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Navigating New York's "Road Map for the Digital City," One Year In

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 8 2012

In May 2011, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed a "Road Map for the Digital City," a plan to use technology to make city government more and participatory, and to leverage the city's tech sector for economic and civic gains.

New York City Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne will join our editorial director, Micah Sifry, on a conference call this Friday afternoon to discuss the progress on that road map so far. The call is free and open to anyone to join. You can sign up here.

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New Slang: Indian Government Launches a Wiki for Economic Jargon

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 31 2011

Photo: Trilok Rangan / Flickr On the occasion of the Indian Economic Service's 50th anniversary, the government agency has launched Arthapedia, a wiki to define obscure economic terms. Launched yesterday, Arthapedia is ... Read More

Get Your Nerd On: Aspen Institute's #FOCAS11

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 3 2011

Watch live streaming video from aspeninstitute at livestream.com The Aspen Institute's Forum on Communications and Society, a four-day event on the way governance and civic life is changing in the networked world, began ... Read More

White House Applauds Technological 'Champions of Change'

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 3 2011

In Virginia, residents can go online to watch hundreds of hours of footage of floor speeches from the state legislature. A tool to analyze data on asthma attacks is expanding use, providing medical information that could ... Read More

From Tracking Fires to Fixing Potholes, a Roundup of Open Data Projects in Russia

BY Becky Kazansky | Friday, July 8 2011

After our post on the open data contest Apps4Russia late last month, we received an email from Gov 2.0 proponent Alena Popova, the chief executive officer of Gov2Project.ru, an incubator that invests in and consults with ... Read More

Meet Commons, the Mobile, Social Gamification of 311

BY Becky Kazansky | Tuesday, June 21 2011

New Yorkers have a new way to identify problems and solutions in their city with the launch of Commons, a mobile, social game which aims to make 311 an easy and social experience through a platform for citizens to ... Read More

The Growth of Hometown Hacking

BY Nick Judd | Monday, May 23 2011

Inspired by soon-to-be-expatriate Chicagoan Christopher Groskopf, Virginia web designer S.D. Salyer now says he'll do for his native Washington County, Va., what Groskopf has begun to do for Tyler, Tex.: Following in ... Read More

New York Releases 'Road Map for the Digital City'

BY Nick Judd | Monday, May 16 2011

Watch live streaming video from nycgov at livestream.com New York City will develop an open government framework featuring APIs for city data, relaunch its website and make a host of changes to the way it presents ... Read More

'Engage Omaha:' a Web Platform for Citizen Input

BY Nick Judd | Friday, May 13 2011

Late last month, the City of Omaha launched a web platform to collect citizen input on budget priorities for its next budget. The platform is an instance of MindMixer, built by an Omaha-based company focused on idea ... Read More

'Hacking Tyler' to Chronicle Digitization of a Small Texas Town

BY Nick Judd | Monday, May 9 2011

A news app developer at the Chicago Tribune promises to chronicle his efforts to improve a small Texas town's community, through technology, in a new blog announced in The Atlantic: Tyler has information that could be ... Read More

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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