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With Open Data, The Transparency Medium Can Matter As Much as the Message

BY David Eaves | Wednesday, January 30 2013

This is going to sound crazy, but bear with me: Transparency matters, even when no one seems to be watching. Read More

Government Transparency Sites: Moving into the 21st Century

BY David Eaves | Monday, September 10 2012

The new Italian open data portal, OpenCoesione, represents a genuine effort by governments to recognize how an online medium should be used, even if in a narrow context. These sites are never going to attract a million page views, and I don’t think they should be judged by that standard. What they are really doing is replacing the linear, often opaque, and almost always boring PDF or printed reports that detail how a program is delivered. Read More

Oversight Committee Hearing Explores the Future of Transparency in Federal Spending

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 14 2011

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Ca.) at today's hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Screen capture from oversight.house.gov The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform just concluded a ... Read More

Edward Tufte: Saving America from "Intellectually Impoverished" Data Design

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 11 2011

Edward Tufte; photo by Nancy Scola. Over in the Washington Monthly, Joshua Yaffa has a deep profile of information design legend Edward Tufte that includes a look at how he answered his country's call to service and got ... Read More

Recovery.gov's Stimulus Spending Tracker is Now Location-Aware, and Mobile

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 28 2011

The team behind the federal government's much-critcized Recovery.gov site recently rolled out a pair of mobile versions of the site, customized for the iPhone and iPad. The pair of Recovery.gov apps make use of the fact ... Read More

Two Years Later: Recovery.gov Still Sucks At Public Engagement

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, February 28 2011

Two years ago, Barack Obama promised the public that he was going to run government in a more transparent and interactive way. Read More

WeGov

New Pew Report on "Govt Online" Shows Big Citizen Participation But Little Govt Engagement

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, April 27 2010

"The more we can enlist the American people to pay attention and be involved, that's the only way we are going move an agenda forward. That's how we are going to counteract the special interests." --Barack Obama, ... 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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