Whether it was written out of naivete or for the intent of sensationalism, the other Vivek, Vivek Wadhwa, misses the mark in his Washington Post piece The death of open government.
Here’s video from yesterday’s Open311 press conference in San Francisco, including Vivek Kundra, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, SF CIO Chris Vein and O’Reilly Media’s Tim O’Reilly.
By now, most people in the Gov 2.0 community have heard of Drupal, the popular open source social publishing system powering close to 500,000 websites ranging from big government to Britney Spears. Drupal has seen steady growth from its inception as a Belgian grad student’s experiment in 2001 to one of the most heavily used open source content management systems in the world, downloaded by a quarter million people per month. A growing trend the Drupal community is following closely this year is government interest in the platform to further open government initiatives and broaden adoption across government.
The White House today announced its Open Government Directive, instructing agencies to open their operations to the public and providing a framework for doing so. The directive was accompanied by a Open Government Progress Report to the American People.
From the White House:
The three principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration are at the heart of this directive. Transparency promotes accountability. Participation allows members of the public to contribute ideas and expertise to government initiatives. Collaboration improves the effectiveness of government by encouraging partnerships and cooperation within the federal government, across levels of government, and between the government and private institutions.
I work in online marketing and social media for my â€œday job,â€ and we are endlessly consumed with how to measure returns on investment (ROI) in the Web 2.0 space.
There are similar issues with measuring Gov 2.0 ROI. You can involve yourself in all sorts of efforts — publicizing data, engaging in social media, utilizing email campaigns, encouraging questions, fostering transparancy. And all these things are great, but (just like with our marketing clients) someone’s got to answer for the bottom line. With governments tightening their belts and funding being cut, showing that investment in government transparency pays off is crucial.