Download two free preview chapters of new ‘Open Government’ book from O’Reilly Media

Two preview chapters from Open Government: Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice are available for download. The book, available January 2010 from O’Reilly Media, is a “collection of essays, interviews, and case studies provides a multi-faceted and nonpartisan account of government as it becomes more transparent, collaborative, and participatory.”

Preview chapters include ‘Disrupting Washington’s Golden Rule’ by Ellen S. Miller and ‘Visualizing Policy and Politicians’ by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg.

FCC Chairman Genachowski on CSPAN’s ‘The Communicators’

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski discusses universal broadband, spectrum policy, net neutrality, indecency and media ownership rules on CSPAN’s ‘The Communicators.’

Quotable:

It’s such an important time with respect to communications. Our communications infrastructure is increasingly essential to the daily lives of every American. It’s how we communicate with each other. It’s how we work in our businesses. It’s how we participate in our government. It’s how we create jobs and contribute to economic growth. I see our communications infrastructure as our platform for innovation and opportunity for the 21st century, and that’s what really drives what we’re trying to accomplish at the FCC of course, because the FCC is the federal agency that has to deal with this landscape. At the highest level our goals are, one, to promote investment throughout the communications eco-system, two, to promote innovation and thereby promote global competitiveness of the United States, three, to promote competition because that’s how we’ll get the most innovation and investment, and four, to protect and empower consumers.

Thanksgoving

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to take the time to thank every public servant doing his or her part to help refine and rejuvenate our American democracy.

I know this post may come off as corny, but I sincerely appreciate the work you do and the level of engagement you’ve given me, GovFresh and my non-govie peers.

Despite not getting paid a fair market value, or even the respect you deserve, you are in the trenches working against huge culture issues and a public hungry for change.

The push for open data, open source and a more open government isn’t just about social media and Web 2.0 jargon, but a stronger America. Your passion for openness and more citizen collaboration is setting a solid foundation.

Keep up the great work. Be proud of your service.

Happy Thanksgoving.

Entrepreneur, blogger Anil Dash announces venture to connect tech, government experts

Tech entrepreneur and blogger Anil Dash announced the launch of Expert Labs at Web 2.0 Expo NY 09.

Expert Labs will work with policy makers, technologists, scientists, researchers and academics to leverage crowdsourcing as a way to “help government listen” and create better policy.

“Dot gov is the new dot com,” said Dash, who was Vice President and Chief Evangelist at Six Apart, makers TypePad and Movable Type and will serve as Director of Expert Labs.

Expert Labs will run as part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science with a $500,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Dash told attendees, “I hope you pay attention to the idea that Web 2.0 can serve the greater good than some of the trivial things we’ve done. We can actually help make our country better.”

Manor reaches The White House

The City of Manor’s open innovation platform, Manor Labs, is featured on the White House’s Open Government Initiative blog (Open Government Laboratories of Democracy).

Innovation is possible even in small cities with very small budgets. I hope that we can work with more cities to innovate new solutions for the public-sector.

Excerpt:

Just as the federal government is using online brainstorming with government employees and the public to generate ideas for saving money or going green, state and local governments are also using new technology to tap people’s intelligence and expertise. The City of Manor, Texas (pop. 5800) has launched “Manor Labs,” an innovation marketplace for improving city services. A participant can sign up to suggest “ideas and solutions” for the police department, the municipal court, and everything in between. Each participant’s suggestion is ranked and rewarded with “innobucks.” These points can be redeemed for prizes: a million points wins “mayor for the day” while 400,000 points can be traded for a ride-along with the Chief of Police.

Gov 2.0 Hero: Steve Lunceford

What was your path to Gov 2.0?

I’m a communications guy by trade, working in media relations and strategic communications for nearly two decades. Over the last 10 years or so I’ve worked in and around the public sector for organizations like Sprint, BearingPoint and now with Deloitte. Around 24 months ago, it became obvious to me that new technologies and tools were fundamentally changing the way communicators worked — the way reporters interacted with sources, the way organizations disseminated information, the way citizens expected to interact with their government. While I was familiar with eGov initiatives and the web 1.0 services that federal, state and local governments were providing (ordering birth certificates or publishing reports on line and such), it was less apparent to me how new channels like Twitter, YouTube, FaceBook, MySpace and the like could be applied to the public sector. After all, these were “social” tools and seemed more fitting for lighter discussions and interactions, or maybe more relevant for the technology sector, not the business of government.

Manor 2.0 documents ‘Live Government Innovation From Small-Town Texas’

We’re excited to announce Manor 2.0: Live Government Innovation From Small-Town Texas, a City of Manor, TX, and GovFresh collaboration.

Manor 2.0 will document our Gov 2.0 efforts, including our innovation initiative, Manor Labs. Our goal is to share, collaborate and connect with local governments like ours who want to leverage innovative technologies to better serve its citizens.

Tune in to http://manor.govfresh.com and join us on our Gov 2.0 journey.

Re-inventing immigration and citizenship

Our federal government is responsible for immigration and citizenship. We would all benefit from a system that worked well.

It doesn’t help that only a small fraction of government funding pays for citizenship training and outreach with uncertain effectiveness. When applicants wait a very long time to process their applications (not knowing why) this doesn’t encourage new people to stand in line and work within our system. We could use a measurable and effective strategy to educate and integrate people to live in our country.

It is harder than ever to become an American citizen. The forms are long and complicated. Fees have gone up. There is a new, more difficult, citizenship exam. The government has posted a lot of new material in English on its website to try and help.

Gov 2.0 Radio: Getting Big Things Done in Government

We host a conversation with Bill Eggers and John O’Leary, authors of the new reform treatise If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government. Eggers in 2005 chronicled the rise of innovative e-gov projects and the potential for tech-enabled reform in Government 2.0, a work of research well ahead of the curve. In Man on the Moon, Eggers and O’Leary apply process thinking to the sticky business of managing complex public initiatives.

This Week’s Tweets

The Elements of (Gov 2.0) Style

I’m all for the “clarity in government” objective of PLAIN (Plain Language Action and Information Network), the folks who maintain plainlanguage.gov.

I fully understand and support the need for PLAIN’s lofty goal of “Improving Communication from the Federal Government to the Public,” but don’t quite understand the need to create an entire Website to achieve this.

GovFreshTV and me

As the newest member of the GovFresh team, I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself. I’m going to be working on all things related to GovFreshTV including shooting, producing, hosting, and generally running around related conferences/workshops/barcamps/etc like a madwoman, with a Flip video camera dangling off my wrist (or in front of my face)!

Gov 2.0 Radio: Doing It Your Way

We join Jill Miller Zimon (Pepper Pike, Ohio) and Ari Herzog (Newburyport, Mass.), both newly elected to their city councils, to discuss campaigns and personal and community empowerment in the social media era.

This Week’s Tweets

MyGovApp: Direct Democracy (3.0)

You2Gov has compiled the ultimate tool kit to find information, share it and use it to impact government reform. It does not matter if you are in business for profit or work for a non-profit or for a Government Agency. A totally customizable private label social network that can be deployed in a rapid time frame complete with advocacy, crm, cms and full social functions.

City of Manor launches Manor Labs to crowdsource innovative ideas

On October 27, 2009, the City of Manor, Texas launched a new effort to crowdsource innovation in an effort called Manor Labs.

Manor Labs is a platform that allows individuals the mechanism to contribute new ideas and solutions for existing problems. Instead of constricting the innovation process to just agency employees, the City of Manor allows anyone to participate regardless of where they live. The benefit to the end-user is that they are rewarded with “Innobucks” for their participation in the innovation process. These “Innobucks” can be traded in for real products donated by local companies and partners, which provides users a tangible benefit for their participation.

Gov 2.0 Radio: Fix It?

We discuss what’s working and what’s not in government with retired career fed Stephen Buckley and collaboration consultant Brian Drake. Drake is planning the Government 2.0 #FAIL workshop, while Buckley, who in the ’90s managed a 1,000 member “Reinventing Government” listserv, is working on an unconference around the forthcoming Open Government Directive.