Category: Government

The Trouble With ‘Civic Media’ Studies

On the Radical Anti-Institutionalism of Internet Intellectuals I recently attended a talk by Ethan Zuckerman, the director of the MIT Center for Civic Media advertised as addressing the question “is digital media changing what it means to be an engaged citizen?” As a blogger, founder of three hyperlocal news websites, and now student of technology […]

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Public Sector Crowdsourcing: What’s Possible?

Lately I’ve been involved in a lot of conversations about crowdsourcing in the public sector. Although they’re sometimes confused, in general I think there are two types we can talk about: crowdsourcing policy (or ideas) and public goods (tangible work or services). This is a topic included in my Open Government Strategy for the City […]

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Can We Implement O’Reilly’s ‘Government as a Platform’?

One of the most visible supporters of technical innovation in government recently has been Tim O’Reilly. Perhaps best known for popularizing the term “Web 2.0,” O’Reilly’s media company publishes popular software manuals and organizes industry-leading conferences for Internet entrepreneurs. In the past few years, he’s increasingly turned his attention to applying innovative internet technology to government, […]

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Lights Out For Free Public Goods?

Most American local governments and transit agencies are struggling to balance their finances. In addition to the economic downturn, revenues are often limited by property tax limits or political resistance to tax or fee increases. Meanwhile, costs have been ballooning. Many fixed costs, such as the price of energy, health care, and other employee benefits […]

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What Government Data Should be Transparent?

At an event I attended in March, Massachusetts’ Chief Information Officer Ann Marguiles raised a simple yet profound issue. Although they’re committed to open data, the Commonwealth was still to figure out which datasets to post online through their new data portal mass.gov/data. Plenty of transparency advocates would say the answer should be “all of […]

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