Tools for open government
December 8th, 2007

Christian Kreutz ckreutz pointed Smartmobs via twitter to Ethan Zuckermanns interesting post about ‘open government’ referring to a conversation hosted by Tim O’Reilly and Carl Malamud.

The topic is “Open Government” and the folks in the room are some of the leading developers working on tools to make government information – especially US and UK information – more accessible to a wider audience, including journalists, policy wonks and perhaps interested users

There’s the interesting potential for this model for document annotation to start discussions around political documents. It probably doesn’t make sense to put the text of a political speech in a wiki – the speech was delivered and the discussion is around interpretation of the words of that speech. There’s the exciting possibility that document annotation could become a new form of community interaction

It’s clear that Steinberg’s projects are largely oriented towards citizens. It’s a bit harder to know the audience for some of these other projects. Journalists? Established political activists? Lobbyists? Congressional staffers? Some projects fall into the “build it and they will come” trap. Others are compelling enough that it’s possible that people will flock to these tools as they’re made available


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