, and the right organizational tools chosen by the team. Typically, it's a group of volunteers who come together and self-organize into a community of passion. This was also the case for the first CityCamp Raleigh, being held June 3-5.

CityCamp is an unconference focused on innovation for municipal governments and community organizations. CityCamp Raleigh is three days of open sourced talks, workshops, and hands-on problem solving, to re-imagine the way the web, applications, technology, and participation will shape the future of our city. » Read more

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Building a scalable open government process

Much of the energy and effort around open government to date has literally been hacked together or leans towards a reactive, transparency watchdog approach to making government more extroverted.

This is understandable. Any new growth area has its experimental phase and, in order to discover what works, you must try everything. After two years of open government (yes, others have been doing this much longer), we’re at a point where we’ve tried a number of tricks, and it’s time to assess what works and what doesn’t. » Read more

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New report highlights open technology best practices in the military

The military often finds itself in a sticky position with taxpayer-funded, contractor-developed software: one contractor with a monopoly on the knowledge of a military software system and with  effective control of the software source code. This creates inefficiencies for the government, reduction of opportunities for the industrial base, severely limits competition for new software upgrades, depletes resources that can be used to better effect and most importantly wastes taxpayer funds. So what is to be done?
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Bernanke and the Fed: Turning towards open

The Federal Reserve System (FRS, FRB, FED, "the Fed," see Wikipedia) took form in 1913 when Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act. It established the ruling bodies, set up a few oversight committees, and granted certain abilities that were intended to help regulate and stabilize the banking industry. » Read more

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Transparency for All, Until It Affects Me

A draft executive order from the Obama administration recently surfaced titled “Disclosure of Political Spending by Government Contractors.” If signed and implemented, potential contractors bidding on federal work would be required to disclose contributions and spending two years back. » Read more

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Open source and the 'Cloud'

As policy discussions on the 'Cloud' unfold in Washington, Brussels and around the world, last week's Red Hat Summit in Boston, where more than 2,500 developers and software leaders gathered from around the world, focused attention on open source and the 'Cloud.' » Read more

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How CityCamp became an open source brand

CityCamp is an international unconference series and online community dedicated to innovation for municipal governments and community organizations. It didn't start out that way. CityCamp started as a one-off event, literally from a tweet. That event turned out to be a success beyond expectations. People came from all over the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. For two days at the University of Illinois, Chicago Innovation Center, more than a hundred people worked through this fledgling idea of using the web as a platform for local government and community action. As it turned out, people had been practicing local "Gov 2.0" for years, but it seemed like little to nothing connected the community of practice that would soon form. » Read more

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