I have recently written for our clients about AppsForDemocracy, an intriguing initiative that the Office of the CTO in the District of Columbia launched a month ago (see my note Web 2.0 Applications: From The People To The People). The competition was meant for developers to create mashup applications that use the district’s more than 200 data feeds. Individual programmers as well as agencies could submit proposals for a month to win small monetary prizes assigned on the basis of usefulness to citizens, potential for different government bodies, usability and originality.
The competition is now closed after receiving 47 submissions in 30 days and a list of winning applications is available here. As one could expect there are a lot of mashup with maps, but it is interesting to browse some of these as a refreshing view of what “citizen-centricity” mean. I do have my favorites, but won’t tell you :).
This is one of the early examples, like ShowUsABetterWay in the UK, where governments are reaching out to people asking them what information and services they are looking for.
Now this is the kind of active stimulation that governments need to understand the difference between aiming to citize-centric and actually becoming citizen-driven (see my earlier post for a neurological analogy).