Bill Eggers

‘Delivering on Digital’

Delivering on DigitalI finished Bill Eggers latest book, “Delivering on Digital: The Innovators and Technologies That Are Transforming Government,” and highly recommend to public sector technology practitioners, especially governments who don’t have the resources to contract with a high-end consulting firm to build out a holistic strategy on their own.

“Delivering on Digital” emphasizes concepts such as open source technologies, agile methodologies, open data, universal user identification/login and security (making the latter very accessible and required reading). There are a number of anecdotes that perhaps are most applicable to larger cities, states and national governments, but still helpful in providing context on how all of these have been effectively implemented.

The aspects “Delivering on Digital” touch on that I’m not convinced are effective are the approaches to engagement around crowdsourcing, contests and prizes. I’m more bullish on open source communities, as advocated by Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst in “The Open Organization.” Unfortunately, we’ve yet to see government effectively create community or build accessible collaborative environments, which is why I think it defaults to a push-style approach to engagement.

I also think we’ve run the gamut on using Code for America, 18F, U.S. Digital Service and the U.K.’s Government Digital Service as anecdotes and examples of success, especially since they’re very difficult to replicate at scale. Something the government technology community has yet to confront are areas where things haven’t worked so well and would be invaluable to share and learn from. Unfortunately, the nature of the industry doesn’t make it easy for an open discussion of this, and most likely compounded by the book being part of a (brilliant) content marketing strategy for Deloitte.

Having said this, Eggers and his colleagues are adding tremendous value by publishing a resource like “Delivering on Digital.” Even more brilliant and value-add and breaking with traditional publishing rules would be to issue this with a Creative Commons license, much like O’Reilly Media did with “Open Government.”

Accompanying “Delivering on Digital” is a compilation of digital government playbooks, (currently in images that would also be great to see converted into an open format similar to 18F’s guides).

Eggers, recently appointed as the executive director of Deloitte Center for Government Insights, has also authored “The Solution Revolution,” “If We Can Put a Man on the Moon,” “Governing by Network,” “The Public Innovator’s Playbook” and “Government 2.0.”

Buy “Delivering on Digital” on Amazon.

Now reading: ‘Delivering on Digital’

Delivering on DigitalI’m reading Bill Eggers’ new book, “Delivering on Digital: The Innovators and Technologies That Are Transforming Government,” and wanted to share that it’s now available for purchase.

Accompanying the release is a great compilation of digital government “playbooks” on the book’s website.

FCW has an early review and better synopsis than I can give at the moment.

Eggers, executive director of Deloitte’s Center for Government Innovation, is also the author of “The Solution Revolution: How Government, Business, and Social Enterprises are Teaming up to Solve Society’s Biggest Problems,” “If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government,” “Governing by Network: The New Shape of the Public Sector ,” “The Public Innovator’s Playbook” and “Government 2.0: Using Technology to Improve Education, Cut Red Tape, Reduce Gridlock, and Enhance Democracy.”

Buy “Delivering on Digital” on Amazon.

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

TwitterFor 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.

We have advocated for humanizing government, and for using new tools to bring more citizens into the deliberative process and to help shape the future of both our democracy and the bureaucracy. One of the main tools for the Gov 2.0 movement has been social media, as activists and line workers join technologists and political reformers in calling for more open communication between officials and agencies and the public they represent and serve.

Last week, Government 2.0 – a term first used by Bill Eggers in his 2005 e-gov-focused book of the same name, and that has become almost synonymous with Web 2.0 as developers have turned on to the promise of government-brokered data troves and universal open standards – won a significant victory. Twitter, the popular social media messaging service that has serves as a platform for thousands of startups using its architecture and user base, announced that it is hiring for its first field office, focused on the government sector.

Twitter goes to DC

Twitter’s job posting and further remarks by corporate spokesman Sean Garrett explain the DC-based position as the first step towards a public affairs unit, with support for innovative and engaging uses of Twitter in politics and policymaking. A new blog by Garrett and his team has since March been highlighting interesting government uses of the platform, from San Francisco’s integration of Twitter and 311 non-emergency service requests, to construction updates and border crossing wait times by tweet, to the British Prime Minister’s communications usage.

Twitter, thanks to millions of active and aggressive content-sharers and innovators around the world, has transformative powers. Conan O’Brien took to the service to recreate himself after losing his show, creating numerous accounts, rallying his fan base and using the free and frenetic publicity it to launch a comedy tour. Legendary film critic Roger Ebert, after panning Twitter as trite, has become one of its staunchest advocates, using it to deliver and amplify commentary on everything from film to politics to sport and humanism. Newark Mayor Corey Booker has used it to spread a hands-on philosophy of hope far beyond his New Jersey township.

Twitter grows due to user innovations

Twitter’s growth and popular features have often evolved from the minds and whims of its user base, from the intensely popular “retweet” convention for repeating and affirming others’ messages, to the hashtag form of semantic tagging in its short messages, to Follow Friday, the day that tweeps around the world recognize friends and favorites.

Government 2.0 – which first hit Twitter’s mainstream of “trending topics” during a March 16, 2009, pilot broadcast of the Gov 2.0 Radio podcast including govies, contractors and consultants calling in from South by Southwest and their DC-area homes – is now set to join the legacy of user-driven Twitter conventions. The first Twitter office outside of San Francisco will help connect politicians with their constituents and agencies with the public. It will help serve an engaged and innovative Government 2.0 movement, while that movement continues to shape and grow Twitter’s utility.

Government 2.0 and the use of social media for politics and public service are still in their infancy, but it’s safe to say that Twitter’s new focus on this arena is a milestone of which we can be proud.

References

Best of GovFreshTV in 2009

GovFreshTV interviewed many of the leading figures in the open government, Gov 2.0 movement in 2009. It’s an incredible list of thinkers shaping the future of government.

I’m honored to have met and talked with each of them about the work they’re doing.

Here’s a review:

Craig Newmark

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark talks about Gov 2.0 and social media’s role in democracy.

Bill Eggers

Bill Eggers is the author of ‘Government 2.0’ and co-author of ‘If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government.’

Ellen Miller

Sunlight Foundation Co-founder and Executive Director Ellen Miller discusses open government, transparency and gov 2.0.

Clay Johnson

GovFreshTV talks with Sunlight Labs Director Clay Johnson.

Dmitry Kachaev

GovFreshTV talks with Dmitry Kachaev, Director of Research and Development, DC Government OCTO Labs.

Jake Brewer

Sunlight Foundation Engagement Director Jake Brewer discusses Gov 2.0, open government and transparency.

Mark Drapeau

Dr. Mark Drapeau (@cheek_geeky), co-chair of Gov 2.0 Expo, share his thoughts on Gov 2.0 in 2009, and what to expect in 2010.

Laurel Ruma

GovFreshTV talks with O’Reilly Media’s Laurel Ruma.

Silona Bonewald

GovFreshTV talks with Silona Bonewald of Citability.org and League of Technical Voters.

Jim Gilliam

GovFreshTV interview with NationBuilder, act.ly and whitehouse2.org founder Jim Gilliam.

Gov 2.0 Radio: Getting Big Things Done in Government

If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government

Listen

[audio:gov20radio091115.mp3]

Episode

Doing It Your Way: 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. More Gov 2.0 Radio »