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Open Government: Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice--New from O'Reilly: Opening Up Government and Making It Work

February 22, 2010

Sebastopol, CA—The Obama presidential campaign was historic for many reasons, including its unprecedented use of the Internet and Web 2.0 technologies. Transparency and open government are two primary issues of this administration and we see technology playing an integral part of it, especially with the appointment of the country's very first CIO and CTO.

The concept of open government has been influenced--for the better--by the open source software movement. Indeed, if government is a platform, and Gov 2.0 is the next release, how can we make it one that shakes up--and reshapes--the world?

Fortunately, in a timely new book from O'Reilly, Open Government (O'Reilly Media, $44.99 USD), Beth Simone Noveck, U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer for open government, and Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, along with dozens of leading visionaries and practitioners both inside and outside of government attempt to answer that question. In the new book, they share their ideas on how to achieve and direct this emerging world of online collaboration, transparency, and participation.

"Government 2.0 is the use of technology--especially the collaborative technologies at the heart of Web 2.0--to better solve collective problems at a city, state, national, and international level," writes O'Reilly in his essay, "Defining Government 2.0: Lessons Learned from the Success of Computer Platforms." "The hope is that Internet technologies will allow us to rebuild the kind of participatory government envisioned by our nation's founders, in which, as Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to Joseph Cabell, 'every man…feels that he is a participator in the government of affairs, not merely at an election one day in the year, but every day.'"

All these contributors and more offer practical solutions as we step into the future:

  • Beth Simone Noveck, U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer for open government, The Single Point of Failure
  • Jerry Brito, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, All Your Data Are Belong to Us: Liberating Government Data
  • Aaron Swartz, cofounder of reddit.com, OpenLibrary.org, and BoldProgressives.org, When Is Transparency Useful?
  • Ellen S. Miller, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, Disrupting Washington's Golden Rule
  • Carl Malamud, founder of Public.Resource.Org, By the People
  • Douglas Schuler, president of the Public Sphere Project, Online Deliberation and Civic Intelligence
  • Howard Dierking, program manager on Microsoft's MSDN and TechNet Web platform team, Engineering Good Government
  • Matthew Burton, Web entrepreneur and former intelligence analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency, A Peace Corps for Programmers
  • Gary D. Bass and Sean Moulton, OMB Watch, Bringing the Web 2.0 Revolution to Government
  • Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Defining Government 2.0: Lessons Learned from the Success of Computer Platforms

Advance Praise
"Open government is one critical part in making happen what some may think impossible: a government that actually works."
--Lawrence Lessig, director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics and professor of law at Harvard Law School

"Government is becoming more responsive and effective due to the Open Government movement. This book is written by the people, and for the people, who are interested in making Open Government happen."
--Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist

"Open Government is a comprehensive compendium of the who, what, how, and why of the emergent national "Gov 2.0" movement; it's a must-read for all who care about transparent, efficient, and participatory government, which, by definition, should equate to each and every one of us in our capacity as citizens and voters."
--Andrew Hoppin, CIO, New York State Senate

"We're living in a world characterized by exponential change. Most government organizations weren't built for this world. The movement from closed to open is one of the most important ways governments can adapt to faster change. Open Government offers insight on how to get from here to there. It should be required reading for anyone who cares about the future of the public sector."
--William D. Eggers, Author, If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government and Government 2.0

For a review copy or more information please email peyton@oreilly.com Please include your delivery address and contact information.

Daniel Lathrop is a former investigative projects reporter with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He has covered politics in Washington state, Iowa, Florida and Washington D.C. He was a senior researcher on the New York Times bestselling "The Buying of the President 2004" by Charles Lewis.

Laurel Ruma is the Gov 2.0 Evangelist at O'Reilly Media. She is the co-chair for the Gov 2.0 Expo.

Additional Resources:
For more information about the book, including full table of contents, author bios, and cover graphic, see: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596804367.

For a sample of the book, see:

To hear about Tim O'Reilly's viewpoint on Gov 2.0, see:
"Do It Ourselves".

Open Government
Edited by Daniel Lathrop & Laurel Ruma
ISBN: 9780596804367, 432 pages,
Book Price: $44.99 USD, £34.50 GBP
Ebook Price: $35.99 USD


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