Government 2.0: The Rise of the Goverati

This Post was reposted from here

Shared by Jemimus

There are several aspects of the Obama presidency that excite me. This is probably the number 1 for me. – Seen on

Everyone knows how well Barack Obama’s presidential campaign made use of new media to raise money and market the candidate. We also know how big a role social technology played during inauguration week, from handheld flip HD footage appearing on network TV to people reporting on Twitter about what they liked and disliked. After President Obama took office, spirited debates proliferated in the blogosphere about whether or not is Web 2.0-enabled and what the role of President Obama’s CTO might be. But one striking trend has largely flown under the national radar: the rise of the goverati.


What is the goverati? It is made up of people with first-hand knowledge of how the government operates, who understand how to use social software to accomplish a variety of government missions, and who want to use that knowledge for the benefit of all.

The goverati includes not only government employees, but also people from think tanks, trade publications, and non-profits. And it includes high-profile thinkers outside of the government who have an interest in a more open, transparent, and efficient government; people such as Joe Trippi, Craig Newmark, and Tim O’Reilly. Using formal and informal social networks, the goverati is networking, sharing information, and changing how parts of the government interact with each other and with citizens.

About a week ago, President Obama issued a memo on this very topic. The memo, which affects all Executive Branch employees, has three main pillars: government should be more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. Social software will be part of an overall strategy to make this happen, spearheaded by the CTO, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the General Services Administration (GSA). The naming of a “New Media” czar, Macon Phillips, will no doubt push the process along and keep branches well informed.

There are many barriers to this kind of change, so many they would be overwhelming to list. But the changes that are happenening are being covered by the mainstream press, and they are being enacted mainly by — you guessed it — the goverati.

Case in point: webmasters. Numerous policies and customs restrict the government’s use of things like commercial websites to host video and cookies to track visitors. Insiders from across the government have written a number of white papers that explain the problems (without using jargon) and outline reasonable solutions (here’s one of those white papers).

Former CIO of the Department of Defense, Dr. Linton Wells II, often comments to me that battles in government are often won by the most persistent. And the goverati are certainly persistent. It knows that momentum and timing are on its side, and it is pressing its agenda on Washington.

But changing the government is not like changing Apple Computer. President Obama issuing a directive is not the same as Steve Jobs issuing one. It simply doesn’t work that way, for all kinds of reasons. To change government, you must be persistent, have a hook, and know when and how to leverage connections and power to “muscle” change. And there are usually competing factions, outside interests, political seasons, etc.; it’s a very delicate business.

But interestingly, just as the goverati is fighting for a more transparent, participatory, and collaborative government, it is also leveraging the social tools it loves so much to become a body more powerful than the sum of its parts. The informal Government 2.0 social network GovLoop was developed by a DHS employee in his spare time; in a few months, it has surged to over 5000 members. Intelink, the intelligence community’s internal social network and information hub, is awash in blogs and other communication about the topic. Events are sprouting up everywhere, most notably non-profit ones planned by insiders and advertised primarily by word of mouth.

The Sunlight Foundation, which uses the power of the Internet to shine light on the interplay of money, lobbying, and government, is hosting an unconference in late February called Transparency Camp, in which open-government advocates from all walks of life (tech, policy, non-profit, etc.) can talk across organizational and party lines in a casual atmosphere about new strategies for goverment transparency. It is sold out. This is exactly the kind of event you can expect the goverati in Washington and elsewhere to be holding in the next year as we transform President Obama’s memo into a reality within government.

Closer to home, three partners and I have recently established the Government 2.0 Club, modeled on Social Media Club. Government 2.0 Club will bring together thought leaders in government, academia, and industry from across the country to explore how social media and Web 2.0 technologies can create a more transparent, participatory, and collaborative government. Local “Clubs” will hopefully also sprout up to discuss issues specific to them. And the first Government 2.0 Camp is happening in Washingston in late March.

The excitement over new social technologies has not abated in Washington. Change is indeed on the way. The intriguing part is the mechanism by which it is happening. By using these social tools to network and share information among themselves, the goverati is helping to spread the use of these very tools throughout the government.

Mark Drapeau
Dr. Mark Drapeau is a biological scientist, government consultant, and author. He has a B.S. and
Ph.D. in animal behavior, conducted postdoctoral research on complex genomic and neural systems, and has published writing in Science,
Nature, Genome Research, American Scientist, the New York Times, the Washington Times, and other venues.


Go to Source

First Round Capital Literally Makes All Their Startups Dance

This Post was reposted from here

Shared by Jemimus

This just makes me smile 🙂

Just in – the most ridiculous (and, yes, awesome) holiday card ever. First Round Capital, quoting James Brown, says “Any problem in the world can be solved by dancing” and then promptly shows video clips of each and every one of their portfolio companies…dancing. The whole thing is inspired by WhereTheHellIsMatt, they say. It’s not pretty. But I sure am smiling.

The YieldX guys, at 1:48, look like they are about to be hit by a car. Because they are dancing in the middle of the street in San Mateo.

Crunch Network: CrunchBoard because it’s time for you to find a new Job2.0

Go to Source

Revisiting “A Vision of Students Today”

This Post was reposted from here

Gedeeld door Jemimus

God I hope my own generation is going to do better by tomorrows students. But I look around me and see it still isn’t so. When will the tools of todays internet become “normal” to the “adults”.. is it happening yet? If it is, I don’t see it.

(originally published on Britannica Blog)

In spring 2007 I invited the 200 students enrolled in the “small” version of my “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology” class to tell the world what they think of their education by helping me write a script for a video to be posted on YouTube. The result was the disheartening portrayal of disengagement you see below. The video was viewed over one million times in its first month and was the most blogged about video in the blogosphere for several weeks, eliciting thousands of comments. With rare exception, educators around the world expressed the sad sense of profound identification with the scene, sparking a wide-ranging debate about the roles and responsibilities of teachers, students, and technology in the classroom.


Go to Source

BBC to track a shipping container around the world: The Box

This Post was reposted from here

Gedeeld door Jemimus

This is so cool, I love this kinda stuff. 🙂

The BBC is sticking a GPS in a shipping container and sending it around the world in order to reveal the secret lives of these giant steel packets:

We have painted and branded a BBC container and bolted on a GPS transmitter so you can follow its progress all year round as it criss-crosses the globe. The Box will hopefully reach the US, Asia, the Middle East , Europe and Africa and when it does BBC correspondents will be there to report on who’s producing goods and who’s consuming them…

Surprisingly, this project will not be costing the BBC much over and above the coverage costs for the editorial content.

Whilst we have paid a little for the branding of the box and some technical costs the fact this is a working container means it will be earning its own keep.

We are keeping our fingers crossed the Box does not fall overboard (it happens) and that it gives us a better understanding of what ties countries and continents together.

The Box takes off on global journey

(via Futurismic)

Go to Source