When IT Succeeds and Fail in Government

Gov 2.0

L-R: Rita King, Kate Bladow, Daniel O'Neil, Elizabeth Losh

As governments move into the mobile space, a number of creative individuals and organizations have already figured out ways to leverage the power of the internet and proliferation of computers to improve access and accountability in the public sector. From rebuilding communities in Detroit around technological and artistic innovation to improving legal services, each of these speakers share their experiences and insights as to why groups succeed - and sometimes fail - in their attempts to adopt the latest information technology developments and apply them to the greater public good.

In this series of talks, Daniel O'Neil shares stories on the ways Everyblock, and other companies, are building databases out of government data that provide greater transparency and accountability in the public sector. Kate Bladow invites us to learn how the introduction of online legal questionnaires not only brings aid to those who need it most, but also improves the efficiency of the often backlogged courts system. Meanwhile Rita King, IBM's Innovator-in-Residence, discusses how IBM is working with partners to build a project that is in equal parts community center and source for economic revival in Detroit. Finally, Elizabeth Losh critically looks at what governments shouldn't do when communicating online. 

Daniel O'Neil is a freelance writer, web communication consultant and Co-Founder of EveryBlock, an organization that works with local governments to obtain public data and access to other datasets. His book "Economics: Poetry and Essays by Daniel X. O'Neil" is self published through Juggernautco "a poetry outfit" that has produced content in a variety of media from posters to 'necklace poems'. 

Kate Bladow is a Technology Project Manager and Community builder who has worked with LawHelp, a non-profit legal service organization that helps communities and individuals gain access to legal advice. She is currently a blogger with techno.la and writes regularly on the issues that rest between public interest law and technology.

Rita King is an Innovator-in-Residence at the IBM Analytics Virtual Center and Senior Fellow at Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. She is a former consultant with Linden Labs, the creators of Second Life, and CEO of Dancing Ink Productions. King provides a "creative strategy" approach to individuals and groups on navigating through virtual worlds and other social networking platforms.

Elizabeth Losh is a veteran blogger and Professor at U.C. Irvine. Her writings focus on digital rhetoric, 'virtualpolitik', and the numerous failures in communication that government agencies commit in their attempts to stay current with internet trends. Her book "Virtualpolitk: An Electronic History of Government Media-Making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistakes" is a documented look at how the internet and political rhetoric work in an era where controlling the data is no longer always possible.


This free podcast is from our Government 2.0 Summit series.

For The Conversations Network:

  • Post-production audio engineer: Mike Seifried
  • Website editor: Brett Ballanger
  • Series producer: Jacinta Plucinski

Photo: Dancing Ink Productions, Virtualpolitik.org, Beth's Blog, communitymediaworkshop.com