Monday, April 22, 2024

In NYC with an eye into FutureGov: Reporting back on Personal Democracy Forum Conference 09

So how does it feel to be apart of the “biggest, most diverse, politics and technology conference in the world?” Well, let’s find out.

By Liz Azyan , in General , at July 10, 2009 Tags: , ,

A big thanks for @FutureGov for giving me this brilliant opportunity!

Let me just start off by saying, this is possibly the most important and impressive conference I have ever attended. This doesn’t just extend to the fact I had my long time dream come true, which is coming to New York City but also down to everything and anything that had to do with the conference.

The vibe at PdF09…

The minute I arrived at the conference, there was a feeling of being surrounded by people who were intellectually in tuned with their passion, skills, knowledge and desire to make an indelible mark within their areas of expertise. However they weren’t just people who were just there because it was apart of their jobs, but there was a genuine sense of wanting to make things better and learn as well as share stories of each other experiences.  I met a lot of great talent and extraordinary people at this event who were all more than happy to talk to me.  I’m very much humbled by those who have inspired me throughout the event.  Thank you for those who shared your experiences and stories with me. They have truly inspired me! 🙂

The good stuff that sometimes goes unmentioned

I’ve been to a few conferences now and I’ve come to appreciate those little touches or logistics that might go unnoticed to the ‘untrained’ eye at conferences.  There are a couple of things that could cause a conference to let down its attendees. However, I have to say, I was really impressed that PDF09 has really lived up to its expectations. Check out what they had to offer at the conference that really helped ease attendees to settle in comfortably throughout the intellectually intensive 2-day conference.

  • The name tags. Front name tag. Back Conference Schedule.

I know you might be thinking, what’s so special about that? Its just a name tag, but if you look closely the back of the name tag is the full schedule of the conference making it easy for you to navigate across the conference without needing to constantly check the website or booklet.  It was extremely useful to have it around your neck all the time because if you felt like one session wasn’t for you, you could quickly jump to another session! 🙂

  • The Virgin America Tote!

(Sorry guys, I can’t seem to rotate these pics 🙁 )

Anyways, some conferences sometimes like to give a plastic bag which is quite difficult to carry around if you’re lugging a bag filled with wires, chargers and a laptop/netbook. This Virgin America tote had lots of quality newspapers and literature and sits comfortably on your shoulder. You could also fold it up and zip it to transform it into a small carrying case. Love what it says on the bag… its so so so true! ;-p

  • Computer support, printing and charge station

Now, this is such a clever idea by Marathon Consulting. Setting up a stand to help PdF attendees who might have computer problems as well as printing services partnering with Xerox (which I happily used to print out my check-in flight confirmation!) and also a charging station which can charge up iPhones, Blackberrys and other random devices. You could leave your device while you’re in a session and pick it up when you’re ready! Brilliant considering you’d be busy tweeting away during the conference, you’re bound to run out of battery!

  • Laptop areas in a conference room with power extensions

Now, this is something I was expecting to be provided and I’m glad that it was. There was even a diagram and signs indicating laptop-friendly areas which made it easier for people to charge up their batteries. Though I have to say since almost everybody was using their laptops to tweet their thoughts, the demand was possibly higher than the supply! Maybe next year all areas in the conference room should be laptop-friendly…

  • The Twitterslurp!

Bivings Group has cleverly created this cool tool to capture all the tweets at PdF09 in real-time throughout the conference. I was quite shocked that I ended up being one of those people who tweeted the most! Check it out!

I’m currently last on the list but I was at one point on top of the list and in between 4th and 5th until more people started tweeting heavily. I never intended to tweet so much but I guess there was just so much information that was worth sharing. Hope you guys enjoyed my tweets and found them useful! 🙂

I also managed to catch a video with Andrew McDowell from Bivings Groups. Check it out, he talks about some of Bivings Groups citizen engagement projects!

  • Last but not least, the excellent freebies to get attendees to be on time! Clever 😉

We all know a conference success is usually measured by how many people attended and stay interested and be on time at the sessions, so I thought it was rather appropriate and clever that PdF09 used freebie prizes such as free roundtrip tickets on Virgin America and the also free copies of Obama’s Time Capsule (which is really cool btw, check it out on Amazon. If you’re a big Obama supporter, you definitely need to get one!)

Ways of Following PdF09

I thought Jordan Raynor had a good write up on how to start following PdF09 updates. You can find his full blog post about it here. Though here are a few snippets that you could possibly follow up on if you still want to catch up on all the action.

If you would like to keep track of the events of the conference, you can do so in a few different ways:
1. Follow the PDF ’09 conversation by using this great tool the Bivings Group has put together to track all #pdf09, #pdf2009 or “Personal Democracy Forum” tweets.
2. Subscribe to this RSS feed for all #pdf09, #pdf2009, @pdf2009 or “Personal Democracy Forum” tweets.

3. Check for videos of the PDF presentations.

If you would like to keep track of the events of the conference, you can do so in a few different ways:

1. Follow the PDF ’09 conversation by using this great tool the Bivings Group has put together to track all #pdf09, #pdf2009 or “Personal Democracy Forum” tweets.

2. Subscribe to this RSS feed for all #pdf09, #pdf2009, @pdf2009 or “Personal Democracy Forum” tweets.
3. Check for videos of the PDF presentations.

The sessions on Day 1

So the sessions kicked off with opening welcomes from Andrew Rasiej and Micah L Sifry. But before we get on to that, I think its interesting to point out that Clay Johnson started a petition to never start PdF at 8:30 am which I thought was sensible and funny at the same time. But what I really wanted to talk about here is the use of (tweet change) as a tool to create and sign petitions using twitter. Have you guys heard about this? I think it’s pretty cool and think many of you might find it useful to campaign your own causes. So start tweeting change!

So what was it all about? Nice starting point on all the buzz…

Key Learnings from Personal Democracy Forum 2009

It took a while for me to decide how I should go about writing this post as there was just a mountain of information presented at PdF09 that I feel it would take me absolutely forever to document all of them. So here goes my attempt to capture the key learnings from the sessions I attended and that I feel was most useful to me.

Day 1.

  1. Session: Did Obama Revolutionize Campaigning? – A conversation with Joe Rospars (Obama ’08)
  • Let’s have a look at what happened last year that was rehashed in the opening of this discussion. What you have to look out for here is “John McCain is aware of the Internet”.

  • Via @katieharbath: Joe Rospars – Offline tactics just as important as online tactics. They worked in tandem.
  • Via @bivings: $500,000 million raised online by Obama campaign.
  • Via @JRudis: Obama ran the first integrated campaign – community of people contributed to it, with new media tied to traditional campaigning.
  • Via @Tracyvs: Rospars: ran first integrated campaign. Always had new media component linked to traditional/offline campaign component.
  • Via @JordanRaynor: Joe Rospars – Campaigns must be all about integration. Obama camp. hired up traditional journos to bridge gap.
  • Via @ToddThurman: New media is not a replacement for old media.
  • Via @SuperNova7: Lower the barrier to entry and get out of the way.
  • Via @mpesce: “Provide resources to build a relationship with Barack Obama, but also to build a relationship with each other.”
  • Via @svenburg: Joe Rospars: new media – the quickest way to mobilize national campaign from the ground up.
  • Via @frogpajamas: Rospars: Obama’s intention in running was to change the campaign process for the better…Even if he lost, the goal was changed.
  • Via Me: It’s easy to underestimate the challenges. Joe Raspors said they started from scratch and built it by hacking their way thru the jungle.
  • Via @benteka: Embrace technology or not, that is not the point. Embrace people. Find the candidate (Rospars on the challenge for the Rep.)
  • Via @benteka: Public should be redefined as open to everyone – searchable, readable, accessible online. -Andrew Rasiej
  • Via @ToddThurman: Innovation, not government will bring down the cost of broadband.
  • Via Me: With ppl tweeting abt irregularities at polling stations, we ourselves hv now become the reporters/big brother! Power to the people!
  • Via @samgf: Agree w @rospars on importance of storytellng. Can’t mobilize unless u inspire – & stories are what inspire.
  • Via @levjoy: Technology itself is NOT the solution. It’s a platform.
  • Via @dominiccampbell: Obama’s pledge to post Bills online for 5 day consultation period

Links featured from this session

Read The Bill from Sunlight Foundation on Vimeo.’s mission is to strengthen our democracy by making sure elected officials and citizens have the chance to read and understand the legislation.

A more transparent government begins with providing the people with the opportunity to tell their elected officials what they think of a piece of legislation before it comes up for a vote. is an effort to gather individuals and groups, luminaries and everyday folks, conservatives, liberals and independents behind the simple concept that all non-emergency legislation should be available online for 72 hours before the debate begins.

The question that this essay will ask and answer is not what can we do to redesign democracy for the Internet Age, but, rather, why have we decided to delete democracy from the most visited interface citizens have with “their” government? And what are we going to do about it?

Session Title: Keynote speech on how technology is improving government by Mayor Michael Bloomberg

So, I guess it was obvious to say that after flying all this way to NYC, I was hoping that I’d be able to tell people that I was attending a conference with Mayor Michael Bloomberg (in the flesh) but unfortunately he joined us via the wonderful medium of technology that we all adore and love, ‘Skype’. Turns out he was detained in Albany due to the state senate crisis (correct me if I’m wrong). But anyway, let’s have a recap of his keynote speech. Mind you, I thought I’d slip in some of the hilarious tweets captured on twitterslurp to give you a full view of the attendee’s reaction to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s speech.

  • Via @khart: NYC Mayor Bloomberg is Skyping into the conference. “If anyone wants to move to the area, we’d love to have you. We need taxpayers.”
  • Via @CauseGlobal: Bloomberg addresses #pdf09: “we’ll put wifi everyplace as soon as we find somebody to pay for it”
  • Via @JordanRaynor: Bloomberg: Elected officials have “an obligation” to make government more open, transparent and accessible.
  • Via @transnets: Bloomberg – People have the right to participate fully in their gvt, and authorities have to make sure they can
  • Via @nicktroiano: Bloomberg: Technology can make government more accessible and thus more accountable.
  • Via @mpesce: Mayor: “I build a business on the idea that if you give information to people faster, they’ll do business better. The city is the same.”
  • Via @dominiccampbell: Anyone can now Skype 311, Twitter @311nyc and go to 311 online (NYC alerts and report issues)
  • Via @joeymornin: Bloomberg: NYC is partnering with Google to find out the city services people are most interested in.
  • Via @JRudis: Google will give nyc gov info about what services people commonly search for. Also BigApps=challenge to come up w new innovations
  • Via @mpesce: “BigApps” competition to come up with new applications using city data, to be provided on & to manage city
  • Via @fabriceflorin: NY Mayor Bloomberg: “We treat NYC citizens as customers — and try to serve our customers as quickly as possible.”

Links worth mentioning featured in this session

Session Title: Reality Check: The Internet’s Impact on Politics: A Conversation With Nate Silver,

  • Via @DavidAll: Nate Silver of Barack Obama would have won the General Election without the Internet.
  • Via @JordanRaynor: Silver: Web was critical for Obama organizing caucus voters in Iowa and thus building momentum through primary process.
  • Via @acarvin: Nate: YouTube gave Obama the equiv of millions in free advertising.
  • Via @danpatterson: Nate Silver: metaphor of H Clinton as Old Media, Obama as New
  • Via @AimeAile: Nate Silver: Democrats showed a competitive advantage in involving their partisans in online activism. But it might not last.
  • Via @JordanRaynor: Silver: Problem with Republican fundraising is that Republicans don’t like their Republican leaders.
  • Thot I’d slip this in for fun 🙂 Via @hownowbrowncow: @liz_azyan, @EndTheRoboCalls, and @JordanRaynor in a race for most tweets at #pdf09. /pulls up chair, grabs popcorn.
  • Via @JordanRaynor: Silver: Fact that Republicans are talking up “recycled candidates” for 2012 is ridiculous. Next POTUS is someone we don’t know yet.
  • Via @ScottWGraves: I actually agree with Nate Silver (Daily Kos). Republicans seem to be recycling their leaders. Needs fresh faces to improve chances
  • Via @stevis: According to Nate Silver the McCain voters lose 15k/day b/c of old age while youth crowd grows.
  • Via @jenvandermeer: Silver: wait for a hot summer to get people to care about climate change
  • Via @@tummler10: Nate Silver: If unemployment was higher in district, Congress < likely 2 have voted 4 #ClimateChange bill

Session Title: Owning Your Identity in Social Media with Gina Bianchini

In case you guys didn’t know who Gina is, she is in fact the co-founder of, a platform for creating your own social network for anything (I’m sure you’ve heard or have used it before, right?). So you wanna know what Gina was talking about? Well, let’s check it out!

  • Via @EllnMllr: 4K new social networks are being built on Ning every day. Wow. A total of 1.3 million created as of today.
  • Via @JRudis: social media has the potential to have the most profound impact on grassroots organizing, elections, campaigns, education, governing.
  • Via @katieharbath: Gina mentions @pickensplan on ning success that @bivings worked on.
  • Via @Treintanyero: Now nationals of other countries can push real pressure in other countries politics with social networks (ie #iranelection).
  • Via Me: Pickens plan had presence on FB,, twitter, linkedin and youtube. Then created their own socialnetwork on
  • Via @ctznjournalism: Gina Bianchini from is showcasing “social media hub and spoke model.” Super interesting:
  • Via @JordanRaynor: Pickens Plan used hub and spoke model for social networking. Presence on all existing networks but drove people to their own.
  • Via @mjfstewart: 50 cent – pioneer in social media, started on myspace and pulled users to; catch you in da club
  • Via @sashaK: Gina bianchini on pickens web strategy – spoke and hub model also used by 50 cent.
  • At this point many people at the on twitter’s pdf09 stream were plugging their own ning network.. lol 🙂
  • Via @JordanRaynor: Bianchini: What makes social networking so powerful is that it is so easy to do. || But few know how to drive eyeballs to it.
  • Via @JordanRaynor: 60% of leaders had face-to-face meetings with congressional offices
  • Via @@jayrosen_nyu: The falling cost for like-minded people to find each other and share stuff is THE disruptive force; Ning gets that.
  • Via @debaser: Gina: Walking into a social network is like walking into a bar. A social action network is walking into a campaign hq.
  • Via @TMCmedia: Strategies 4 social media: Listen and iterate rapidly based on what you learn from your audience. (from ning)
  • Via @noneck: gina’s presentation from has given me a few ideas on what an #NYSenate private community can do for senate staffers.
  • Via @AimeAile: Bianchini; 5 steps to success on social networks: specific topic, obious purpose, time upfront, growing commitment, fast iteration.
  • Via @zbrisson: An obviously good idea: neighborhood watches online. Leveraging crime data, geotagging and info sharing to make neighborhoods safer.

Links worth mentioning in this session

Session Title: danah boyd, The Not-So-Hidden Politics of Class Online

Now, this session is a really special one for me. I’ve been a great fan of danah’s work for some time now and respect the work she has done in this field. So it was not a surprise that her presentation was considered to be one of the best in terms of content and delivery throughout the whole conference. So to find out all the gem’s of information coming from danah’s presentation, check out the quality tweets below to get a sense of what was being discussed.

  • Via @nicktroiano: Danah Boyd: is social media driving us apart? Speaks of “dangerous rhetoric” like tech being an absolute equalizer.
  • Via @ericleebow: @zephoria is talking about technology confronting the things we don’t want to confront, such as the $100 laptop.
  • Via @dangillmor: #pdf09 danah chides everyone, rightly, about inequality to access and how that plays out in use and policy.
  • Via @TMCmedia: Danah Boyd: many of us believe these technologies are the great equalizers. But think of racism, issues of class.
  • Via @mpesce: “For years we thought this was just access, but what we’re seeing is that people use these technologies differently.”
  • Via @adrianadunn: danah boyd from msft just asked who is on facebook (most raised hands) then myspace….not so much.
  • Via @jacobksamuelson: danah boyd: “think of issues of inequality as you sit on blackberry’s, iphones, on twitter, and assuming everyone else is doing this”
  • Via @nextgenweb: Danah Boyd recommends looking to teenagers for trends in how people are using technology.
  • Via @JRudis: Danah presents a 14-yr-old girl’s reasoning for not using Myspace anymore: because it’s “ghetto.”
  • Via @DB389: “The honors and not so honors got to FB, the Wangstas stayed on MySpace” – Danah Boyd
  • Via @acarvin: Another student quote: anyone on fb will tell you people on myspace are obnoxious and barely educated.
  • Via @beyondbroadcast: Boyd: MySpace users call Facebook users “goody-two-shoes” and “stuck up”
  • Via @acarvin: Boyd: kids on fb more likely to be condescending to myspace users than vice versa.
  • Via @gilgul: danah @zephoria doing an amazing job highlighting digital inequality: “what we’re seeing is a modern incarnation of white flight”
  • Via @Afine: White flight ghettoization from myspace to Facebook should scare he’ll out of us, danahboyd.
  • Via @@dominiccampbell: Seeing stats from Danah Boyd showing 70m users of Facebook and MySpace (neck and neck) versus 17m Twitter users.
  • Via @andersonatlarge: Danah Boyd: Racial divisions are being reinforced by social networks, which are divided by race and class.
  • Via @natalidelconte: Danah Boyd is saying that class stratification on social networks such as Facebook/MySpace breeds intolerance.
  • Via @CNCPundit: Boyd: people reinforce their own social networks, not to meet new people. FB and Twitter reinforces who/what you already know.
  • Via @iteeth: If you’re on FB you need to know you’re only seeing a small portion of the world. DBoyd.
  • Via @DB389: Each social network gives you a slice of the whole pie. You need to engage with them everywhere they are.
  • Via @beyondbroadcast: Boyd: Inequality is persistent; the war isn’t over, we need to keep fighting it. Can’t afford second class citizenship online.
  • Via @@acarvin: Boyd: there is no universal public online. Where you go matters. You’re only seeing a limited slice in one given place.
  • Via Me!: The persistent inequality – “the technology is not the saviour but it could certainly help with the issues” Danah Boyd
  • Via @transnets: #pdf09 Boyd: There is persistent stratification, persistent inequality. Think about social media with a critical eye.

Links worth mentioning in this session

Session Title: Jeff Jarvis, Reinventing Government: What Would Google Do?

I have to say, Jeff Jarvis certainly did a great job in engaging with the audience. Have you wondered what would google do if they were to reinvent the government. Well sit tight, coz Jeff Jarvis has got it covered in this session. Enjoy!

  • Via @lesliebradshaw: @jeffjarvis on Government for the Google Age. Moving from Industrial / Mass to Knowledge + Abundance.
  • Via Me!: @Jeff Jarvis talking about “Reinventing Government: What Would Google Do?”Jeff mentioned dat we shud have a Craigslist type of gov 🙂
  • Via @fredericguarino: @jeffjarvis: we need to make government searchable and linkable
  • Via @zbrisson: Jarvis on googly gov: gov has to make shift from dealing with citizens as “masses” to dealing with them as individuals.
  • Via @ruthannharnisch: @jeffjarvis – “Do what you do best and link to the rest.”
  • Via @openamplify: @jeffjarvis: We shouldn’t have to ask government for information, it should be free and open by default.
  • Via @Digidave: @jeffjarvis the lesson of “beta”: When we release things it is in beta, it isn’t finished and begs for help of users/audience.
  • Via @JayAckroyd: government is like google is in a constant beta release.
  • Via @cwolz: Jarvis: gov as platform? Gov as API? What if it did what it did best & linked to the rest – by mobilizing others leveraging others.
  • Via @@fedscoop: Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) at pdf09 “we are in the midst of a creation generation”
  • Via @JordanRaynor: Jarvis: “Notion of the Beta” – Google’s humble admition that they can’t create something without feedback from users.
  • Via @JRudis: Jarvis: We must give government permission to fail. (Audience applauds.) We have to find a way to help gov experiment
  • Via @ruthannharnisch: #pdf09 @jeffjarvis Govt transparency means not just watchdog reporters, but a watchdog populace.
  • Via @benteka: Jarvis – Gov 2.0: beta gov (accept failure), transparent, collaborate, constructive conversation about gov.
  • Via @jgagain: Jarvis: Reinventing Govt is our RESPONSABILITY; not that of govt.
  • Via @acarvin: Jarvis: we’ve always had the ability to create but now we have the tools to find our audience.
  • Via Me!: @jeffjarvis says make gov collaborative. How do we get gov trust us and for us to trust the gov? #pdf09 To help them do what they do best.
  • Via @mattdigirolamo: “There is an inverse relationship between control and trust.”
  • Via @zingbot: Jeff Jarvis: asks audience for what govt should do. Answ: simplify; cookbook for what works; citizens2.0, univ. subs. broadband.
  • Via @EllnMllr: More ideas for “googly govt” Data API available to everyone. Innovation Labs. Citizens 2.0. Universal broadband. Accessible.
  • Via @fedscoop: “Citizens 2.0 not Gov 2.0
  • Via @@Digidave: @jeffjarvis #pdf09 is one of the best “oprah’s” in media. He is going through the crowd getting ideas for a better gov’t
  • Via @gilgul: Jeff Jarvis:”If microsoft created craigslist it would’ve come with a long manual and a paperclip that tells you how to use it. “
  • Via @@JRudis: There are no masses, only ways to see people as masses. That changes the way the gov deals with us. (Jarvis)
  • Via @cheeky_geeky: @jeffjarvis: “Bugs are features. We’ll never make the government perfect. Bugs are life.
  • Via @zingbot: Jeff Jarvis: govt will never be perfect. Don’t expect it. Betas are part of the collaborative process.
  • Via @Agent_Luke: All about that simple, dashboard, searchable, linkable, citizen 2.0/not gov 2.0, micro-voting #pdf09 – Sounds interesting
  • Via @RyanBrack: Jarvis chimes in on education reform. Says, ‘stop training ppl for the industrial age.

Links worth mentioning in this session

Session Title: David Weinberger, Truth and Transparency

David is the author of “Everything is Misc” on how we understand information. He will be talking about what happens when all this data gets into our hands? How is it changing us?

  • Via @acarvin: @dweinberger is up. He’s irrationally exuberant about, he says
  • Via @cheeky_geeky: Now up at #pdf09 @dweinberger is talking about “the transparency of facts and data” on sites like and in #Gov20.
  • Via @gwynnek: Jarvis+weinberger = and should be seen as beta activities. Let’s work to get them right.
  • Via @JRudis: Hyperlinks are like the new type of punctuation. Punctuation tells you where to stop, hyperlinks point to where to go next.
  • Via @transnets: Weinberger: In the age of the internet it’s not about facts it’s about links. We go from facts to data to links.
  • Via @joeymornin: @dweinberger Topics aren’t contiguous. They’re distributed, linked, often scattered. Linked world is a much more truthful about fact.
  • Via @Steve_Katz: “topics are loose-edged and messy” in a hyperlinked world – and so are professions built on those topics.
  • Via @lesliebradshaw: More gems from @dweinberger: ‘Linked world far more accurate than contiguous paper-based world.’
  • Via @andersonatlarge: David Weinberger: Facts are binary and scarce.
  • Via @tomjd: Wikipedia acknowledges that we’re human, that we make mistakes, that we disagree, that we never get anything exactly “right”.
  • Via @dominiccampbell: “My evidence for the fact that we’re never going to agree on anything is the WHOLE of human history” @dweinberger
  • Via Me!: “Transparency is the new objectivity” says @dweinberger
  • Via @issajones: Weinberg – Facts do not lead to wisdom – lead to conversation/debate, the debate might lead to wisdom.
  • Via @@cshirky: “Facts used to nail down arguments. Now they start them. We are in the middle of the great unnailing.” D.Weinberger

Session Title: Innovation in Government, Obama-Style: Conversations With Beth Noveck ,Vivek Kundra, and Macon Phillips, introduced by Craig Newmark

So the 2nd day of PdF09 kicks off with some really really important people (RRIP). We have Obama’s CIO, Vivek Kundra and also Macon Phillips then Beth Noveck who is the deputy U.S Chief Technology Officer for open government. And of course not to forget our beloved Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist) who will introduce the speakers. This is a very useful session so be sure to pay extra close attention to the tweets!

Craig Newmarks “Nonks”!

  • Via @lizasperling: White House CIO unveils interactive dashboard, public track government IT projects (via @jelosta @kev097)
  • Via @frogpajamas: @craignewmark “Greatest Customer Service Rep” taking the stage.
  • Via @mpesce: It’s not about politics, it’s about governance, the way the whole world will be run in the future. A new commitment to grass-roots.
  • Via @cheeky_geeky: On stage now is @craignewmark introducing panel on “reinventing government, Obama-style”
  • Via @JordanRaynor: Newmark: What we are seeing in Washington is a renewed commitment to “grassroots democracy”.
  • Via @abenamer: craig newmark says “it’s bigger than all of us, we’re part of it and it feels pretty good”
  • Via @abenamer: craig newmark “we have lot of people who know how things and how things can be made to work… that’s a big deal”
  • Via @CauseGlobal: Craig Newmark “what we seeing in washington right now is a new commitment to grassroots democracy…nerds working with wonks”
  • Via @amukerjee: Craig introduces the nerds, wonks, and the ‘nonks’ #pdf09 #nonk
  • Via @ransnets: #pdf09 Craig Newmark: Something is going on in Washington. It’s not about politics anymore. It’s about governance.
  • Via @nicktroiano: @craignewmark: something big is happening, pragmatists and technologists are working together.

Vivek Kundra, Macon Phillips with Micah.

  • Via @mpesce: Kundra: We’re fundamentally changing the management of technology in the US Govt
  • Via @dominiccampbell: (This is so you can get the pantels twitter handles) Oops make that @mlsif chairing with @VivekKundra and @macon on the panel
  • Via @frogpajamas: @vivekkundra (first WH CIO) says the govt. spends over $70 billioin on technology…YET there are tons of tech failures.
  • Via @CauseGlobal: Vivek Kundra/ObamaAdm CIO: cites 2008 report tt said $30b of IT projects are “in trouble”.
  • Via @JRudis: IT Dashboard at – democratized data to make info available. Making gov more transparent, accountable. AWESOME
  • Via @JordanRaynor: @VivekKundra: Obama administration committed to transparency accountability and responsibility.
  • Via @ajturner: Kundra showing off the new US Gov’t IT Dashboard:
  • Via @JRudis: Real-time dashboard, we’re going to be providing the American people viability into their tax dollars. You can see where your $ goes
  • Via @BudMeyer: ViveK Kundra, US CIO announces an addition to the IT dashboard to democratize data. The IT Dashboard. The innovative path.
  • Via @mollymoran: Vivek Kundra makes announcement at #pdf09 : new IT dashboard will show agencies’ IT spending records and project performance
  • Via @frogpajamas: New IT DASHBOARD “tracks information technology investements self-reported by federal agencies and departments as ‘major'”
  • Via @JRudis: Providing accountability that’s never been available before. With $ info, there’s contact info so you can provide feedback.
  • Via @mpesce: Shows the contractors doing the work, and how they’re performing. Cost breakdowns, monthly basis, how is the govt spending money.
  • Via @mpesce: Providing the ability to export data, so the public can help analyze these investments and improve upon them.
  • Via @abenamer: Vivek Kundra: .csv and RSS feeds will be available – once people found it was public, information was immediately updated
  • Via Me!: It dashboard also offers the ability to analyze. What is the difference between gov agencies expenditures. #pdf09 Analyze the IT portfolio.
  • Via @almacy: Vivek Kundra gets standing ovation after demo of fed govt IT dashboard at PdF.
  • Via @kuhn: Participation and collaboration is important to what the White House is doing now – Macon Phillips (Head of White House New Media)
  • Via @JordanRaynor: White House New Media Director up now: “We (White House) doesn’t have all the answers” Takes collaboration w/ industry leader.
  • Via @amukerjee: Phillips hits the nail on the head: it’s only powerful if we make it so. We have to figure out how we want to process said data.
  • Via @laurelatoreilly: White House New Media director @macon challenges developers to bring the noise to federal data
  • Via @mbelinsky: Just witnessed history at #pdf09 with the launch of USA IT Dashboard -Government transparency & accountability!
  • Via @mpesce: Macon – It’s important to understand outcomes; bringing in a lot of people, make the process transparent. Hold us accountable.
  • Via @blakerutherford: What can we do with data provided by Help fundamentally change the government procures money. Democratizing data.
  • Via @abenamer: #pdf09 Kundra wants data as close to source as possible and in multiple machine data formats and as raw as possible (grad student friendly)
  • Via Me!: Data in the raw format ppl have the ability 2slice n dice e format in a way that the gov wud x hv even thot of increasing innovation.
  • Via @dominiccampbell: Vivek advice for open data 1.get to as close to code & source as possible data in multiple formats 3.enable access to raw data.
  • Via @abenamer: #pdf09 Kundra: also, certain data is extremely important and moves entire markets — i.e. unemployment rates because we have responsibilty.
  • Via @JordanRaynor: @VivekKundra: There is an economic question to making all past data available online, but we should focus on making future info available.

Beth Noveck

  • Via @benteka: Sifry: Beth Novak has written the bible if you are interested in open government “Wiki Government”
  • Via @howardgr: Beth Noveck Fed. CTO for Off. of Sci. Tech Policy – talking about the Open Government initiative.
  • Via @JRudis: Now we’re learning about – how to bring innovation into gov, keeping things open
  • Via @ruthannharnisch: #pdf09 Beth Noveck of WH up, responsible for riding herd on open, collaborative process of Bring innovation to govt.
  • Via @nicktroiano: Beth Noveck, author of Wiki govt and deputy CTO, going over the three stage process of drating the Open Govt Directive.
  • Via Me!: Now showing the Open Gov Dialogue on e screen at #pdf09 Bev is talking abt creating a set of gating phases to get the process moving forward.
  • Via Me!: Check out that website The Open Government Dialogue
  • Via @abenamer: Noveck: we want to benefit from all ideas not the small number we have access to in Washington.
  • Via @JRudis: Experiment with what are the best ways to make policy that benefits from all of the ideas we have (not just the ideas in Washington)
  • Via @khart: Beth Noveck “going toward a shift for how we truly make policy” #pdf09 Talking about Open Gov Initiative she launched a month ago.
  • Via @CauseGlobal: BethNoveck #pdf09: White House open gov project:goal is to use Web to ask public for input on govt policy-making.
  • Via Me!: “Its not abt throwing ideas, its abt how to make use of them” – Bev Noveck
  • Via @nishachittal: The number one thing submitted to the WH opengov site so far: people wanting to see Obama’s birth certificate. Really.
  • Via @scottros: Beth Noveck at #pdf09 describing idea solicitation, reviewing, blogging about new policy ideas
  • Via @MarkElliott: “Noisy idiot” just mentioned by Noveck – this is not @craignewmark’s term, but @catherine_white – nice!
  • Via Me!: Community moderation: This is a place which is open, talking abt gov policy. However there are always going to be ‘noisy idiots’
  • Via Me!: Its not just abt talking abt open gov,its abt inspiring ppl to use the tools an get info back into innovation. The blog is useful here.
  • Via @mollymoran: Novek at #pdf09 – OSTP Blog allows users to flag comments as off-topic, makes these comments less visible. work done by community, not govt
  • Via @jenvandermeer: Beth Noveck “If you leave a garden untended it will get overrun by weeds.”
  • Via @tomjd: Whitehouse OpenGov initiative got 1000 ideas in the 1st wk. All sorted/read/mind-mapped. Now blogging findings
  • Via @ruthannharnisch: Noveck: The online info does not replace other formats for learning about and commenting on govt matters, just opens the process more

Links worth mentioning in this session


So there goes my roundup of the most important sessions at PdF09. A big thank you again to FutureGov Consultancy for giving me this ultimately inspiring and thought provoking experience that I will indeed apply to my own research at 🙂 I hope fellow readers have found this post useful and please feel free to ask me any questions about the conference if you wish to do so. You can find me at @liz_azyan on twitter.

Till we meet again, take care and I hope you have found this useful! Ta *Nonks!* ;-p

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