Tim O’Reilly

Government 2.0

An archive, in reverse chronological order, of essays, interviews, and talks relating to Government 2.0.

DC Law.Gov Workshop sponsored by the Center for American Progress — July 2010. In this panel discussion with Vivek Kundra and Vinton Cerf, I apply the analogy of a "platform" to the concept of laws.

We need to specify less and accomplish more. We often write laws that do not achieve the outcomes we desire, that conflict, that are ignored. How can we write laws that will better enable the creativity of our citizens and to achieve the outcomes we do desire?

The full workshop is available here: http://www.americanprogress.org/events/2010/06/lawgov.html

C-Span at Gov 2.0 Expo — July 2010. In this interview with C-Span at this year's Gov 2.0 Expo I explain in depth what I mean by the term Gov 2.0 and offer insights into how some of the applications could affect health care in particular.

Berkeley Law.Gov Workshop — May 2010. This session at Carl Malamud's law.gov workshop starts with me giving a 10-minute riff on my ideas about Government as Platform, then California Secretary of State Debra Bowen talking about her history with open government. We then do 10 or 15 minutes of Q&A. I found her comments about civics education at the end to be particularly intriguing. Civics classes have been cut; she doesn't want them back, she wants civics education to be part of every subject. After filming stopped, she told me "We can really change the way people own their country if they know how it works." I love that.

Chris Vein and Tim O'Reilly on City Data — March 2010. Chris Vein discusses with me how releasing data to the public has generated new applications. The city of San Francisco hopes to see this kind of synergy in six key areas: Transportation, Crime, Public Safety, Commerce, Health, and Recreation & Parks.

There is an incredible rich store of data that we have never looked at before… we are releasing that data to the public. From that release, we have seen about 30 applications… that we don't have the money to develop.

Government as a Platform — February 2010. Chapter One of the O'Reilly book on Open Government in which I expand on my thinking about government as a platform. It includes seven lessons for government technologists:

  • Lesson 1: Open Standards Spark Innovation and Growth
  • Lesson 2: Build a Simple System and Let It Evolve
  • Lesson 3: Design for Participation
  • Lesson 4: Learn from Your "Hackers"
  • Lesson 5: Data Mining Allows You to Harness Implicit Participation
  • Lesson 6: Lower the Barriers to Experimentation
  • Lesson 7: Lead by Example

Cloud Computing Explained: An Interview with Tim O'Reilly — January 2010. I explain cloud computing and it's interconnection with mobile computing, and how this ultimately connects to government data and crucial policy decisions that enable the future.

There are a lot of unchartered waters where everything is accessible to everyone. But I think that there are more benefits than risks.

C-Span at Gov 2.0 Summit — November 2009. I was interviewed by C-Span at our Gov 2.0 Summit. I appear at the beginning of this video, followed by Jack Dempsey, co founder of Twitter, and others. I explain what Gov 2.0 is all about: how thinking as a platform provider can bring services to citizens using government data and the creative power of the private sector.

Gov 2.0: It's All About the Platform — September 2009.

But as with Web 2.0, the real secret of success in Government 2.0 is thinking about government as a platform. If there's one thing we learn from the technology industry, it's that every big winner has been a platform company: someone whose success has enabled others, who've built on their work and multiplied its impact. Microsoft put "a PC on every desk and in every home," the internet connected those PCs, Google enabled a generation of ad-supported startups, Apple turned the phone market upside down by letting developers loose to invent applications no phone company would ever have thought of. In each case, the platform provider raised the bar, and created opportunities for others to exploit.
There are signs that government is starting to adopt this kind of platform thinking.

Gov 2.0: The Promise Of Innovation — August 2009.

This is the right way to frame the question of "Government 2.0." How does government itself become an open platform that allows people inside and outside government to innovate? How do you design a system in which all of the outcomes aren't specified beforehand, but instead evolve through interactions between the technology provider and its user community?

How Tim O'Reilly Aims to Change Government — August 2009.

What I've learned from all these conversations is about government as a platform. It's not just social media use by government, or government using wikis. No, it's something more profound. How do you think like a platform provider? We've moved our government from a lean vehicle for collective action, and over the last 200 years it has become so strong that it's now 40% of GDP. I want to go back to the original vision of the role of government: a convener of things that we as individuals and companies can't do alone.