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US City Sets Bar for E-Government

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James@SanDiego
James@SanDiego  
12/10/2013 8:56:00 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: E-Government
What an awakening story Mary.  Who'd of thunk that a once backwoods town like Louisville would lead the way in technology?  But with the University there it does make sense.  I remember some years ago that San Diego touted itself as the most wired or techno advanced city in America.  But a lot of tech companies have left San Diego and moved onto lower taxed burgs.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
12/10/2013 12:50:06 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: E-Government
That's enormous growth, Nicole. Really rocketing. Given how fast cities are growing anyway, I predict this keeping up too for a long while.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/10/2013 12:46:55 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: E-Government
It may be taking time, but it is definitely catching on. I've just read a statistic from the Knight Foundation which says that the civic tech field has grown, on average, 23 percent per year, since 2008 (in terms of how many organizations are operating in this space).

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
12/10/2013 12:45:39 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: E-Government
Leaving open-ended requests gives hackers room to imagine, which is what you want from creative IT types. Good thinking, wbalthrop!

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
12/10/2013 12:44:11 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: E-Government
I hate that you couldn't help the injured bird, @Nicole. We need so many services in our cities. There's no end of need. Happily, the era of civic data has arrived; it just seems to be taking time to really catch on.

wbalthrop
wbalthrop  
12/10/2013 11:37:03 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: E-Government
I agree Nicole. On the one hand, getting hactivists involved may lead to solutions that the city just does not have the resources for. On another, when these young people are free to be creative, they come up with wonderful ideas that we would never have imagined. Perhps, we may be able to do both if we approach it correctly.

They are currently planning to hold one of these hackathons every three months. Most of the folks involved are programmens from Zappos by the way. They have completed their move into my old office space here in downtown Las Vegas. They bring a culture of innovation with them that is like a breath of fresh air to the community. Perhaps we can offer suggestions for one and then at the next leave it open ended.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/10/2013 11:21:24 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: E-Government
Sounds like a great experience, wbalthrop. To use Mary's word, I love the proactive approach the city is taking in offering suggestions to the hackers. At the same time, though, I do think some of the best ideas come from "consumers" of the city... When I walk around New York, I often think of ways I'd like to be interacting with my city government. Like, the other day I sought out an easy way to report an injured bird on the sidewalk and found that there wasn't an easy way, or a way at all. So I think it's imperative that ideas for improving city government through data come from within the government as well as from the citizenry.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
12/10/2013 9:54:06 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: E-Government
It's terrific that the city not only engaged civic hackers but provided them with a list of needs. That is proactive and sure to produce at least one or two usable apps -- such as the animal rescue program. As time passes, this kind of approach can only build strength and produce more sophisticated and useful results.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
12/10/2013 9:40:54 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: E-Government
The role of CIO has been shifting for a long time for sure, and now in addition to incorporating executive business capabilities, it seems to require sales and marketing expertise. The CIO has to sell the IT budget to management, and convince them of the importance of key tech projects. Not always easy.

wbalthrop
wbalthrop  
12/9/2013 7:23:20 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: E-Government
I had the pleasure of judging a civic hackathon in collaboration with Code for America last Friday here in Las Vegas (ranked #5 in the list). I saw a lot of really cool ideas. The winner was an app that lets people register lost or found pets and search for lost pets at the shelters.

One thing we discussed after the event was the need to provide the hackers with a list of things the city would like to see them do. For the next event we plan on providing them with a list of ideas that the city would like to do but lack the resources.

It's often also valuable to get people to think outside the box because you get ideas that we never thought of. So the list we provide should just be suggestions, not a required list.

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