Blog post

Yet Another Gov 2.0 Application Contest: Will They Ever End?

By Andrea Di Maio | November 25, 2010 | 2 Comments

open government data

The premier of the State of Victoria, Australia, John Brumby has just announced the second version of their application contest App My State to have developers come up with applications that will benefit Victorians.

According to the news, Labor’s new ‘App My State – Town and Community Edition’ is meant to attract information technology experts and novices to create new and innovative ways to use government information and provide services to help other Victorians.

Monetary prizes are considerable: $45,000 in prizes for the best apps to benefit the State; $20,000 in prizes for the best apps to benefit regional and rural regions or towns  and $20,000 in prizes for the best apps that will help a not-for-profit community group better help Victorians.

In Brumby’s words, “this competition is about encouraging people to combine their innovative ideas with ICT skills to create useful solutions to life’s little problems”.

However a previous edition came up with applications that were far from groundbreaking, as I outlines in a previous post

So, I wonder, why is this being done again? Are government 2.0 proponents in denial about the limited value of these initiatives? I would have thought that by now the political capital of running yet another contest would be pretty low. Yet this is being launched in the middle of an election campaign as the elections in Victoria will take place on November 27, just three days after this announcement.

I did not read the details of the new competition but I can just hope that it explicitly calls on government employees to participate and play a gluing role between the various parties involved.

Although I suspect this is wishful thinking on my part. Employees are often seen as a nuisance in all this. So let’s wait for another wave of geolocated apps that very few people will be interested in using.

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  • The Victorian Gov 2.0 Action Plan expilcity encourages participation by public servants in social media, including apps comps. Last week we held our second public service hack day where over 60 government employees gathered to build citizen facing apps from public data. Events such as hack day as much about collaboration, ideas generation and building capability as they are about building the apps.

  • Well, let’s hope this takes apps contests somewhere useful. For sure the new contest is not very vocal about employee participation.