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Updated Guidelines Encourage Federal Agencies to Publish "License-Free" Data

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, December 12 2013

A group of open government advocates and advocacy organizations have come together to issue updated guidance on how federal agencies can make their documents available in an open and accessible way, seeking to go beyond and clarify open data guidance that the Obama administration had published in May. Read More

First POST: Twitterization

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, September 3 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: The download on Peter Hamby's must-read report on Twitter's impact on 2012 campaign coverage; Jeff Bezos gives some clues to his plans for the Washington Post; Ethan Zuckerman thinks citizen science could help reduce NIMBYism; and much, much more. Read More

House Republicans Release More Data Catnip for Developers

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, January 10 2013

The Government Printing Office has begun providing access to legislation from the 113th Congress in four compressed XML files — one for bills, one for resolutions, one for joint resolutions, and one for continuing resolutions.

This consolidates access to information about legislation in the House of Representatives. It is an incremental step forward for technologists who build tools that make it easier to explain to the rest of us what Congress is doing.

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The Case for Political Software as a Commodity, Not a Weapon

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, July 13 2012

It's the people, stupid. That's the message that some progressives have for colleagues like Netroots Nation's Raven Brooks, who called for a boycott of the political software startup NationBuilder, and Matt Browner Hamlin, who says he'll stop recommending the software to clients, all because NationBuilder has struck a deal to provide software to Republican candidates for state legislatures. Read More

Transparency Advocates Frustrated With House Appropriators' Plan To Make A Plan

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, May 30 2012

Open government advocates are up in arms over what appears to be another attempt by government bureaucrats to stall the move to enable bulk data downloads of legislative information online. Read More

Conservatives Group-Write Anti-Gun Control Missive

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 8 2009

The person who passed along a note on this topic framed it by saying something along the lines of "it's not every day you see conservatives doing neat new stuff online!" Fair enough. GovTrack's Josh Tauberer is ... Read More

Daily Digest: Questions, Cats, and Chaos Avoidance

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, January 14 2009

Quizzing RNC Hopefuls: The race to be the next Republican National Committee chair is heating up, and it remains particularly fascinating because no clear front-runner has emerged. With two weeks left before the vote ... Read More

Daily Digest: From Local Gadfly to Internationally Known

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, October 1 2008

The Web on the Candidates The Email Heard 'Round the World: The LA Times' Erika Hayasaki has the back story on Anne Kilkenny. Anne Kil-who? Oh, you know, the Alaskan who wrote an email critiquing her fellow Wasillan ... Read More

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In Mexico, A Wiki Makes Corporate Secrets Public

Earlier this year the Latin American NGO Poder launched Quién Es Quién Wiki (Who's Who Wiki), a corporate transparency project more than two years in the making. The hope is that the platform will be the foundation for a citizen-led movement demanding transparency and accountability from businesses in Mexico. Data from Quién Es Quién Wiki is already helping community activists mobilize against foreign companies preparing to mine the mountains of the Sierra Norte de Puebla.

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NY Study Shows How Freedom of Information Can Inform Open Data

On New York State's open data portal, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has around 40 data resources of varying sizes, such as maps of lakes and ponds and rivers, bird conservation areas and hiking trails. But those datasets do not include several data resources that are most sought after by many New York businesses, a new study from advocacy group Reinvent Albany has found. Welcome to a little-discussed corner of so-called "open government"--while agencies often pay lip service to the cause, the data they actually release is sometimes nowhere close to what is most wanted. GO

Responding to Ferguson, Activists Organize #NMOS14 Vigils Across America In Just 4 Days

This evening peaceful crowds will gather at more than 90 locations around the country to honor the victims of police brutality, most recently the unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday. A moment of silence will begin at 20 minutes past 7 p.m. (EST). The vigils are being organized almost entirely online by the writer and activist Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones), with help from others from around the country who have volunteered to coordinate a vigil in their communities. Organizing such a large event in only a few days is a challenge, but in addition to ironing out basic logistics, the National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14) organizers have had to deal with co-optation, misrepresentation, and Google Docs and Facebook pages that are, apparently, buckling under traffic.

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