"No ugly, old IT."

‘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.

Source: Cloud.gov

Why Cloud.gov 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 Cloud.gov is a major step in realizing ultimate IT flexibility.

Source: prototype.fcc.gov

FCC launches beta FCC.gov

Based on “extensive user research,” the Federal Communications Commission has launched a beta version of fcc.gov that aims to make the site “more useful and accessible to FCC stakeholders.”

President Barack Obama, left, Air Force Col. Lee Rosen, Commander, 45th Launch Group, center, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk talk with Dr. John P. Holdren is Assistant to the President for Science and Technology during a tour of the commercial rocket processing facility of Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Thursday, April 15, 2010.

Elon Musk as government innovator

After reading Ashlee Vance’s new Elon Musk biography, I find myself wondering whether we should really worry about bad government websites, and instead chalk them up as inspiration for those who will change the world.

Jake Brewer speaking at PDF 2014. (Photo: Personal Democracy Media)

Thank you, Jake

There have been countless, beautiful anecdotes on Jake’s compassion, humility and contributions, and there’s nothing I can add that would do justice to honor the influence he’s had on me other than to say, Jake, I miss you so much, and you will be with me always as I try to live up to the standards you set for those of us still here.

Agile Government Leadership

Retrospecting agile government

Last week, I was in New Orleans for the CivicActions corporate retreat, and presented to the team on the work done around Agile Government Leadership, and I wanted to share some of this here because, while there’s still much to do around changing government project management practices, we’ve accomplished a great deal over the past 18 months since its inception.

Source: data.nucivic.com/dashboard

What should governments require for their open data portals?

My fundamental suggestion is that government-run open data platforms be fully open source. There are a number of technical and procurement reasons for this, which I will address in the future, but I believe strongly that if the platform you’re hosting data on doesn’t adhere to the same licensing standards you hold for your data, you’re only doing open data half right.

7 books for better digital government

7 books for better digital government

Continuing on my book cleaning spree, I wanted to highlight a few web product design and development books I’m getting rid of that are helpful for anyone focused on providing government digital services.

Tennessee

Tennessee’s new logo

There is a lot of shortsighted chatter around the state of Tennessee’s new branding efforts and, while I don’t have a strong opinion on the logo aesthetics, which has received criticism for its $46,000 price tag, it’s important to commend the holistic approach to uniformity and why this will benefit residents (and taxpayers) in the future.

U.S. Capitol

5 a16z podcast episodes for government

I recently discovered Silicon Valley venture capital firm a16z’s podcast series, and it’s a sign of the times that a VC is leveraging media in a way that not just promotes their portfolio companies, but also addresses the government and regulatory affairs issues Silicon Valley, startups and technology companies increasingly face.

12 books for better government

12 books for better government

I’m doing some spring cleaning and parting ways with a number of my beloved government-focused books. Before I do, I wanted to share the ones I’m letting go of that I highly recommend to those involved in re-thinking the way government works, and its changing role given the way the world is evolving.

Photo: Luke Fretwell

Cities and startups

Fred Wilson’s talk with The New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin during the recent Cities for Tomorrow 2015 conference about how cities can create startup hubs is a must-watch for mayors.