If “civic technology” means advocating for local, state and nations governments to adopt open source, open data, and agile development practices, this timing makes sense to me. I do think that’s a narrow frame for a field that encompasses many civic uses of technology by many different actors across society, going back further into the .com boom and the first government websites and digital services. I’d definitely agree that Apps for Democracy was an inflection point in this history, with respect to a city encouraging developers to create prototypes using structured government information – as well as offering an early lesson in the problems with sustainability, utility, city leadership, and volunteer-donated code with the “app contests” that have now more or less died out.

Dad, writer, citizen, chef, cyclist, skeptical optimist, cereal dilettante. Open government advocate at E-PluribusUnum.org.

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