Creating sustainable, meaningful civic contributions to government is something I’ve addressed before, and it’s something that continues to elude us in the form of civic applications and hackathons, despite the overwhelming attention given to each.
Related to this point, FutureGov founder and CEO Dominic Campbell’s recent tweet resonates with me:
Tired of people seeing value in #gov20 as what app someone built rather than what actual real measurable difference they made to the world
— Dominic Campbell (@dominiccampbell) February 25, 2012
So much of the hype surrounding Gov 2.0 achievements is relegated to applications (or ‘crapplications’ as one prominent U.S. city CIO once said to me) and hackathons that fail to truly address bigger accomplishments that could be made with less hype. There’s an understandable driver for some of this hoopla: organizational awareness, community building, media hits that drive funding, ego, self-satisfaction or even actual results. Some are valid, but my fear is that much of it is driven by self-interests or misguided intentions.
Are the number of apps built off open government data of value regardless of their utility or usage? Are hackathons without direction or specific goals that fail to build on sustainable, long-term objectives a waste of time?
Should our Gov 2.0 leaders and funders have a more solid plan of action to better harness our civic surplus? With all the money and hype being driven to certain areas of the movement, it’s more important than ever for them to show leadership and deliver real, measurable results, as Dom says.
How do you measure the value of Gov 2.0?