The City of San Francisco over the last two years has aggressively embraced social media for marketing of government programs and initiatives, citizen engagement, and two-way communications. An important task for the next mayor is not only to preserve the vibrant ecosystem left by one of the U.S.’s most tech-savvy mayors, but to continue to advance government innovation in one of the world’s most tech-savvy cities.

In a new public service announcement from Code for America, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Biz Stone and Flickr/Hunch founder Caterina Fake pitch Code for America’s Fellows program, which aims to recruit developers and designers for public service-oriented development projects. The spot also features CfA Executive Director Jen Pahlka, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra and CfA Board member Tim O’Reilly.

Gov 2.0 Hero Day is held annually on June 15 to celebrate citizens inside and outside government who go above and beyond the call of duty and creatively leverage technology to build a more open, transparent and collaborative democracy. These dedicated citizens are commonly referred to as Gov 2.0 Heroes.

I occasionally post critical comments when government is operating outside my definition of ‘open’ and only do so when I believe it’s important for the community at large to consider it in context of their own actions. By and large, GovFresh posts are positive, educational and, at times, congratulatory pieces that highly offset the critiques.

When my son turned three, we got him a bike with training wheels. He did quite well, but when it came time to take off those training wheels, he violently refused. Even a three year-old knew that going from four wheels down to two would increase his chances of falling from zero to incredibly high. That’s because training wheels aren’t actually training wheels. They’re impeding wheels. They rob you of the chance to learn balance, which is the most important lesson in riding a bike. It doesn’t matter how good you can pedal or steer, you have little chance of success if you can’t balance.

Facebook Public Policy Director Tim Sparapani discusses privacy and free speech issues affecting his company and opening a Washington DC public policy office on C-SPAN’s Communicators.

It’s been over a year, and, the evolution of Open Government is in full swing, including the definition of what Open Government is. We all pretty much agree that that OG is about transparency, participation and collaboration, but, what seems to be missing is context. Transparent to who? Participate in what? Collaborate to solve? So far, most of the efforts of the OG community have been focused on raw data sets and dashboards to answer for transparency, feedback collection sites to cover participation and various forms of social media to foster collaboration. Not a bad start, so long as we don’t allow the OG community to claim victory and quit looking for more creative innovations (or definitions of what OG could/should be).

John Lisle, Public Information Officer for the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in Washington, DC, shares his thoughts on leveraging social media and the value of using a little personality to connect with constituents.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen discuss the impact of social media on democratic freedom and how military can leverage it.

When I saw this article by Air Force General Craig McKinley (@ChiefNGB) about why he tweets, it got me thinking about military transparency. They are, after all, a huge part of the government — I should know, I grew up military, with a dad who’s still serving.

While I was visiting my parents over Thanksgiving, he was excited to show me a new recruiting video featuring some of his people, in a real-life scenario where they stop a piece of debris from colliding with a satellite. My dad doesn’t tweet, but the fact that he was excited about a video showing the real inner-workings of what we monitor in outer space suggested to me something beyond pride in his team. It dovetails with one of the reasons General McKinley gave for his tweeting habit.