links for 2009-01-12

  • President-elect Obama has made a very clear commitment to changing the way government works with its citizens. To this end, we offer these three principles to guide the transition in its objective to build upon the very best of the Internet to produce the very best for government.
  • With so many economic problems hitting our nation at the same time, the list of economic policies being implemented or under consideration may be an all-time record. The list ranges from limited quick fixes to expansive long-term reforms, including everything from immediately buying stakes in the nation’s largest banks and rapidly expanding the social safety net, to long-term regulatory reform. It is of course very important that we get the mix right—serving our need for quick and effective action as well as supporting our long-run economic goals.
  • There is considerable evidence that URIs are not persisted by governments and consequently there is an extensive loss of information from the web. The prevalence of broken Web links impacts negatively on the reputation of government because it is perceived that government is managing its information poorly. A frustrating user experience also has the potential to reduce public confidence in the services the state provides online. Scrutiny of government is impaired by the inability to reliably refer to key government documents published on the Web.

    These are major events in the life of a government department's Website and unless URI persistence is planned for, links will be broken in some cases universally. The trend towards electronic publishing of official publications only and not producing in print makes the integrity of URIs crucial to the business of government.

  • An open government with linked open data means introducing current technologies to create a new level of transparency, accountability and participation; integrating citizens into the business of government by making government data available in universally accessible formats; and c) establishing pilot programs to involve citizens in the work of agencies. See Obama's Technology and Innovation Plan. Linked data connects distributed data across the Web. With linked data, citizens use the Web to connect related data that wasn't previously linked, or use the Web to lower the barriers to linking open government data. Universally accessible formats such as URIs and RDF imply the formalization of how government resources are identified and represented. The Federal Enterprise Architecture Reference Model Ontology is an example of how U.S. Federal government resources are identified and represented with URIs and RDF.
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