On a whim, right after GovFresh launched, I started the Gov 2.0 Hero feature to recognize citizens doing great work inside and outside of government. It’s been inspiring to watch, not only shining the spotlight on people who don’t get a lot of recognition or publicity about the work they’re doing, but also seeing the community cheer them on once they’re featured.
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.
Idea management software developer Spigit announced the launch of CitizenSpigit, ‘a platform that enables government agencies to engage citizens and employees to improve efficiency and operations, as well as to generate actionable ideas.’ The City of Manor, Texas, is the first municipality to deploy the platform, which it uses to power Manor Labs.
I like making lists, so when GovFresh invited me to put together a list of women involved in government and technology efforts, I jumped at the chance. But although top ten lists are wildly popular, I’ve met so many incredible people working on Gov 2.0, open government, e-gov efforts that I thought the world needed a better glimpse of the breadth of involvement women have at all levels of government, in nonprofits, academia, conferences, media and the private sector. The hope is that this list will allow event organizers, members of the media, other list makers, etc. to easily build a diverse representation in their projects.
The debate over whether open source software (OSS) is good for government is over. A close look will reveal the discussion has moved on to one of two things: 1) the necessary, but subsequent implementation questions to be sorted out – security, regulation, procurement, etc. or 2) organizational confusion about how to take the first step. In either case, the precedent of value has been established both within government and elsewhere to allow us to now move on to the natural next set of issues.
What missing from Gov 2.0?
The answer: Education.
Like most agencies, we have done a significant amount of research at the City of Manor to determine how we could best use new technologies to interact and engage our citizens. In the process, we have discovered that there is one element that is quite often overlooked within the Gov 2.0 movement- education. Citizen and employee education is critical to the adoption of new technologies because the technology will not be used if it is misunderstood.
The year is 2007, and all you can do on the City of Reno, Nevada, website (then cityofreno.com) is pay a parking ticket, when the payment system works. About the only other interactive feature is the animated gif of the flaming building on our fire departmentâ€™s homepage.
Fast forward to present day, and Reno has transformed its online presence and is embracing Gov 2.0 to connect with citizens and put meaningful services online.
Earlier this year, I had an idea to build a Twitter application that would allow a citizen to start a 311 service request with their city.
At the time, there was no way to build such an application as no municipality had yet adopted a 311 API that would support it (although the District of Columbia did have a 311 API in place, it did not – at the time – support the type of application I envisioned).
That changed recently, when San Francisco announced the deployment of their Open311 API. I quickly requested an API key and began trying to turn my idea into reality.
Microsoft Director of Social Innovation Mark Drapeau discusses the importance of ‘real’ relationships in social media and asks government, ‘Are you being social in real life?’