You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >
WeGov

Breathing New Life into Data with the "Scrapeathon"

BY Rebecca Chao | Monday, January 6 2014

The logo for Data Publica's Scrapathon (credit: Data Publica)

At the heart of most civic-oriented hackathons, those short 24-hour or so gatherings to code and create innovative apps for public good, is data. But many hackathons suffer from a lack of quality data or knowledge on where to find it, a problem that Benjamin Gans says he and his team at a for-profit data crunching company, Data Publica, noticed after attending and hosting a number of their own hackathons. They have coined the term "scrapathon" or scrapeathon to describe the new data scraping events they have begun hosting to give data a new and more purposeful life. Read More

First POST: Touchy

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, October 24 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers:The NSA scandal is having repercussions now in Germany; How to successfully launched a government website; Why "big government" can't be agile; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

Apple Stoops to “Whole New Level” of Self-Censorship in China

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, October 4 2013

Apple silently removed OpenDoor, an app that helped users evade China's Great Firewall, without any explanation and, the app developer says, without any just reason. Chinese netizens are understandably angry and many are criticizing Apple for their willingness to cooperate with Chinese authorities.

Read More

WeGov

Three Things Latin America is Learning About Civic Technology

BY Susannah Vila | Wednesday, July 3 2013

Aerial view of Lima, Peru (flickr/NeoKat)

Look closely at any recent wave of street protests and you’re likely to find a group of “civic technologists” trying to find news ways for citizens to participate in the public sector. These are the type of people that came together last week in Uruguay for Latin America’s first “unconference” on open government. Roughly 60 civic technologists talked for two days about their shared challenges and emerging best practices in using technology to engage citizens. Read More

WeGov

Mobile App Helps El Salvador's Police Combat Sky-High Homicide Rates

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, July 2 2013

The El Salvadorian government has partnered with USAID and Qualcomm to give police officers crime fighting tools on their mobile phones. The program, called Seguridad Inalambrica (Wireless Security) was first tested in Santa Tecla. In September 2012 the program entered phase two and was expanded to cover other municipalities in the San Salvador metropolitan area. In June, a USAID representative spoke to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs about the reduction of crime in Central America and the Caribbean and mentioned the El Salvador program as one they hope to expand to cover other regions.

Read More

WeGov

Female Organizer of Pakistan's First Hackathon Stresses Collaboration Over Competition

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, May 16 2013

Downtown Karachi via Wikipedia

After Pakistan banned Valentine's Day this year, Sabeen Mahmud started an online protest in which people uploaded photos to mock the government ban. In the weeks following she received death threats and menacing phone calls, and early on she had to stay home from work. That did nothing, however, to keep her from further organizing. Last month, the café she started in Karachi hosted Pakistan's first ever hackathon, which tackled problems including sanitation, crime, disaster management, and education. She even invited a government representative to observe the initial conversations, tackling sensitive areas like government inefficiency and elections.

Read More

Hardly Anyone Using Campaign Apps, Survey Says

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, October 9 2012

To reach registered voters on their mobile phones this year, campaigns stand a better chance by recruiting supporters to talk to their peers on social networks, according to new survey data.

While 88 percent of registered voters own some sort of cell phone, according to a survey released today by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, just five percent have signed up to receive text messages from a campaign or related group, and only eight percent have used an app from a candidate.

Meanwhile, 45 percent of smartphone-wielding voters have used their phone to read comments about the campaign on social networking sites.

Read More

Wikipedia VP Watchers: Now There's an App for That

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, August 10 2012

There's nothing like the ingenuity of mobile app developers, apparently. This just in: In response to my story Monday suggesting that edits on the Wikipedia pages of potential Republican vice presidential candidates could be a tip-off to Mitt Romney's pending announcement, a Silicon Valley engineer and author named Martin Ford has built "Romney VP Predictor," an Android app that automatically checks the Wikipedia pages for Mitt Romney's leading vice presidential candidates and then tabulates the number of recent edits to the pages. Read More

The Europe Roundup: Restart Romania

BY Antonella Napolitano | Thursday, November 17 2011

Romania | Restart Romania Like many post-Communist countries, Romania is having troubles promoting a modern idea of citizenship: transparency, activism and engagement are relatively new words for Romanians. ... Read More

Is The road To The Elysee Passing By Twitter?

BY Antonella Napolitano | Thursday, October 27 2011

After the Socialist primary election that happened earlier this month, the French presidential campaign is heating up and social media are being used by both parties in what can be seen as the second social media ... Read More