August 10, 2010

Cool Gov 2.0 sites you don’t know about

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Web 2.0-fueled resources to help each other as citizens

Target audience: Political activists, change agents, NGOs, nonprofits, social change organizations, educators, librarians, citizens.

JD LasicaIt’s become a cliché to be skeptical of what government can do for society. But there’s a burgeoning movement called Government 2.0, the term for attempts to apply the social networking and integration advantages of Web 2.0 to the practice of government.

Part of our mission at Socialbrite is to break down silos between sectors. We think activists, NGOs, nonprofits, cause organizations and others can benefit by taking advantage of the panoply of Gov 2.0 sites and resources that have sprung up in the past few years.

I’ve put together the following directory of Gov 2.0 resources — I’m guessing some of these will be new to you. Know of others? Please share your own favorites in the comments below.

See Socialbrite’s Sharing Center for the full directory of Gov 2.0 resources.

Government entities

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Data.gov: Helping the public share useful information

Data is at the heart of Internet applications. Data.gov, which launched in May 2009, seeks to not just provide greater access to government data but to establish a framework that makes it possible for the public to create and share useful data. From the site: “As a priority Open Government Initiative for President Obama’s administration, Data.gov increases the ability of the public to easily find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the Federal Government. Data.gov provides descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata), information about how to access the datasets, and tools that leverage government datasets. The data catalogs will continue to grow as datasets are added. Federal, Executive Branch data are included in the first version of Data.gov.” Start by browsing the Tool Catalog. See also: Open Government blog, Open Government Initiative, Open Government Working Group

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Apps.DC.gov: The app store for Washington, DC

We think Apps.DC.gov rocks — it provides apps and Web 2.0 solutions created or funded by the city of Washington, DC’s technology team as well as third-party apps created by independent developers. In some ways superior to the federal gov’s Data.gov, Apps.DC.gov provides a model for city governments everywhere to follow. Included are apps on where to find parking in DC, historic tours, crime info, wi-fi locations and a DC atlas. Related: Data.DC.gov, DataSF.org.

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GovLoop: Keeping gov employees in the loop

Asocial network for government begun in 2008 by a single federal employee in his spare time on the social platform Ning, GovLoop now has more than 30,000 members at all members of government. Its goal is simple: to foster communication and share ideas among government staffers.

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Apps.gov: Taking your agency to the cloud

Aproject of the U.S. General Services Administration, Apps.gov is a resource for cloud computing applications designed to make federal agencies harness Web 2.0 technologies such as cloud computing. The si