So much took place in the realm of open source public policy this year, that there was plenty to write about. Some of the government channel's first posts were about the U.S. Department of Defense's clarifications on the procurement of open source software, Forge.mil's project to bring together software developers and military leaders to create and share software, and the IIPA's recommendation that the U.S. blacklist certain countries that use open source.
But opensource.com and the government channel isn't just about software being used by governments. It's about
applying the open source way to government - the principles of openness, transparency, and collaboration to produce a better government that is more efficient, effective, and participatory.
Some tried to say that open source and open government aren't related, which is why one of my favorite posts of the year was Open source matters to open government. Really.
So after a year of posting about all things open, what are some of the lessons we've learned?
1. We need more international content. In the beginning of the year, there was a lot of momentum around the U.S. Open Government Directive and open government plans, so many of our articles focused on these US-centric stories. However, there are many exciting initiatives happening all over the world, and I'm pleased to see that we've had more geographic diversity in recent months, with articles like Spaghetti open data, Diversifying Saudia Arabia with open source, Open standards policy in India, and A Malaysian success story. We want to keep that momentum going.
2. We have knowlegeable and articulate readers who aren't afraid to share what they think, and do so in a respectful way. Read through this post on Wikileaks to see what I mean. I really enjoy the comments from our readers and the discussions that happen on opensource.com. Don't be afraid to let us know what's on your mind.
3. We need more contributors! Over the past year, we've had great contributions from authors like Simon Phipps, Larry Lessig, Carl Malamud, and Roger Burkhardt. We also have a fantastic group of regular contributors that I would like to thank, including Gunnar Hellekson, Venky Hariharan, and Art Seavey. We all have day jobs, of course, and write in our spare time (what's that?). We would love to have more contributions from others who are passionate about open government. Click on "submit an article" for more information.
Thanks to all of you - readers, contributors, commenters, lurkers, members, policy wonks, and armchair politicians. You've all made the government channel's first year a great success and we appreciate your support. Wherever you are in 2011, I hope you'll keep reading, commenting, and contributing your own articles on opensource.com. Happy holidays!