Category: Social Networking

The Problems With ‘Platforms’

It seems that every day the word ‘platform’ becomes more ingrained in the way we think about online tools to do good and address public problems. The ubiquity of the term may be due to its fundamental ambiguity, which it shares with other terms like ‘sustainability’ and ‘participation.’ In an incisive article on the subject […]

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Announcement Planning & Technology Conference

I’m helping plan this conference at MIT in April. We opened registration and announced the call for papers today. REGISTRATION INFORMATION & CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS AND PAPERS PLANNINGTECH@DUSP 2011 Friday, April 8, 2011 11:30 AM – 6:00 PM Location: MIT Building 9 DESCRIPTION New technologies are transforming how we communicate, expanding access to data and […]

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Public Sector Innovation: Learning From History

At a conference attended in December on the “Future of the Crowdsourced City” a major topic of discussion was how city governments — or other city organizations — could embrace new technologies. Although nearly 20 years old, I thought this article was remarkably relevant for debates today about how to foster technology-enabled innovation in local […]

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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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Creating the Open City: Part One

This post is the first of a two part series on my work creating an open government strategy for the City of Boston this past summer. During his campaign for the presidency, Barack Obama often mentioned expanding civic participation. Solving our toughest problems, he argued, would require action by both government and regular citizens. “The […]

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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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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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