Sooner the better: Gov 2.0a brings open government to Oklahoma

Oklahoma City will play host to the Gov 2.0a Conference, May 6-7. Participating Oklahoma public officials include Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins, CIO Alex Pettit, State Representatives Ryan Kiesel and Jason Murphey, OK.Gov manager Mark Mitchell and Oklahoma City Creative Director Zach Nash. City of Manor, TX, CIO Dustin Haisler will also present, as will other industry-related executives.

Gov 2.0 guide to 311 and Open311

311 is an abbreviated dialing designation set up for use by municipal governments in both the U.S. and Canada. Dialing 311 in communities where it is implemented will typically direct a caller to a call center where an operator will provide information in response to a question, or open a service ticket in response to report of an issue. The difference between 311 and other abbreviated dialing designations (like 911) can be summed up by a promotional slogan for the service used in the City of Los Angeles: “Burning building? Call 911. Burning question? Call 311.”

GSA not ‘awesome’ when it comes to implied endorsement

I’m all for public-private collaboration.

GSA’s Office of Citizen Services is one of my favorite ideas for a government agency and inter-agency service. The work it does is fantastic, and its leadership is exceptional.

I’m also a big fan of GovLoop and have a great relationship with founder Steve Ressler. Steve has been gracious enough to feature me as a ‘GovLoop Member of the Week,’ and I regularly try to post updates on what’s happening over there.

Having said that, I’m wary of GSA’s implied endorsement of GovLoop, notably on it’s Resources page (Figure A) and in its recent ‘Government by Collaboration’ newsletter (Figure B) that includes an article by GovLoop with the headline ‘GovLoop’s “Extraordinary Collection of Talent.”‘

Why government wants the iPad to succeed

I’m defending the iPad. Not because I’m an Apple fanboy. Not because I’m going to buy one. But because I think there’s potential to positively change the personal computing experience in a way that helps government sleep better at night. I’m not talking about the iPad itself, but what the App store can become via the iPad.

Website Reduction Act of 2010

In 1980, the Paperwork Reduction Act was established in part to “improve the quality and use of Federal information to strengthen decisionmaking, accountability, and openness in Government and society.”

What if we implemented the Website Reduction Act (WRA) of 2010 to accomplish the same objectives? Not only would this significantly improve the quality and use of online Federal information, but it would save millions (billions maybe) of dollars in taxpayer money. The human and capital resources used to manage under-performing, unnecessary Websites would be re-allocated to other .gov Web properties and made more robust.

You don’t own your tweets

Mark Drapeau, Director of Innovative Social Engagement, Microsoft, discusses Web 2.0 companies’ ownership of data, government’s use of these tools and related issues around this use.

Will you read the Open Government Memo on an iPad?

I love the Open Government Memo, I think it represents some of the most thoughtful and seminal policy strategy I’ve seen in 20 years in government. I don’t know who actually wrote it for the President, but I think that person should get a medal. And whoever reads it and doesn’t find inspiration for technology’s potential role towards advancing the ideals of our democracy is simply missing out.

manor.govfresh: Big ideas for small-town America

When GovFresh first started, I got an email from Dustin Haisler, CIO of Manor, TX, who shared with me all the work they were doing there. At that point in time, I was new to ‘Gov 2.0’ and what could be considered ‘government innovation.’ I was skeptical. I never really thought government could innovate itself out of a paper bag. To think a small-town Texas could do it was completely laughable.

Was this guy for real?

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.

Engineering Good Government

Looking back over the history of the United States, it is not just remarkable to see how 13 former colonies of the British Empire could come together to form what became the longest continuously functioning government in recorded history, but it is also incredible that such a durable government was set up as a republic. Until the United States, history records few examples of even moderately successful republics, and even those moderate successes were aided by factors external to the specific system of government employed. How, then, did the framers of the U.S. Constitution succeed in creating a republican-style government where so many had failed?

Flagship Initiatives Shine in Open Government Plans

Ever since Open Government Day – the 120 day deadline in the OGD when agencies had to release Open Government Plans – I’ve been pouring over them hoping to get a better understanding of how openness is going to be implemented. If we are to judge government openness by the barrage of documents we received last Wednesday, then we open government advocates ought to be very happy! But what are these documents made of, anyway? A word cloud illustrates it quite well – all the buzzwords that you would expect: Information, government, data, open, public.

Social media in government is like riding a bike

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.

BREAKING: GovFresh acquired by BBI, Inc.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – GovFresh founder Luke Fretwell announced today he has sold GovFresh to Rosslyn, VA-based federal contractor BBI, Inc., for [REDACTED]. Effective immediately, he joins the firm as Chief Innovation & Engagement Officer and will actively recruit top government and military officials to BBI’s executive team and advisory board, including [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED] and [REDACTED].