Open Government

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Welcome to the home page for Open Government (working book title). You're probably here because you've been asked to participate in the book. As we move forward on the book, we'll be posting chapters, materials and resources here for the chapter authors.



Target publish date: September/October 2009

Working title: Open Government

Chapter deadline: June 15

Contact information:
Author/lead editor, Daniel Lathrop:
O'Reilly Open Gov editor, Laurel Ruma:

To edit this wiki: Please create an account first.

Mission Statement

Open Government will be the definitive book on government, social media and transparency.

The purpose of this book is to be a 21st century take on what it means to be an open government. We're using the goals specifically outlined by the Obama Administration in our subtitle because we want this book to be see in some ways as the manual for what the U.S. government should be doing.

As for what we tackle, the book will have sections outlining a vision for the future, a detailed picture of both the way things are, examples of how they can be and a policy path for how we get there.

That said, this is not a book just for policy wonks or just for the technorati. We want something engaging enough to interest anyone who voted in the last election and uses Twitter or Facebook. That's a big audience and a big goal, but everyone involved in this project is a big thinker who can take up the challenge.

Royalties and Dedication

A majority of royalties will be donated to Global Integrity.


Committed Contributors

Invited Contributors

Author Agreement

We'll need you to complete an agreement form to publish your essay/interview/case study. This will be posted very soon. We'd also like a photograph and biography to include with your essay in the book. Please return those files with the contract.


Laurel or Daniel can send you a copy of the authoring template for either Word or XML DocBook.

Working Outline

The following are the chapter headings as we're currently proposing them. As authors commit to topics, we will update this chapter list and create links to a page for each chapter where each author can complete a bio/contact page. Please email draft content to Laurel and Daniel.

Section I (8 chapters)

Chapter 1: The emerging world of transparency and collaboration Ellen Miller

Chapter 2: Government as a platform Author: Tim O'Reilly

Chapter 3: APIs turning democracy inside-out

Chapter 4: Open Data and Open Source in an Open Society

Chapter 5: Why Open digital standards matter in Government Marco Fioretti

Chapter 6: Wisdom of the founding fathers Daniel Lathrop

Chapter 7: State and Local Citizenship 2.0 Author: Sarah Schacht

Chapter 8: Citizen Journalists and Journalist Citizens

Section II (8 chapters)

Chapter 9: A brief history of Government Transparency

Chapter 10: The principles of transparency in government data

Chapter 11: Putting Congressional information online

Chapter 12: Following the Money Online Author: Ed Bender

Chapter 13: Going 2.0, Why We Opted for Full Frontal Data Sharing

Chapter 14: Hyperlocal data for citizens

Chapter 15: Transparency and Governance Around the World

Chapter 16: Title TBA Author: Gary Bass

Chapter 17: Transparency and Security

Section III (7 chapters)

Chapter 18: Empowering Citizen Participation

Chapter 19: Social Media Inside and Outside the Government

Chapter 20: Citizen Programmers, Open Source Software in Government

Chapter 21: Connecting People with Each Other

Chapter 22: Deliberative Democracy

Chapter 23: Visualizing Transparency in the era of Blago

Chapter 24: Crowdsourcing Policy and Regulation

Section IV (8 chapters)

Chapter 25: The Transparency Agenda

Chapter 26: How to Pass Reforms

Chapter 27: Addressing the Digital Divide

Chapter 28: Open Source Government Procurement

Chapter 29: My Data Can’t Tell You That Author: Bill Allison

Chapter 30: Mr. Kundra goes to Washington

Chapter 31: Citizen Journalism: encouraging and protecting the amateur

Chapter 32: Reinventing the Political Parties with Web 2.0 Tools

Case studies

Case Study 1: The Data Advantage of the Obama Campaign

Case Study 2: Putting City Data on the Web

Case Study 3:

Case study 4: Orfeo

Case Study 5: Virtual Alabama

Case Study 6: XBRL

Case study 7: the Interactive Republican Party Platform 2008

Case study 8: My Society

Case study 9: How open GPS spawned a geodata revolution

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