My .org is about to launch a set of funded initiatives -
http://e-democracy.org/p3 - that in part will convene lots of people
and constituencies interested in "local up" uses of technology for
openness, transparency, accountability, and engagement in local
communities. As my good friends at Sunlight have made clear to me, we
do Congress and now Federal and some state legislature stuff, but
_not_ local.

I am scoping out how we will use our existing online engagement
structures and how we will "go out" to people where they are online
and at a number of in-person conferences. A lot of our convening will
seek to connect technologists with the far broader open government
community (most of whom don't understand the emerging tools or their
potential), but on the technical side I am considering the value of a
opening "LocalLabs" online group modeled after the Sunlightlabs@ group
geared specifically to locally-focused programmers and likely to
attract more folks in local government with some decent outreach on
our part.

Is this a good, bad, ugly idea?

On my end, this means only creating project online groups for larger
efforts (like our public meeting agendas effort, and something new
called "Neighborly" that emerged from the MN Civic Hackathon) and
being able to use and encourage others to use a generalist local to
local tech exchange space for lots of smaller or embryonic ideas.

For those on the Sunlightlab@ list, I'd like your thoughts here or
privately - clift@e-democracy.org - because I've seen good local stuff
emerge here from time to time, but my sense is that it is dwarfed by
the Federal activity and that perhaps we could grow by 90% the number
of local centric people on a good old e-list if we created such a
space. I could be wrong. Tell me what you think.


Steven Clift - http://stevenclift.com
  Executive Director - http://E-Democracy.Org
  Follow me - http://twitter.com/democracy
  New Tel: +1.612.234.7072

Received on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 19:08:38 UTC