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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Open Government: Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ismail Elshareef

    This book is comprised of 34 essays written by thought leaders in both technology and government who are passionate about open data. The authors argue the case for "openness" in government and offer best practices and examples (several case studies included at the end as well) for building, supporting and evangelizing Open Platforms in government. With the clout of Social Networks and hacker communities, the idea of being "open" isn't as radical as it used to be several years ago, and the book cl This book is comprised of 34 essays written by thought leaders in both technology and government who are passionate about open data. The authors argue the case for "openness" in government and offer best practices and examples (several case studies included at the end as well) for building, supporting and evangelizing Open Platforms in government. With the clout of Social Networks and hacker communities, the idea of being "open" isn't as radical as it used to be several years ago, and the book clearly capitalizes on that. Almost all successful companies have open APIs today. These companies realize that it is "data accessibility" that will invariably create value for the consumer-and their business. So why can't governments do the same? The book argues the case for governments to "open up" and give access to their data (e.g. documents, bills, voting records, proceedings, initiatives, ...etc) so that the electorate is informed and able to fully participate in governance, which is in effect the ultimate goal of democracy. Out of all 34 essays, Tim O'Reilly's "Government as a Platform" offered the most comprehensive blueprint for what needs to be done to get to the next level in Open Government. He offers seven lessons, or principles, that lead to Open Platform. These aren't government specific, which makes them even more valuable to anyone interested in the subject of Open Platform. The seven principles are: 1- Open Standards Spark Innovation and Growth 2- Build a Simple System and Let It Evolve 3- Design for Participation 4- Learn From Your "Hackers" 5- Data Mining Allows You To Harness Implicit Participation 6- Lower the Barriers to Experimentation 7- Lead by Example The principles are pretty self-explanatory and Tim fleshes each one out with examples and guiding thoughts. I highly recommend reading those sections twice to fully understand what they require of you and your company to build a successful Open Platform. The principle that resonated with me the most was #2. I see this all the time (I'm guilty of it sometimes too): Engineers embark on an elaborative architecture quest to build the most "awesome" or "kick ass" software that will undeniably be the best platform EVER. The only thing is they often end up with a convoluted, unmaintainable system that ends up being "legacy" in no time. Tim quotes John Gall's Systemantics: "A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true. A complex system designed from scratch never workes and cannot be make to work. You have to start over, beginning witha working simple system. It's so very true." At the end of his essay, Tim O'Reilly offers ten practical steps that government agencies can adopt to be more open. If you don't have time to read the entire book, I strongly recommend you read his chapter. In the end, the paramount beneficiary of Open Platforms is the Consumer. In government, the consumer is the Electorate. President Obama understood that. He is the first US President to fully embrace the Open Government movement. We saw clear signs of that during his campaign in 2008 and in the release of data.gov and change.gov. A few weeks back, I went to interview protesters at the Occupy LA encampment in downtown Los Angeles as part of my research for the new startup I co-founded, Voterspring.com. When I asked the question, "how do you think we can hold government accountable?" The overwhelming answer was, "information and transparent access to it." This book paves the road to open and transparent government. Now the ball is in the government's court.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marshall

    Open Government, or Government 2.0, is the project to overhaul government around open source culture and open culture principles. It's about more than just transparency in government, though that's certainly a part of it. It's about creating a platform that facilitates participation in government, just as Wikipedia is a platform that facilitates participation of its readers. This seems to me the only way to truly deliver on the promise of democracy, and this book convinced me this is an inevitab Open Government, or Government 2.0, is the project to overhaul government around open source culture and open culture principles. It's about more than just transparency in government, though that's certainly a part of it. It's about creating a platform that facilitates participation in government, just as Wikipedia is a platform that facilitates participation of its readers. This seems to me the only way to truly deliver on the promise of democracy, and this book convinced me this is an inevitable trend which is already underway, though there are many obstacles. It's actually a collection of essays on a variety of subjects, including government bureaucracy, open source software, open standards, case studies of existing tools, and speculation about what an open government could be like. My favorite is "Government as a platform" by Tim O'Reilly. It's a vision of government that both liberals and conservatives would cheer as the kind of government they'd like to see. Quite a feat. There are also a lot of lame essays in here, especially toward the end. My recommendation is that you read this book until you get bored, then set it down. But don't miss "Why open digital standards matter in government" toward the end. This is something more people need to know about, and it was so well explained.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Matías

    While dense at times and currently showing its age, it is a good outlook on all that could be done (or was being done then) with the added advantage of another decade of experience under our belts

  4. 4 out of 5

    Noah

    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 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. Review "In general, readers new to social media will enjoy an extensive introduction that accurately describes the current state of Internet communities and provides significant insight into the historical trends that have led us into the Twitter age...One step toward achieving a well executed social media marketing campaign involves understanding the best ways to engage communities. Weinberg's book is a great place to start." --Armando Roggio, Practical eCommerce "...a heck of a book." --Chris Brogan, ChrisBrogan.com "I think what readers will find expecially useful is the straightforward and example rich approach Tamar takes in explaining how companies and individuals can succeed towards marketing goals through thoughtful participation. Getting advice from someone who has 'been there, done that' can save a substantial amount of resources, money and shorten the time to get up to speed." --Lee Odden, Online Marketing Blog "Want the nitty gritty details of social media success? Weinberg (the Queen of Smart) has literally hundreds of great tips in this book." --Steve Cunningham, Mashable.com 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.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Louis

    Open Government is a set of essays about the role of government in providing information. The premise is that government collects all types of data, then distributes it, in effect reducing the cost of information that leads to inefficiencies. But because government, like any commercial company, cannot predict how information can or needs to be used, the argument is that it should follow the lead of Web 2.0 type companies and open up its information systems so that its clients (i.e. private citiz Open Government is a set of essays about the role of government in providing information. The premise is that government collects all types of data, then distributes it, in effect reducing the cost of information that leads to inefficiencies. But because government, like any commercial company, cannot predict how information can or needs to be used, the argument is that it should follow the lead of Web 2.0 type companies and open up its information systems so that its clients (i.e. private citizens) can access the information already collected and figure out for themselves how to use it. The essays are all about working with government information systems at some level. While the tone of many of the essays is optimistic and idealistic to an extreme, this is balanced by the number of authors who have actually implemented something at some level. There are a range of private activists, government agencies, political operatives (both Democratic and Republican), and people that need to use government data to do their business. The range of access they describe ranges from communications (using social media such as Twitter as a means of receiving and disseminating messages) to data APIs that allow others to develop applications with based on government collected data. The main theme is that part of the role of government is to gather and disseminate information. But, very much like the Web 2.0 companies have found, providing an end service is nice, but you can increase your value to your customers by exposing the information in a way that others can figure out how to use it. In the case of government data, instead of the government agency determining what types of summaries are useful, enable access to the raw data so that people can create their own summaries and reports, to further their own ends making greater use of the data that the government put so much effort into collecting and recording. Similarly, instead of only having limited ways of gathering information, government can take advantage of capabilities in internet communications to allow citizens to communicate with the government and process that in the same ways that data analysts process the interactions between private companies and their customers. Making it easy to communicate with the government and using the results of that communication to make government more effective should be possible in the same ways that private companies have been able to do the same. I'm peripherally associated with an effort to make government collected and distributed data usable, in our case a non-government organization. And a big part of this experiment is to see what can we do now that we have taken this data, that was published on government websites in a non-usable form, and converted it into usable, computer readable, forms. I will have a class of students who are going to find out, and see first hand the issues discussed in this book. Notice: I received a free electronic copy of this book through the OReilly Press Blogger Program.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anton Antonov

    The book does a good job at explaining the pros of the E-Government (Gov 2.0). However the book format (40 essays) is resulting in repetitiveness after reading the first 10 essays. The idea to have many people contribute to the book resulted in a bit of a mess that repeats over and over topics that were already reviewed one way or another in a previous chapter. I get that everyone of the author-collaborators must voice their opinions, but the reader kinda got it on the 3rd time he read the same thi The book does a good job at explaining the pros of the E-Government (Gov 2.0). However the book format (40 essays) is resulting in repetitiveness after reading the first 10 essays. The idea to have many people contribute to the book resulted in a bit of a mess that repeats over and over topics that were already reviewed one way or another in a previous chapter. I get that everyone of the author-collaborators must voice their opinions, but the reader kinda got it on the 3rd time he read the same thing. Another issue is the countries addressed. There are countries like Denmark, Montenegro, Philippines, Italy and etc. (as ranked by opengovpartnership.org), that can be used as a good example. No need to go all pro-USA, even though they are one of the least open.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Max Novendstern

    The essays in this book are uneven in quality and often repetitive -- but their central argument, captured in the phrase "open government," is profound. The book paints a picture of the future of American democracy: a new period of openness and citizen-to-citizen participation, facilitated by powerful collaborative technologies and widely distributed tools for citizen co-creation. Tim O'Reilly's "Government as Platform" is the urtext of the whole Gov 2.0 movement, and is absolutely brilliant. Be The essays in this book are uneven in quality and often repetitive -- but their central argument, captured in the phrase "open government," is profound. The book paints a picture of the future of American democracy: a new period of openness and citizen-to-citizen participation, facilitated by powerful collaborative technologies and widely distributed tools for citizen co-creation. Tim O'Reilly's "Government as Platform" is the urtext of the whole Gov 2.0 movement, and is absolutely brilliant. Beth Simone Noveck's "Single Point of Failure" is another highlight.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tassos

    An ok book, at least the part that I read. I felt that there was a lot of repetition on each chapter, each talking about the same subject and presenting a slightly different perspective. Thus, I got bored and stopped reading... I found chapter 2 from Tim O'Reily though really interesting. An ok book, at least the part that I read. I felt that there was a lot of repetition on each chapter, each talking about the same subject and presenting a slightly different perspective. Thus, I got bored and stopped reading... I found chapter 2 from Tim O'Reily though really interesting.

  9. 5 out of 5

    박은정 Park

    B5 사이즈의 500장이 넘는 두꺼운 책. 정독하는 것은 크게 의미가 없을 것 같아서 오후 동안 재밌어 보이는 부분들만 읽어봤는데, 포퐁에게 주는 implication이 제법 있어보인다. 그래도 아직 안개가 완전히 걷히지는 않았다. 우리의 역량은 뭐지? 무엇을 하는 것이 우리에게 가장 의미가 있지? 어떤 것이 가치있는 일이지? 고민이 더 필요하다. 대화가 더더 필요하다.

  10. 5 out of 5

    فاروق الفرشيشي

    Some interesting texts but there's so much american politics there. It really looks like a promoting book for Obama than a technical one. Some interesting texts but there's so much american politics there. It really looks like a promoting book for Obama than a technical one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Tollervey

    Dipped in to some of the essays. Sometimes they were too utopian/idealistic for me. Enjoyed many of the ideas.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kam Yung Soh

    Released as a free ebook by O'Reilly as a tribute to Aaron Swartz. Released as a free ebook by O'Reilly as a tribute to Aaron Swartz.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Granger

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sunderance

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ankit

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brian Frank

  18. 5 out of 5

    S. ILKER BIRBIL

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro Acosta

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rob

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lana

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Taylor-Farrell

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ibrahim Elbadawi

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matej

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gyn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ricardo Garcia-Amaya

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wirunwan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Thiago Rondon

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