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.

Open government means open analytics

While there’s a push for citizen ideas using collaboration tools, the trend towards open analytics should be just as important, because it exposes what information real users want and where the agency should focus more of its attention. This should be standard practice for all Web/IT departments, so making this information public is as simple as posting it to the agency blog.