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Free the Data: The Debate Over APIs and Open Government

BY Alex Howard | Monday, March 17 2014

Photo: Jonathan Gray

As the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) catches on across government agencies, third-party developers, open government advocates, and government techies are debating whether this should become the gold standard for open data, and if so, whether such services should be free. Read More

Honolulu Mayoral Candidates Commit To Using Tech For Greater Transparency

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, August 10 2012

Hawaii's open government advocates want the city of Honolulu to not only be known for its natural abundance of sunshine, but also for sunshine into its local government processes. Read More

Seven Ideas to Reboot Government Innovation In San Francisco

BY Luke Fretwell | Thursday, January 26 2012

Luke Fretwell writes:

"There’s been a great deal of discussion lately around the topic of government innovation, especially here in San Francisco, with the appointment of a new chief innovation officer, a new “civic accelerator,” a new venture with a consortium of Bay Area technology companies and a new technology and innovation task force led by SF Mayor Ed Lee.

All signs point to a bright gov 2.0 future for SF but, before we get too excited, let’s look back so we can learn how to best overcome the past two years of innovation inertia."

Read More

Technology in Politics, Crazy-Cameos-in-Campaign-Videos Edition

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, October 25 2011

So here's this, the second absurd campaign video of the day, for San Francisco mayoral candidate and current interim mayor Ed Lee. It features cameos by Google's Marissa Meyer, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Giants closer ... Read More

Open Government in the White House: Dead or Alive?

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 23 2011

There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth since the news broke that White House Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra will be leaving in August. Absent Kundra's drive, goes the thinking — most recently ... Read More

Tonight, a Mayoral Debate on Open Government in San Francisco

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 16 2011

Thursday night in San Francisco, Lotus Development Corporation founder Mitch Kapor will moderate a discussion about open government, civic engagement, technology and innovation between some of the leading candidates for ... Read More

In San Francisco, Open Government Becomes a Campaign Issue

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, May 24 2011

GovFresh's Luke Fretwell writes that five candidates for mayor of San Francisco have signed an open government pledge modeled after framework language, the Local Open Government Initiative: This is the first step in a ... Read More

SF Mayoral Hopefuls Will Gather to Talk Open Gov

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 14 2011

GovFresh's Luke Fretwell has an announcement: "Eight major San Francisco mayoral candidates will participate in SFOpen 2011, a townhall forum focused specifically on open government, citizen engagement and ... 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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