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In New York, Landmark Open Data Legislation Will Soon Be Up for a Vote

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, February 28 2012

The New York City Council is expected to vote on a far-reaching open data bill on Wednesday that would codify many of the principles articulated by open government advocates in recent years. If made law, the bill would go further than San Francisco's pioneering 2010 open data law in depth and scope, obliging agencies to provide data online in machine-readable format though a single, citywide portal. But perhaps in a nod to the amount of work involved in working through large volumes of existing data, city agencies won't have to make theirs available through the city's portal until the end of 2018. Read More

San Francisco's Plan: Open Government, Open Data, Open Doors to New Business and Better Services

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, January 24 2012

In San Francisco, city officials have pulled together a core nexus of driven leaders, civic hackers, and big-name investors in the hopes that greater access to the city's inner workings can spur more web 2.0-style startups that solve problems government has, or maybe that citizens have because of government. Is this enough to make local government work better? Read More

San Francisco Publishes New Tool To Interpret Local Lobbying Information

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, January 20 2012

San Francisco's City Hall. Photo: Flickr/http: 2007

The San Francisco Ethics Commission on Thursday published a new tool that enables web developers to more easily access, interpret and mash up local lobbyist filing information. San Francisco follows Chicago, which also offers an application programming interface for its lobbyist database. New York City offers a searchable database online, but doesn't have an API. Read More

Quote of the Day: A Southern Republican View of Twitter

BY Nick Judd | Monday, November 21 2011

I use Twitter to talk to mainstream media. I think that Twitter is a place to talk to opinion leaders. That's where you talk to the press, you talk to activists, big donors, other legislators. On both these platforms, ... Read More

NationBuilder Says, 'The Voter File Was Meant to be Free'

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, May 17 2011

NationBuilder and a nonpartisan data firm, Political FORCE, announced a partnership yesterday that promises nationwide voter file access to any of their client campaigns that wants it, with far fewer barriers to entry ... Read More

Adriel Hampton is Joining NationBuilder

BY Nick Judd | Friday, May 6 2011

Gov2.0Radio's Adriel Hampton, formerly with the San Francisco City Attorney, will join Jim Gilliam's NationBuilder project as its chief organizer, Gilliam told me in a Twitter direct message. Hampton is a well-known ... Read More

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

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