How Technology should be used to promote Open Government

March 11, 2012

[Note: Earlier today, my post on Technology and Open Government was published on GeekWire. I have posted a replica here.]

The Washington Coalition for Open Government  organized a conference this weekend to commemorate the 40th anniversary of our state’s landmark Initiative 276 and the Open Public Meetings Act (and to discuss the past, present and future of open government).  I was one of the speakers at the conference and spoke about using technology to promote open government.  Here is an overview of what I talked about.

Read the rest of this entry »

Civic Software, Twitter and the Moldova and Iran elections

June 17, 2009

Very few companies focus exclusively on civic software. Cascade Software Corporation is one of them (though that will change soon). A lot more non-profits and foundations work for social good and the country and world are better off because of their work.

However, in many different ways, Read the rest of this entry »

User Review: Government Spending app

May 1, 2009

While talking about TV coverage of the app, I had mentioned that writing the iPhone “Government Spending” app was a lot of fun.

I also enjoyed reading the first review on iTunes. Here is what the reviewer said about the app.

‘Wow is this an eye-opener! No opinions here, just the facts. Straight information from the government’s own databases on who’s been getting federal contracts, and for what since 2000. You can look it up by department, by state or even by item – which makes for some very interesting browsing.
Try looking up ‘land mines’, for instance, and you’ll see a sharp escalation in 2008. What’s the story behind that ??

And that, in a nutshell, is what you get from this very handy app: the straight story on what the government has been buying with your tax dollars.  This is one reference app that will actually raise more questions than it answers – as well it should. Kudos to the developers for a nice job in putting this information into a format that’s easy (and fun) to explore.’