Secrecy in the Sunshine Era – The Promise and Failures of U.S. Open Government Laws

New book by Jason Ross Arnold: “A series of laws passed in the 1970s promised the nation unprecedented transparency in government, a veritable “sunshine era.” Though citizens enjoyed a new arsenal of secrecy-busting tools, officials developed a handy set of workarounds, from overclassification to concealment, shredding, and burning. It is this dark side of the […]

Twitter Analytics Now Available To Everyone

Information Week: “All Twitter users can access a detailed report on their followers and individual tweets, including impressions, clicks, and engagement. Here’s what you need to know. Twitter just made it easier for you to gauge how well your tweets resonate with your followers. Ian Chan, front-end engineer at Twitter, announced yesterday in a tweet […]

In democracy and disaster, emerging world embraces ‘open data’

Jeremy Wagstaff’ at Reuters: “Open data’ – the trove of data-sets made publicly available by governments, organizations and businesses – isn’t normally linked to high-wire politics, but just may have saved last month’s Indonesian presidential elections from chaos. Data is considered open when it’s released for anyone to use and in a format that’s easy […]

Values at Play in Digital Games

New book by Mary Flanagan and Helen Nissenbaum: “All games express and embody human values, providing a compelling arena in which we play out beliefs and ideas. “Big ideas” such as justice, equity, honesty, and cooperation—as well as other kinds of ideas, including violence, exploitation, and greed—may emerge in games whether designers intend them or […]

Riding the Second Wave of Civic Innovation

Jeremy Goldberg at Governing: “Innovation and entrepreneurship in local government increasingly require mobilizing talent from many sectors and skill sets. Fortunately, the opportunities for nurturing cross-pollination between the public and private sectors have never been greater, thanks in large part to the growing role of organizations such as Bayes Impact, Code for America, Data Science […]

The Changing Nature of Privacy Practice

Cameron F. Kerry at TechTank (Brookings): “…Numerous commenters have observed that Facebook, among many marketers (including political campaigns like U.S. President Barack Obama’s), regularly conducts A-B tests and other research to measure how consumers respond to different products, messages and messengers. So what makes the Facebook-Cornell study different from what goes on all the time […]

Enchanted Objects

Book by David Rose: “Some believe the future will look like more of the same—more smartphones, tablets, screens embedded in every conceivable surface. David Rose has a different vision: technology that atomizes, combining itself with the objects that make up the very fabric of daily living. Such technology will be woven into the background of […]

CrowdCriMa – a complete Next Generation Crowsourced Crisis Management Platform

Pitch at ClimateCoLab: “The proposed #CrowdCriMa would be a disaster management platform based on an innovative, interactive and accountable Digital Governance Framework- in which common people, crisis response or disaster response workers, health workers, decision makers would participate actively. This application would be available for mobile phones and other smart devices. Crowdsourcing Unheard Voices The main […]

Federalism and Municipal Innovation: Lessons from the Fight Against Vacant Properties

New Paper by Benton Martin: “Cities possess a far greater ability to be trailblazers on a national scale than local officials may imagine. Realizing this, city advocates continue to call for renewed recognition by state and federal officials of the benefits of creative local problem-solving. The goal is admirable but warrants caution. The key to […]

Just how well has the ‘nudge unit’ done?

Broadcast at BBC News: “Nudging – concept of changing people’s behaviour without recourse to the law but to psychology – has been one of the big policy ideas of the last few years The coalition government set up a “nudge unit”, officially called the Behavioural Insights Team, in 2010. But just how successful has it […]