Photo: historilla

An open letter to venture capitalists frustrated with the federal government shutdown

Lately, what’s happening between both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue is starting to catch the ire of some venture capitalists who, like many Americans already, are starting to publicly vent their frustrations.

oakland311

Oakland launches 311 app powered by SeeClickFix

Oakland, Ca. is the latest major U.S. city to launch a 311 application that allows citizens to report issues directly to government from their smartphones.

Let's Do It SF!

Integrated, Open, Inspiring – Let’s Do It SF!

The San Francisco’s City Attorney’s Office (where I work) has launched an anti-blight initiative that wraps consumer tech, city services and a local-global approach to volunteerism in a multi-channel social media package.

seeclickfix

SeeClickFix gets $1.5M investment from Omidyar Network, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures

Citizen reporting platform start-up SeeClickFix announced last week it has raised equity investment from Omidyar Network and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. According to the Wall Street Journal total investment was $1.5M.

Cory Booker

A proactive snow strategy for Cory Booker and other elected officials

There’s no question Newark Mayor Cory Booker deserves the accolades he’s received for responding to constituent needs during the recent blizzard that hit the East Coast. It’s inspiring to see a politician step out from behind the desk and photo opps to do something tangible and meaningful where people can witness it firsthand. Who doesn’t love a diaper-delivering mayor?

Ben Berkowitz

10 entrepreneurs changing the way government works

I recently began reading The Power of Social Innovation: How Civic Entrepreneurs Ignite Community Networks for Good and felt compelled to highlight more people building business models around better government. The role of business and the entrepreneurial spirit as it relates to government is at times under-played or discredited (sometimes, rightfully so), but it’s the backbone of a democratic society.

Consider this the first in a series. For starters, here are 10 entrepreneurs changing the way government works.

Does gaming have a place in government?

Part of our research focus at Manor Labs is to discover new ways of communicating and engaging the public. The following two concepts came out of that research.

The new form of social network-based online gaming has become all the rage on popular social networking sites. From a government standpoint, we have determined that these platforms are distractions and subsequently block them from use by our employees. However, let’s propose a new thought; what if we used these tools to educate and engage our public?

Get the 311 with SeeClickFix

SeeClickFix lets citizens report public works issues such as potholes, graffiti, and wayward trash directly from their iPhones, the SeeClickFix Website or other sites using its embeddable widget. Citizens can create watch lists to follow what’s being reported in a particular area, comment and vote up or down other issue reports and get ‘Civic Points’ for their participation. Governments can use the service as a 311 work order management system and media outlets can integrate the reporting widget and map into their Websites for enhanced reader interaction.

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