"Citizens are connected like never before and have the skill sets and passion to solve problems affecting them locally as well as nationally. Citizens are empowered to spark the innovation that will result in an improved approach to governance." - Tim O’Reilly
Tim O’Reilly the man behind the term Web 2.0, is pushing for the Government to move beyond their current use of social media as a communication tool and for Gov 2.0 to become a "platform". He says that most people believe the term Gov 2.0 is about having a social media presence, being more transparent or making government sites more open. He acknowledges that Gov 2.0 is all of those things, but to truly become a "platform" it has to build an environment in which people can innovate on top of a foundation. The government needs to provide web services to people, not just web sites.
This approach is best exemplified by the site data.gov. Data.gov is leading the way in democratizing public sector data to drive innovation and mashup applications, some that deal with crime data, graffiti, crisis action plans and best places to find jobs. The data is available to researchers and developers to perform their own analysis and build useful applications that may not have been conceived by the government on their own. (Think Apple and iPhone Apps) - This is a core tenet of a true platform. Allowing people access and the ability to contribute.
Watch O'Reilly at the recent Gov 2.0 Expo
Here are ten examples of Gov 2.0 related programs in action.
Apps for America - a developer contest for building socially responsible and useful applications. They judge their awards on it usefulness to constituents for watching over and communicating with their members of Congress, potential impact of ethical standards on Congress, Originality, and usability.
Apps for Democracy - The granddaddy of the Apps Contests - “Apps for Democracy produced more savings for the D.C. government than any other initiative.” − Vivek Kundra, former CTO of Washington, DC and current Federal CIO
Design for America - The design community stepped up and showed amazing visual ways for us to view government and imagine new ways for government to serve citizens. The one that really took the cake was a redesign of IRS.gov.
Graffiti Tracker - provides clients with GPS-enabled digital cameras to use to photograph incidents of graffiti. Photos are uploaded to our secure, web-based system and analyzed within 24 hours of submission and alert law enforcement to potential threats. Graffiti Tracker has analyzed nearly 2 million images to date.
EveryBlock- filters an assortment of local news by location so you can keep track of what’s happening on your block, in your neighborhood and all over your city. - They aim to collect all of the news and civic goings-on that have happened recently in your city.
Manor Labs- Manor Labs is an open innovation platform designed to allow you to help us solve problems that plague our local government agency. This is also a place for you to submit ideas on how we can do things better.
CrisisCommons - is a global wiki network of volunteers who use creative problem solving and open technologies to help people and communities in times and places of crisis.
Community Health Data Initiative - Secretary Sebelius of HHS brings us a major new public-private effort that aims to help Americans understand health and health care performance in their communities It utilizes open data to create Applications, Interactive health maps, “Dashboards” that enable mayors and other civic leaders to track local health performance and issues, Competitions regarding how communities can innovate to improve health performance, Viral online games that help educate people about community health, Integration of community health-related data into new venues, such as real estate websites. - This probably needs it's own blog post.
Open Government Initiative - On April 7th, 2010, every Federal department published an Open Government Plan – a concrete and specific roadmaps for making operations and data more transparent, and expanding opportunities for citizen participation, collaboration and oversight.
Who Paid Them - WhoPaidThem peeks at our understanding of political campaign funding through a series of interactive graphics.
Ask yourself this question - If your brand was an app for social change, community improvement and good, what would it be?