Government, developers need to build a more structured, scalable approach to leveraging technology

The time has come to build a reliable, open platform that allows local governments to post development requirements and give private developers the ability to respond and build these applications for free.

Going a step further, we need to build a free, open source platform specifically for government, making it easier for government to install and implement and leverage plugins or modules for anything from standard contact forms to 311 citizen requests applications.

Minneapolis gives citizens free Internet access, 117 ways to get online

Minneapolis now offers citizens free Internet access from 117 “Wireless Minneapolis” hotspots under contract with USI Wireless.

Sites were selected based on “where people already gather and use computers, and places where free wireless access would encourage people to gather, including parks, plazas, schools and businesses.” Locations will be indicated with signs that say, “Free Wireless Minneapolis Hotspot Courtesy: City of Minneapolis USI Wireless.” A list of hotspots can be found at www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/wirelessminneapolis.

Open data with Socrata CEO Kevin Merritt

Socrata CEO Kevin Merritt on Open Data: Merritt and host Adriel Hampton discuss open data principles, open standards and APIs, and how to use social principles to get more value out of government data.

Social media, local gov and the National Association of Government Webmasters

Gov 2.0 Radio discusses social media and local government with Morris County, NJ, webmaster Carol Spencer, treasurer of the National Association of Government Webmasters. A veteran of IBM, Spencer calls social media the biggest revolution in technology since the personal computer. On government agencies blocking social media, she says, “You’re blocking access to the way people live.”

My Gov 2.0 Hero: Gabe Klein

I want to nominate Gabe Klein, our Director here at the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). I know, very self-serving, but Gabe is still very deserving of recognition as a Gov 2.0 Hero. He has made it a priority to make the agency more transparent and to improve communications with our customers, and he has pushed us to utilize every tool at our disposal to do that.

My Gov 2.0 Hero: Phil Tate

Manor, Texas has received lots of recognition for the innovative technologies that have come out of it, but many people don’t know all the individuals that are responsible. My role as Assistant City Manager and CIO is to steer the development of emerging technologies in Manor, but the real hero is our City Manager, Phil Tate.

My Gov 2.0 Hero: Luke Fretwell

One of the first people that came to mind as a Gov 2.0 Hero doesn’t even work for the government. With this said, this individual has had a profound impact on government through his immense drive and passion to make the government a better place. Luke Fretwell is the creator of GovFresh, which has become a very important resource for agencies and citizens interested in how technology is reshaping government of all levels. Luke recognizes individuals making their mark in government as Gov 2.0 Heros, but I think it’s time that his efforts get recognized. Luke, thank you for being a real Gov 2.0 Hero, and inspiring me to press forward no matter how difficult the challenge may be.

My Gov 2.0 Hero: Carolyn Lawson

The enormousness of California’s government open data makes it an amazing resource as well as being difficult for citizens to find what they need. By opening up the state’s data with a custom search engine for the various data formats, the usefulness of our government open data increases tremendously.

Lucas Cioffi

My Gov 2.0 Hero: Lucas Cioffi

Lucas Cioffi is the CEO of Online Townhalls, Inc., and founder of the Open Government Directive Workshop Series. The OGD Workshop Series is an inter-agency collaborative event hosted by a different federal agency each month. These self-organizing workshops help the public sector’s OpenGov community coordinate from the bottom up and make the critical transition from good to great.

My Gov 2.0 Hero: Ted Hsieh

It’s easy for one to say “Hey, on this website, wouldn’t it be cool if X?” where X is any given outcome of random neuronal firing in the brain of someone that might call themselves a New Media Strategist.

It’s a whole other thing altogether to make X a reality, to turn that idea into a tangible product. At HHS, that’s where Ted Hsieh (sounds like Shay) comes in. You won’t find him on Twitter nor GovLoop nor many meet-ups, but Ted has been called a ninja and a Jedi Knight. That’s right: He’s a Ninjedi Knight. As the lead developer for the US Department of Health & Human services, he takes all the crazy ideas that push and challenge our technological infrastructure, talks them out, adds a little magic and pumps out technical solutions to meet the needs of HHS web communicators. And he does it quickly. Like really quickly. (That’s where the magic comes in.)

Why Twitter’s government outreach is a big win for the Gov 2.0 movement

For at least that past two years, a tiny yet fast-growing group of folks who call themselves “Gov 2.0 advocates” has worked tirelessly to spread a message that emerging technologies, low-cost communications and digital culture can reshape government to be more collaborative, transparent, efficient and connected to its citizens.

National Association of Government Webmasters National Conference, St. Louis, MO, Sept. 22-24

The National Association of Government Webmasters will hold its 2010 National Conference at the Millennium Hotel in St. Louis, MO, Sept. 22-24. The event will focus on “the professional development of webmasters, programmers, designers, developers, managers, CIOs and other government technology professionals from the local, state and federal government, and Web development world in general.”

FedSpace wants your ideas

The General Services Administration is now soliciting ideas for FedSpace, the intranet for federal government employees. As they did during the Open Government Directive, they’re using the crowdsourcing platform IdeaScale to manage submissions.

Gov 2.0 guide to Gov 2.0 Hero Day

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.

Guide to using Twitter

Gadi Ben-Yehuda, Social Media Director for the Center for the Business of Government, shares his insights into how government can better leverage Twitter.

Gov 2.0 Hero Day: Feature your heroes on GovFresh

Gov 2.0 Hero Day is fast approaching, and we wanted to give everyone an opportunity to show the love here on GovFresh. On June 15, we’ll post your heroes to help you show your appreciation for the great work they’re doing. Here’s how to submit your Gov 2.0 Heroes to GovFresh.

Public Meetings 2.0

You’re busy and so is your local government. You have work, errands, family activities, chores … the list goes on. Your local government, on the other hand is constantly working on issues that affect you directly. It’s tough enough to stay informed of what your local government is doing, let alone making it to a public meeting.

Can Twitter reimagine democracy?

Twitter’s plan to hire a government liaison (its first DC employee) has set off a a tweetstorm from the U.S. Capitol to London to Tokyo, and likely a flood of resumes into the Web 2.0 firm’s SoMa offices. Some of the Gov 2.0 community’s brightest have already offered great suggestions for how this new Twitter position can serve official government social media, and, with Facebook’s recent stumbles, the lighter social network may have a real opening here.I look forward to commenting and continuing the discussion on Twitter and on friend’s blogs (check out the hashtag #twitgov), but here I wanted to offer a few thoughts on the political side of the equation.

A ‘glass half full’ view of government app contests

An increasing number of people are starting to suggest that the concept of the “app contest” (where governments challenge developers to build civic applications) is getting a bit long in the tooth.

There have been lots of musings lately about the payoff for governments that hold such contests and the long term viability of individual entries developed for these contests. Even Washington DC – the birthplace of the current government app contest craze – seems the be moving beyond the framework it has employed not once, but twice to engage local developers.

Leveraging Social Media for Change

Stephen Goldsmith’s new book, The Power of Social Innovation: How Civic Entrepreneurs Ignite Community Networks for Good, written with Gigi Georges and Tim Glynn Burke, offers tools for innovative government and nonprofit professionals to develop and scale their new solutions to public problems. The book is based on Goldsmith’s experience as chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service for nine years under Presidents Bush and Obama, mayor of Indianapolis, and Professor of Government at Harvard Kennedy School. Relying also on interviews with more than 100 top leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, The Power of Social Innovation features illustrative case studies of civic leaders and entrepreneurs and the catalyzing role each plays in transforming a community’s social service delivery systems. The excerpt below—taken from Chapter 5 “Animating and Trusting the Citizen”—highlights innovative ways that private citizens, nonprofits and government officials are using digital media to “crowd source” or otherwise engage their communities in decision making and actual participation in solving their shared challenges.