Synopses & Reviews
In a world where web services can make real-time data accessible to anyone, how can the government leverage this openness to improve its operations and increase citizen participation and awareness? Through a collection of essays and case studies, leading visionaries and practitioners both inside and outside of government share their ideas on how to achieve and direct this emerging world of online collaboration, transparency, and participation.
Contributions and topics include:
- Beth Simone Noveck, U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer for open government, "The Single Point of Failure"
- Jerry Brito, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, "All Your Data Are Belong to Us: Liberating Government Data"
- Aaron Swartz, cofounder of reddit.com, OpenLibrary.org, and BoldProgressives.org, "When Is Transparency Useful?"
- Ellen S. Miller, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, "Disrupting Washington's Golden Rule"
- Carl Malamud, founder of Public.Resource.Org, "By the People"
- Douglas Schuler, president of the Public Sphere Project, "Online Deliberation and Civic Intelligence"
- Howard Dierking, program manager on Microsoft's MSDN and TechNet Web platform team, "Engineering Good Government"
- Matthew Burton, Web entrepreneur and former intelligence analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency, "A Peace Corps for Programmers"
- Gary D. Bass and Sean Moulton, OMB Watch, "Bringing the Web 2.0 Revolution to Government"
- Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, "Defining Government 2.0: Lessons Learned from the Success of Computer Platforms"
Open Government editors:
Daniel Lathrop is a former investigative projects reporter with the Seattle Post Intelligencer who's covered politics in Washington state, Iowa, Florida, and Washington D.C. He's a specialist in campaign finance and "computer-assisted reporting" -- the practice of using data analysis to report the news.
Laurel Ruma is the Gov 2.0 Evangelist at O'Reilly Media. She is also co-chair for the Gov 2.0 Expo.
Were living in a world characterized by exponential change. Most government organizations werent built for this world. The movement from closed to open is one of the most important ways governments can adapt to faster change. Open Government
offers insight on how to get from here to there. It should be required reading for anyone who cares about the future of the public sector.
-- William D. Eggers, Author of If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government and Government 2.0 William D. Eggers
Government is becoming more responsive and effective due to the Open Government movement. This book is written by the people, and for the people, who are interested in making Open Government happen.
-- Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist Craig Newmark
is a comprehensive compendium of the who, what, how, and why of the emergent national "Gov 2.0" movement; it's a must-read for all who care about transparent, efficient, and participatory government, which, by definition, should equate to each and every one of us in our capacity as citizens and voters.
-- Andrew Hoppin, CIO, New York State Senate Andrew Hoppin
Open government is one critical part in making happen what some may think impossible: a government that actually works.
-- Lawrence Lessig, director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics and professor of law at Harvard Law School Lawrence Lessig
Land use decisions affect our lives profoundly, but until recently, urban planning was the arcane craft of technocrats. This insightful book shows how you and other citizens can be involved at every step of the process with the help of free and inexpensive mapping and statistical applications. You'll learn how planning works, from early question setting to final decision making to later evaluation, and how you can use these new tools to make your own contributions to the process.
Shape Your Neighborhood demonstrates how and why the citizen input leads to more flexible decision-making and, ultimately, a richer, more responsive experience in many communities. Want to help decide what happens in your area? Read this book, and learn how to join the conversation.
- Learn the tools you need to determine whats happening in a given geographical area, and forecast what might come next
- Understand the importance of local context, including variations in political and planning culture and detail
- Explore the financial and legal considerations that often drive planning
- Present your story for maximum influence by understanding how to combine technical knowledge with political application
Politicians, professors, pundits, and programmers come together to provide a multi-faceted and nonpartisan account of the history and future of government as it becomes more transparent, collaborative, and participatory. A portion of the royalties will go to two non-profit organizations. The Obama presidential campaign was historic for many reasons, including it's unprecedented use of the Internet and Web 2.0 technologies. Transparency and open government are two primary issues of this administration and we see technology playing an integral part in it, especially with the appointment of the country's first-very CIO and CTO. Topics include: government as a platform, the argument for open source software, transparency, citizen journalism, visualizing political controversies, security and transparency, digital divide, history of the online gov't, and campaigning.
About the Author
Daniel Lathrop is a former investigative projects reporter with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He has covered politics in Washington state, Iowa, Florida and Washington D.C. He was a senior researcher on the New York Times bestselling "The Buying of the President 2004" by Charles Lewis. He is a specialist in campaign finance and "computer assisted reporting," the practice of using data analysis to report the news. He writes code in Perl, Python and PHP. He was the primary architect of the data for the Center for Public Integrity's successful Lobbywatch project, which provided the first truly searchable online database of federal lobbying available to the general public. He supervised the data team that developed CPI's Power Trips investigation of Congressional junkets.
Laurel Ruma is the Gov 2.0 Evangelist at O'Reilly Media. She is the co-chair for the Gov 2.0 Expo. Laurel joined the company in 2005 after being an editor at various IT research/consulting firms in the Boston area. Laurel went to Union College and is a photographer and homebrewer.
Table of Contents
Foreword; Preface; How This Book Is Organized; Safari® Books Online; How to Contact Us; Acknowledgments; Chapter 1: A Peace Corps for Programmers; 1.1 Tipping Point: The Extinction of Pencils; 1.2 Competition Is Critical to Any Ecosystem; 1.3 Creating a Developer Corps; 1.4 Conclusion; 1.5 About the Author; Chapter 2: Government As a Platform; 2.1 Government As a Platform; 2.2 Lesson 1: Open Standards Spark Innovation and Growth; 2.3 Lesson 2: Build a Simple System and Let It Evolve; 2.4 Lesson 3: Design for Participation; 2.5 A Robustness Principle for Government; 2.6 Lesson 4: Learn from Your "Hackers"; 2.7 Lesson 5: Data Mining Allows You to Harness Implicit Participation; 2.8 Lesson 6: Lower the Barriers to Experimentation; 2.9 Lesson 7: Lead by Example; 2.10 Practical Steps for Government Agencies; 2.11 About the Author; Chapter 3: By the People; 3.1 About the Author; Chapter 4: The Single Point of Failure; 4.1 The Closed Model of Decision Making; 4.2 New Technologies and Civic Life; 4.3 Participatory Democratic Theory in the Age of Networks; 4.4 About the Author; Chapter 5: Engineering Good Government; 5.1 The Articles of Confederation and the Stovepipe Antipattern; 5.2 Continued Maintenance: The Blob and Confederacy; 5.3 Conclusion; 5.4 About the Author; Chapter 6: Enabling Innovation for Civic Engagement; 6.1 Citizen Initiatives Lead the Way; 6.2 Providing for Reuse and Innovation; 6.3 Data Authenticity Down the Line; 6.4 Why Bother with Bulk?; 6.5 Conclusion; 6.6 About the Authors; Chapter 7: Online Deliberation and Civic Intelligence; 7.1 Definitions and Assertions; 7.2 Democracy, Deliberation, and the Internet; 7.3 Findings and Issues; 7.4 Conclusion; 7.5 About the Author; Chapter 8: Open Government and Open Society; 8.1 Transparency's Moment?; 8.2 The Dark Side of Open Government; 8.3 The Missing Diagnosis; 8.4 Targeted Transparency; 8.5 A Matter of Politics; 8.6 Conclusion; 8.7 About the Authors; Chapter 9: "You Can Be the Eyes and Ears": Barack Obama and the Wisdom of Crowds; 9.1 Change.gov Shows How to Change the Gov; 9.2 "You Can Be the Eyes and Ears"; 9.3 Recovery.gov Site Still Under Construction; 9.4 Online Town Hall or "Participation Theater"?; 9.5 Open Data and Open Government; 9.6 Co-creation, Co-optation, or Collision?; 9.7 About the Author; Chapter 10: Two-Way Street: Government with the People; 10.1 Pockets of Excellence: The Goverati; 10.2 Conclusion; 10.3 About the Author; Chapter 11: Citizens' View of Open Government; 11.1 The First "We President"; 11.2 The Internet Has Made Us Lazy; 11.3 Toward a Findable Government; 11.4 Advanced Citizenship; 11.5 Conclusion; 11.6 About the Author; Chapter 12: After the Collapse: Open Government and the Future of Civil Service; 12.1 The Coasean Collapse; 12.2 The Long Tail of Public Policy; 12.3 Patch Culture; 12.4 The End of Objectivity; 12.5 Two Preconditions to Government As Platform: Capacity for Self-Organization and Collaboration; 12.6 Extend the Network; 12.7 The Next Civil Service Culture: The Gift Economy; 12.8 Conclusion; 12.9 About the Author; Chapter 13: Democracy, Under Everything; 13.1 Many Voices, Many Messages, One Government; 13.2 My Idea; 13.3 Revealing Obscured Government Data; 13.4 Improving Communication without Being Crushed by Email; 13.5 How to Improve Civic Engagement; 13.6 Conclusion; 13.7 About the Author; Chapter 14: Emergent Democracy; 14.1 Democracy As a Scaling Mechanism; 14.2 Limiting Factors and the Internet; 14.3 Building an Emergent Democracy; 14.4 The Road to Emergent Democracy; 14.5 About the Author; Chapter 15: Case Study: Tweet Congress; 15.1 Tweet Congress: Build an App, Start a Movement; 15.2 Starting the Movement: We Are All Lobbyists Now; 15.3 So, Who Gets It?; 15.4 Impact; 15.5 Conclusion; 15.6 About the Authors; Chapter 16: Entrepreneurial Insurgency: Republicans Connect With the American People; 16.1 Entrepreneurial Insurgency and Congress; 16.2 Congress Tweets, Too; 16.3 I YouTube, You YouTube; 16.4 Social Media and the Fight for Transparency; 16.5 Conclusion; 16.6 About the Author; Chapter 17: Disrupting Washington's Golden Rule; 17.1 The Bad Old Days: When Insiders Ruled; 17.2 This Is the Mashable Now; 17.3 What Comes Next; 17.4 About the Author; Chapter 18: Case Study: GovTrack.us; 18.1 Opening Legislative Data; 18.2 Screen Scraping Congress; 18.3 Engaging the GovTrack Community; 18.4 Conclusion; 18.5 About the Author; Chapter 19: Case Study: FollowTheMoney.org; 19.1 Accessing Political Donor Data Fraught with Problems; 19.2 The National Institute on Money in State Politics' Role in the Fight for Greater Transparency; 19.3 Bolstering the Spirit of Public Disclosure Laws; 19.4 State-Level Transparency Faces Serious Challenges; 19.5 In an Ideal World: Recommendations for Open Data; 19.6 Conclusion; 19.7 About the Author; Chapter 20: Case Study: MAPLight.org; 20.1 Why We Founded MAPLight.org; 20.2 MAPLight.org's Unique Contribution; 20.3 Nuts and Bolts: Using MAPLight.org; 20.4 Barriers to Transparency; 20.5 Conclusion; 20.6 About the Author; Chapter 21: Going 2.0: Why OpenSecrets.org Opted for Full Frontal Data Sharing; 21.1 The Decision to Let Go of the Data; 21.2 It's Not Easy Being Open; 21.3 Creating a New Model for Transparency; 21.4 The Future Is Now; 21.5 Conclusion; 21.6 About the Author; Chapter 22: All Your Data Are Belong to Us: Liberating Government Data; 22.1 Liberating Government Data: Carl Malamud Versus the Man; 22.2 Disclosing Government Data: Paper Versus the Internet; 22.3 Accessing Government Data: Open Distribution Versus Jealous Control; 22.4 Demanding Government Data: Public Money Versus Private Research; 22.5 RECAP: Freeing PACER Documents for Public Use; 22.6 Conclusion; 22.7 About the Author; Chapter 23: Case Study: Many Eyes; 23.1 Policy; 23.2 From Policy to Politicians; 23.3 Visual Literacy; 23.4 Conclusion; 23.5 About the Authors; Chapter 24: My Data Can't Tell You That; 24.1 The How and Why of Data Collection; 24.2 Federal Data: Approximations Galore; 24.3 Good Data Doesn't Mean Good Results; 24.4 Conclusion; 24.5 About the Author; Chapter 25: When Is Transparency Useful?; 25.1 Sharing Documents with the Public; 25.2 Generating Databases for the Public; 25.3 Interpreting Databases for the Public; 25.4 An Alternative; 25.5 About the Author; Chapter 26: Transparency Inside Out; 26.1 Complexity Creates Opacity; 26.2 Transparency, Meet Institutional Inertia; 26.3 Kaleidoscope IT: One-Off Apps Obscure Information; 26.4 A Market Focused on Proposals, Not Products; 26.5 Framing the Window; 26.6 Conclusion; 26.7 About the Author; Chapter 27: Bringing the Web 2.0 Revolution to Government; 27.1 Government Transparency: Three Hurdles; 27.2 Putting It All Together: Disclosure of Federal Spending; 27.3 Conclusion; 27.4 About the Authors; Chapter 28: Toads on the Road to Open Government Data; 28.1 What Is Government?; 28.2 Data Collection; 28.3 Exposing the Soul of Government; 28.4 Conclusion; 28.5 About the Author; Chapter 29: Open Government: The Privacy Imperative; 29.1 Privacy-Enhancing Practices; 29.2 Conclusion; 29.3 About the Authors; Chapter 30: Freedom of Information Acts: Promises and Realities; 30.1 The Act and Amendments; 30.2 Conclusion; 30.3 About the Author; Chapter 31: Gov→Media→People; 31.1 Crowdsourcing in Action; 31.2 Conclusion; 31.3 About the Author; Chapter 32: Open Source Software for Open Government Agencies; 32.1 Advantages of FLOSS for Government and Public Agencies; 32.2 Best Practices: Management; 32.3 Best Practices: Technical; 32.4 Best Practices: Social; 32.5 Make It Easy to Experiment and Learn; 32.6 Conclusion; 32.7 References; 32.8 About the Authors; Chapter 33: Why Open Digital Standards Matter in Government; 33.1 Badly Used Technology Hinders Progress; 33.2 The Digital Age Explained; 33.3 Standards and the Problems with Digital Technology; 33.4 The Huge Positive Potential of Digital Technologies; 33.5 Free and Open Standards and Software: The Digital Basis of Open Government; 33.6 Conclusion; 33.7 About the Author; Chapter 34: Case Study: Utah.gov; 34.1 A Historical Perspective; 34.2 What Today's Landscape Looks Like; 34.3 Champions Discovered in All Branches of State Government; 34.4 The Dramatic Shift to Web 2.0 Principles and Tools; 34.5 Making Data More Accessible; 34.6 Conclusion; 34.7 About the Author; Memo from President Obama on Transparency and Open Government; Colophon;