The concept of open government has been influenced--for the better--by the open source software movement. Indeed, if government is a platform, and Gov 2.0 is the next release, how can we make it one that shakes up--and reshapes--the world?
Fortunately, in a timely new book from O'Reilly, Open Government (O'Reilly Media, $44.99 USD), Beth Simone Noveck, U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer for open government, and Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, along with dozens of leading visionaries and practitioners both inside and outside of government attempt to answer that question. In the new book, they share their ideas on how to achieve and direct this emerging world of online collaboration, transparency, and participation.
"Government 2.0 is the use of technology--especially the collaborative technologies at the heart of Web 2.0--to better solve collective problems at a city, state, national, and international level," writes O'Reilly in his essay, "Defining Government 2.0: Lessons Learned from the Success of Computer Platforms." "The hope is that Internet technologies will allow us to rebuild the kind of participatory government envisioned by our nation's founders, in which, as Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to Joseph Cabell, 'every man…feels that he is a participator in the government of affairs, not merely at an election one day in the year, but every day.'"
All these contributors and more offer practical solutions as we step into the future:
"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
"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
"Open Government 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
"We're living in a world characterized by exponential change. Most government organizations weren't 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, If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government and Government 2.0
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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.
Laurel Ruma is the Gov 2.0 Evangelist at O'Reilly Media. She is the co-chair for the Gov 2.0 Expo.
For more information about the book, including full table of contents, author bios, and cover graphic, see: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596804367.
For a sample of the book, see:
To hear about Tim O'Reilly's viewpoint on Gov 2.0, see:
"Do It Ourselves".
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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