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Gov 2.0: The Future of Government Is In Your Hands

(CBS) Annoyed with how your city is dealing with public transportation or want that pothole fixed on your street but can't get anyone to listen? A brewing movement referred to as Gov 2.0 is working to help the public sector deal with these issues with the help of some of the smartest techies out there.

But it's more than just our daily complaints being heard by city officials.

Dr. Mark Drapeau blogger and supporter of the cause says it's "about changing the status quo of government in various ways... innovation by government, transparency of its processes, collaboration among its members and participation of citizens. In total, these would constitute a huge transformation of government, at any level."

We saw the beginnings of this during Obama's election, the first of its kind to really harness the power of social media and the Internet to mobilize voters on and offline. As part of President Obama's Open Government Initiative, was also recently launched providing public access to private data. The site hopes to "expand creative use of those data beyond the walls of government by encouraging innovative ideas... [and] strengthen our Nation's democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government."

According to Craig Newmark, who you might know as the founder of and has been a leading figure in the movement, the government has been "waiting for something like this for years because they want to do their job better. They need the help of people in the private sector and it's working."

This innovation has already begun to take shape with new sites and apps popping up using that data to help cities work more efficiently and empower citizens to be part of the process.

Thought leader and Founder of O'Reilly Media, Tim O'Reilly, recently helped launch Code For America, "connecting city governments and web 2.0 talent." Founded by Jen Pahlka, the program was inspired by the power of Teach For America.

In 2011, it will launch in five innovative cities who each have a project in mind and will be assigned five fellows (uber-talented web techies) to create applications to solve these issues over 11 months. I had the opportunity to speak with O'Reilly about Gov 2.0 and the program in the video above.

Meanwhile, they've also gotten Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone on board  talking about why people should get involved in their PSA-like video below:

Do you have the web chops to be a fellow? You can apply RIGHT HERE.

In the meantime, here are some of the top Gov 2.0 related apps you can use right now:

CitySourced - This smartphone app allows you to report graffiti, potholes, trash and other civic issues to public officials.
- Report non-emergency issues and receive alerts in your neighborhood.
- a social network for the government community to connect and share information.


What do you think of this concept of an open, social and transparent government? Leave your comments below.

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