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Posts tagged ‘opengov’

25
Nov

Open Data For Government Goes Coast to Coast (Are you Ready?)

A natural leader in the open data movement, Adriel Hampton is on a mission and that mission is to get you (yes you) involved.

“On December 10-11, at the winter CityCampSF Hackathon, Gov 2.0 advocates will publicly launch an advocacy campaign to institute an open data standard in San Francisco municipal and California state law.”

If open data standards is something you believe in, as most of us in the business do, Adriel is really working on a major movement here.  Sure it may be focused on San Fran right now, but nothing stays in the bounds of a single city and/or state when the answer is one that actually applies coast to coast.  And the best way to get from one city to across the nation is to have help from everyone from all over.

So what does “open data” mean to you?  Does it mean enough that you’ll jump on board and help out a movement?

Look over the materials Adriel has put together, throw some help his way, and be a part of the future.  It’s happening now..

[Source: Adriel Nation]

20
Jul

The Woz Effect: Innovation For Tomorrow, Today! (Are You In?)

I think everyone probably has at least heard bits and pieces of what Steve Wozniak’s Key Note at FOSE yesterday, however I think it’s very important we wipe away our awe for a moment and look long and hard at just what he said. To most technorati, or at very least technology proficient, folks in and out of government probably agreed with the core basics of what “The Woz” shared. However, as you read on below I want to ask you to consider this: What are we doing as a Government, a Public, and as an Individual to actually affect the types of changes that are required to move towards a better future?

To the point, GovWin’s Knowledge Editor Sean Tucker, has laid out his take on the major themes of Mr. Woznaik’s Key Note and I have laid them out below for easy consumption:

On the Role of Technology in Our Lives:
“Instead of the three-day workweek we envisioned, we now have a world where both parents have to work full-time just to pay the bills. I’m not sure how we lost that dream.” –The Woz

Seems like a fairly valid point, when the development of technology lead us to the point that we are required to undertake more effort and time to complete tasks that would have taken less time without technology. Granted, there are plenty of examples time saving is demonstrated by technology. However, I believe the point being made here is that we have created technology (e.g., netbooks, tablets, smart phones, etc) that seem to only distract us more than simply complete the tasks of making a phone call and/or checking your email.

On the Role of Government in the Technology Market:
Primarily the point to take home on this topic is that it has been a long held belief that the technology market is and has been driven by government need (e.g., science, military, etc.) creating a bit of a technology trickledown effect. However, Mr. Wozniak reiterated that the consumer markets really should be where the tech drive comes from; building on his point that technology is supposed to, “make life easier.”

On Motivation, and Innovation:
“You learn so much when you do things for yourself, for your own personal reasons,” – The Woz

Mr. Wozniak went on to explain that many tech companies in the past and today have allowed employees to explore innovation personally and that this pays in dividends time and time again. When you have personal drive to accomplish something you are interested in, as humans, we typically step up in order to solve the problem. A re-innovation of self-motivation is long overdue in government and out. How do we re-ignite the “spark of innovation?” (I think there are a few things at work now, but more can always be done to unleash the power of the individual.

Additionally, Mr. Wozniak also made one statement that largely impacted me: (To paraphrase) Woz pointed out that more focus should be made on in-house innovation and development than on commercial off the shelf (COTS) type products. Having the ability to have coders and innovators in house means you can develop to solve your problems, your way. In the long run this equals more innovation, streamlining of processes, and systems that can be adjusted in a more agile environment where you no longer have to rely on contractors and/or the vendor to make changes. (Novel concept.)

On the Cloud:
“The cloud is getting closer and closer,” he said. “Close to 15 years ago, at my father’s wake, Steve Jobs talked to me about ‘oh my gosh, some day all these things we do that are close to us are going to be out there, done in the cloud,” – The Woz

Yup, so the cloud is here, now what? (This seems to be the main point being shouted by most.) Mr. Wozniak seems to think, and I agree, that we are looking at a culture issue and not much else. The technology is there, it’s getting better every day, so why aren’t we doing so much more in the cloud? Well adoption of the technology and a confidence from a security perspective is probably what holds us back currently, so focus must remain on gaining acceptance.

On the Future:
“All this technology — what has it done for the world?” he asked. “Well, computers allow each person to do more work and use more energy, and more energy means more pollution, so computers have probably increased pollution in the world. Every time we make a computer that can do something for it, we make ourselves less important.” – The Woz

And he’s right, his theme rang throughout his statement and he concludes on the same topic: People matter.

Conclusion:
So, what does this all mean? It means there is a lot to be done, even though a great deal has been done to get us here. Time to pick ourselves up and become motivated, even in the face of adversity, to go forward and innovate for the sake of doing so, to better the world.

“Every time we say we’re just at the start, we’re right,” –The Woz

…and we are just at the start of something, are you in?

[Source: GovWin]

18
Jul

Mass Media Engagement: How Journalists are Using Google+

By now most are probably like me, someone who actually likes Google+ (Transparency), are probably starting to grow a little wary of the number of blogs on Google+ that talk about how awesome or un-awesome (it’s a word..seriously..) it is. Okay, fair enough, I have written my share on this topic and comments until my fingers were getting blisters from attempting to dispel ignorance and stupidity (yeah..there is a difference, look it up, you’ll feel slightly more intelligent for having done so.) However, every now and again I actually have stumbled across an article and/or blog that makes an interesting point in the use of the technology. What a novel concept I thought, mostly to myself, an article that actually is talking about the use of the tech and for actual benefits. (Engagement type benefits no less.)

For today’s discussion, I want to focus on a Mashable article (5 Ways Journalists Are Using Google+) as it has taken a position from an actual group of end users and discusses some interesting things that have found their way out of the bottomless pit of random egotism and otherwise useless junk we tend to find on social outlets. I mean seriously, do we actually care what people have put on their Facebook wall or tweeted about for the 15th time today? Meaningful content is becoming difficult to separate from the general noise of social media. Anyway, I digress.

The Five Ways:

  1. “Talking About Google+”: As the article points out, this is a no brainer. Google+ is new, shiny, and ripe with controversy surrounding issues like privacy, functionality, and how it’s not Facebook. Not much to be said here, news is news. Love it or hate it, new tech is always going to leave plenty to talk about.
  2. “Hosting Audience ‘Hangouts’” (TV/Web News): This is probably one of my favorite points the author talks about. A news organization in Columbia, Missouri hosts ‘Hangouts’ in Google+ while on the air. This allows viewers to log in and interact with staff, etc while they are on the air. Staff can then use the discussion and content from the ‘hangout’ to answer viewers questions and/or mention someone’s point of view. (Granted this is similar to tech like UStrea, Justine.TV, etc Google is taking it to the main stream.) Want to talk about social engagement? *BAM* Social engagement.
  3. “Engaging Readers” (Written News): I’ve enjoyed this concept already personally. A handful of reporters I follow are actively engaging their friends/followers as they post articles. This is not a “fire and forget” environment like their primary news organization’s website. Reporters are engaging their readers for feedback, open discussions, etc. (Don’t believe me? Follow +Dan Patterson of ABC News)
  4. “Analyzing News Coverage”: This is similar to “Engaging Readers” mentioned above. Reporters are starting to use their stream to have discussions about their content instead of just stating journalistic “fact” and moving on. News that is interactive is always more interesting to me. You can watch stories evolve and get multiple input from people all over the World. This allows for a more inclusive world view on developing stories and may provide input you may never had considered.
  5. “Showing Personality”: Okay, so this one isn’t really Google+ specific. However, I think is a great point to mention when talking about journalists interacting with people. You can see their personality, how they think, and as an end user of their content you can understand their perspective on issues. This is important in the news cycle and to active news junkies.

So, as stated when we started: These concepts probably could be applied to any tech in the space right now, however Google+ for some reasons is the break out leader in journalists using the medium in order to engage their audiences and push content. It will be interesting to see what adjustments, if any, Google makes as this becomes more so the case. (Or if other social media giants will make adjustments in their tools to attempt to gain a piece of the growing news based organization pull Google+ is amassing.) Say, what you will, but I promise you if you take a close look: It’s most journalists, media specialists, content providers, etc that are filling up the Goolge+ streams right now and the engagement is very high so far.

Now it’s time to stand by and watch agile development in its beauty go to work during this beta and watch how it impacts other forums as well.

Stay Classy Washington!

15
Jul

Big Business Recruiting Via Social Networks Trending Upwards

I think we’ve all seen and heard the articles about how companies are starting to conduct “social media background investigations,” but how many companies are actually using social networks as a recruiting mechanism?  Well, Jobvite has come to us with an answer via a survey they have now been conducting for nearly four years, annually, and the results for 2011 are quite interesting.

According to results:

  • 89% will recruit in social networks this year
  • 55% will spend more on social recruiting
  • 64% use 2 or more networks for recruiting
  • 78% expect increased competition for hires

So, what does this tell us?  Well, historically it would appear that a rather large percentage of those polled (nearly 800 individual HR and recruiting specialists) support the use of social media/networks for recruiting and by year’s end nearly 89% of those polled will be actively using this method to scout out new talent.

Needlessly put, it’s time to polish up your social chops and be prepared to “wow” because your open presence is now officially in the spotlight.  Will your profile shine?