FreshWrap: Advice to civic hackers, open data field guide, paint your city

There were a ton of great civic stories this week. I used to do a weekly “FreshWrap” highlighting these, and I’ll try do this regularly when I can, so here’s the first attempt back.

Here’s what made my radar this week.

Commentary on Knight’s open government challenge includes civic hacking advice from TechPresident Managing Editor Nick Judd and a reply from Philadelphia Chief Data Officer Mark Headd and Upworthy senior engineer Ryan Resella. See also what Global Integrity says the challenge tells us about open government.

Didn’t know Nick Grossman was activist in residence at Fred Wilson’s Union Square Ventures, but here’s a great talk on peer progress and regulations 2.0. Will more VCs follow suit?

Socrata releases an “Open Data Field Guide.”

The Guardian Data Blog and Google are hosting a open government data visualization challenge.

Greece gets a CKAN-powered open data platform.

Does big data open government and foster innovation?

Open Banking Project aims to bring financial transparency to organizations.

Interested in speaking at the 2013 National Association of Government Webmasters National Conference?

Atlantic Cities profiles Derek Eder‘s work: Chicago’s Secrets, Revealed Through User-Friendly Apps

For the designers out there, Brand New links up to a microsite on New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual.

Take back your city with paint:

Luke Fretwell is the founder of the civic innovation and technology blog GovFresh. He advises civic leaders and businesses on how to best leverage digital strategies to create more effective, collaborative governments. He has written about government IT for Federal Computer Week, NextGov, FedScoop, StateScoop and FierceGovernment, and has been referenced by the Washington Post and Fast Company on civic technology issues. He has worked with a number of government-focused companies and media, including CivicActions, NuCivic and FedScoop and has been involved in broad-focused community efforts, such as GovPress, CityCamp, CivicMeet, Agile Government Leadership and Open Source for America. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Thank you

Every day I get to engage with entrepreneurs, public sector innovators and journalists on re-imagining and re-energizing how government works, what it means to be “civic,” and this year has been an incredible one for many friends and colleagues.

Funding government technology

I’m always inspired talking and working with entrepreneurs trying to solve big civic problems, especially those who realize much of the challenge lies within modernizing and empowering internal government operations, so it was great to finally meet with Govtech Fund Founder and Managing Partner Ron Bouganim this week.

Government and the ’empowered product owner’

The 18F Delivery team released a “Partnership Playbook” that aims to help federal agencies understand what to expect when working with 18F, and the gem within is play number two, “We work with an empowered product owner.”

Benchmarking for better government

Citizens simply glaze over when they are confronted by a sea of large numbers with many zeros. These figures need to be relatable to the person reading the data. Otherwise, open data is just more data that dies on the vine.

Why local government must go digital

The Welsh Government released a report of its findings on how local government in Wales can better leverage digital technologies and realize significant savings while still providing quality, scalable citizen services.

‘No ugly, old IT.’

“No ugly, old IT” jumped out at me when I first reviewed DataSF’s strategic plan, “Data in San Francisco: Meeting supply, spurring demand,” and it still sticks, mostly because someone inside government was so bold as to make this a priority and openly communicate it and also because this should be a mantra for everyone building civic technology.

Why is a big deal

Enabling internal government tech shops to quickly stand up applications in a secure testing environment is fundamental to quick prototyping, and 18F’s new is a major step in realizing ultimate IT flexibility.


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