Real eGovernment from CrisisCommons re: oil spill

Oilreporter The folks at are a global network of grassroots volunteers who are passionate about and effective at using open tech to really help people in times and places of crisis. They're the real deal.

They just launched, which is a way for people and responder groups to use the new tech to figure out what's going on in the big Gulf of Mexico oil spill, maybe help with cleanup.

Here's more, in their own words:

Oil Reporter was launched by CrisisCommons as an open data initiative to encourage response organizations to use mobile technology, geolocation and open data for greater information sharing and situational awareness during the Gulf Coast oil spill response and recovery. This initiative provides response organizations with an opportunity to create their own Oil Reporter mobile app, track their own data submitted by volunteers, add data elements to the open API and tap technical assistance from San Diego State University help aggregate and visualize data into useful products and tools.


Will 2010 be the new 1517?

I've been looking for lessons from history regarding social media, and found a nerd/policy wonk partnership that was enormously successful.

Turns out, we had this nerd Johannes Gutenberg, who invented mass media, via the printing press, but it really didn't go anywhere for a long while. That's much like the Internet, which was around decades before it really took off.


Stepping up: Silicon Valley Partnership: The Innovators Fund

OK, the deal is that our country is about helping others out in a culture of trust and generosity. I'm thinking like the Marshall Plan of 60 years ago, a great expression of shared values that also prevented a lot of extremism and built markets.

Me personally, I feel that we should be that "shining city on the hill."

Here's a new first step in that direction, with some very minor involvement from me. I'm guessing my focus will be on the evolution of large-scale grassroots involvement via social media.


Veterans Affairs Open Government Initiative

OPENGOV_VA_412  Okay, a general theme of the Open Government thing is that people in the private and public sectors can work together, sometimes using some new tech. That way, taxpayers get more effective service from the government, better customer service, ultimately getting what we pay for.

That's a really big deal for all Americans, particularly when it comes to helping out troops who risked everything for us, often taking a bullet for us.


Q&A with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Part 2

Two weeks ago, the Federal Communications Commission submitted its first-ever National Broadband Plan to Congress. In Part 1 of this series, the FCC’s chairman, Julius Genachowski, took the time to explain why the United States needs a new, comprehensive approach to broadband and what the goals of the Plan are.

In Part 2, the chairman takes a step back and looks at the “big picture,” discussing his vision for the FCC as an organization and communications issues that he has prioritized since becoming its chief.


Q&A with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) submitted its first-ever National Broadband Plan to Congress. It’s a big step toward bringing the United States up to speed with other advanced nations in broadband adoption and use. Recognizing the growing role of high-speed Internet access in the United States’ communications infrastructure, the plan outlines a new and ambitious vision for broadband over the next 10 years.

Among other recommendations, the plan proposes subsidizing Internet broadband providers that service rural areas, auctioning broadcast spectrum in order to make room for mobile Internet devices and funding a nationwide wireless public safety network to help different authorities coordinate an efficient response to national disasters, terrorist attacks and other public emergencies.