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May 14 2010

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Gov 2.0 Week in Review

Since last week's Gov 2.0 Week in Review was well-received, we're going to make it a regular feature. If you have news and tips about the government 2.0 space, please let me know at or @digiphile on Twitter.

Open Government Initiative checkpoint

Gov 2.0 Expo 2010Over at, federal CIO Vivek Kundra and CTO Aneesh Chopra posted an initial assessment of open government plans, evaluating "version 1.0" of agency plans against the requirements of the Open Government Directive. The White House also published an updated open government scorecard that includes specific self assessments. Analysts Andrew DiMaio and Alan Webber both observed that no agency failed the initial assessment.

The White House's Office for Science and Technology Policy teamed up with the Case Foundation for a policy innovation summit today in Washington on "citizen-centered solutions." The event included a livestreamed conversation with Sonal Shah regarding the use of contests, prizes and other initiatives to engage the public in policy making.

Government Web managers meet

Will better websites lead to better government? If the government Web managers that assembled in DC this past week achieve their goals, many signs point to "yes." As the Washington Post reports, is being redesigned to promote interaction.

The event kicked off with a conversation between White House new media director Macon Phillips and Vivek Kundra on changing online government. White House priorities for electronic privacy include HIT, smart grid and education.

More details emerged about "FedSpace," a forthcoming social networking platform for federal employees will get their own social network this fall. Steve Ressler, the creator of Govloop, a social network for government employees, posed five ideas for FedSpace success.

Many of the videos from the government Web manager's conference are available on-demand at uStream, including GSA Administrator Martha Johnson speaking to the conference via Skype.

The federal government URL shortener, currently in beta, is also seeing increased use. enables government employees to create short URLs from official government domains, such as .gov, .mil,, or According to Sam Algood, has already shortened 6009 URLs that have been clicked 1111895 times.

Social media election in Britain

The impact of the Internet on the 2008 presidential election in the U.S. was clear. Now the world is seeing how the Internet is changing politics in Britain. Can Twitter celebrities swing a vote? After Gordon Brown's moment of truth, it's clear the social Web can cut both ways.

Pew Internet report on online government

New research from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project showed unprecedented numbers of citizens turning to the Internet for government data, policy and information about services. According to the report on online government, use of government websites for info is nearly ubiquitous among Internet users. Nearly one third of U.S. Internet users are using social media to access government services and information. And the use of social media by government has particular appeal for engaging minorities that have been traditionally underserved. Micah Sifry's assessment? The report showed substantial citizen participation but little government engagement.

Loosening up legislatures

The House of Representatives entered the live online video age with the launch of, a livestream of what's happening on the House floor.

Can citizens help legislators make better laws? Cristiano Faria offers up a government 2.0 case study in legislation from Brazil.

Lives lived in public online are likely to change the vetting process for government, just as they have for admission to colleges or workplaces. Promiscuous online culture is likely to change that vetting process permanently.

Government gets more social

The U.S. Air Force began opening social media access on all of its bases this week.

The Department of Defense is now using uStream to feature lectures from its generals at

The Library of Congress provided on updated FAQ on Twitter inclusion in its archives.

NASA's cloud grows, Federal CIOs urge changes

The open source NASA Nebula cloud computing infrastructure has gone bi-coastal. According to the Register, NASA will open a second Nebula site at Goddard Space Flight Center, outside of DC, although NASA's new CTO for IT, Chris Kemp, will stay in Silicon Valley. His colleague, NASA CIO Linda Cureton, sees the changes at the agency as a positive for IT missions.

Federal CIOs are urging changes to entice IT workers into government employ. A new report, "Net Generation: Preparing for Change in the Federal Information Technology Workforce," emphasized how the expectations of young IT workers are changing with new technology and cultural shifts around its use.

Microsoft extends government offerings

Following the introduction of Townhall, Microsoft launched Gov2Social, a directory of government social media accounts that uses Silverlight and the Azure cloud computing platform. Microsoft's move towards "we-gov" will depend upon people using the platform provides by Gov2social to populate the social media directory, instead of submitting accounts to or other resources.

FEMA goes mobile

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said that people will be able to register for disaster relief from their cellphones, reported the Atlantic Monthly's Marc Ambinder. THe newly stripped-down mobile version of,, is optimized for the screens and more limited bandwidth of mobile phones.

On Internet Freedom, Open Government and Policy

Tim Berners-Lee spoke about the value of the open government and the World Wide Web as part of an open data panel at the 2010 WWW Conference at Elon University. "It turns out the data is much more powerful when matched up with something else online," said Berners-Lee. "The real benefit of the Web is the serendipity. You find that people will use the information for all kinds of other things.” Berners-Lee will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming Gov2.0 Expo in Washington next month.

This week in Washington, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Larry Strickling also delivered an important speech on Internet Policy 3.0: All Hands on Deck, where he discussed governance, online privacy, regulation and intermediary liability for ISPs.

Alec Ross, the State Department's senior advisor for innovation, shared his perspective on Internet freedom as the opening speaker at Princeton University’s CITP’s conference on Internet Security and Internet Freedom. Ross' talk touched upon China, which, with 384 million wired citizens, has the most online users of any nation, even if that number means penetration is currently only 30% of its populace.

China's Internet paradox, however, will continue to bedevil observers who seek to categorize its netizens into censored masses, fast-moving entrepreneurs or free speech beneficiaries.

Government 2.0 Bits and Bytes

Andrew Hoppin was named New York State's CIO of the Year for his innovative work on

David Hale gave more insight into the origins of Pillbox, an innovative pill identification system at NIH.

The FBI launched a new form to accept electronic Freedom of Information Act requests at

Mark Headd wrote a useful guide to 311 and Open311 for Govfresh.

The Sunlight Lab's Design for America contest continued to receive entries. Winners will be announced at SunLightLabs' contest at #DCMM. Winners announced at the Gov2.0 Expo.

EveryBlock partnered with SeeClickFix to add feedback to its feeds.

Oregon public schools became the first in nation to use Google Apps for Education.

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