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Meet the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 23 2012

The White House this morning announced the 18 techies and experts who will spend six months working on one of five projects using technology to try and improve government as part of the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows program. Read More

Indonesian Website Names and Shames Corrupt Officials

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, July 3 2012

The Wall Street Journal reports on a new website that names and shames Indonesian officials convicted of corruption. Transparency International ranks Indonesia as one of the most corrupt countries. Korupedia was launched by Indonesian activists and journalists. Read More

In House Appropriations, Little Movement to Support Online Transparency

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 6 2012

In a statement released Wednesday, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives promised to immediately direct a task force to start work on making it easier to find information about congressional bills online.

Separately, the Sunlight Foundation* reports that another appropriations subcommittee voted Wednesday to defund a Federal Communications Commission program that would provide online access to information about spending on political television ads. The information is already available in hard-copy form by making an in-person request at television stations; the FCC recently passed rules requiring broadcasters in the 50 biggest television markets to make that information available for disclosure online as well.

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Open-Source Software for Governments in Spain

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, May 30 2012

Two autonomous regions of Spain have recently made strides towards promoting open-source software for governmental use. Read More

White House Rolls Out New Plan for Digital Government

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, May 23 2012

The White House on Wednesday rolled out a new strategy document on digital government that sets out government-wide goals and priorities for dealing with citizens online, creates a new center at the General Services Administration to encourage agencies to get onboard, and calls for new government-wide standards for IT procurement.

White House Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel and Chief Technology Officer Todd Park unveiled the strategy Wednesday at TechCrunch Disrupt, a technology conference held in New York City. In their remarks, they framed the strategy as a sweeping reinvention of the way the government interacts with citizens online designed to make it ever easier for people inside and outside of government to improve service delivery for Americans over the web.Read More

New York City Just Radically Changed Who Manages Its IT Projects

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, April 24 2012

For the first time, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's New York City now has a single person responsible for overseeing all of its information technology operations.

Rahul N. Merchant, a former executive at financial services and technology firms, starts today as New York City's first chief information and innovation officer, the city announced. Merchant will report directly to the mayor and will be responsible for the city's IT infrastructure, making him in effect the alpha and omega for city IT across all agencies. Previously, one city department — the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications — was responsible for maintaining many core IT projects, such as a city wireless network and an ongoing project to consolidate data servers, but agency IT operations were more independent. Merchant will oversee information technology development and management across all city agencies.

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Watching Where the Plows Go

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, January 12 2012

The snow is moving in Chicago, and so is the City of Chicago's "Plow Tracker", the first part of its online snow-fighting portal to go live. Read More

In Chicago, The Snow Day as Civic Experiment

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, January 4 2012

Chicago in Feb. 2011. Photo: Brendan Riley / Flickr

The City of Chicago on Tuesday unveiled Chicago Shovels, a suite of web applications designed to keep Chicagoans in the know when the snow banks start to pile up. Read More

Florida Town Goes From MS Frontpage to Responsive Design Theme

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, January 4 2012

For the Gov 2.0 people we've been neglecting so terribly as the presidential campaign has heated up: Phase 2's blog has a Q&A with a consultant who built a new site for Lake Clarke Shores, Fla., using the a distribution of the open-source Drupal content management system called OpenPublic. The Q&A documents how the city's website went from something built on Microsoft FrontPage to a brand-new Drupal instance with a responsive design. Read More

All Eyes On Estonia, a Tech-Savvy State With a Balanced Budget

BY Nick Judd | Monday, October 24 2011

Both BBC News and Der Spiegel took time last week to run paeans to Estonia, a famously wired post-Soviet democracy that appears to have its fiscal house in order even as large countries, with citizens living higher on ... 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

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