Anil Dash: online gov't the best startup of 2009?

Anil Dash: online gov't the best startup of 2009?

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Hey, Anil reminds us that White House open gov't initiative is novel and getting results.

In some results, it's run like a really good Silicon Valley startup. Check out

The Most Interesting New Tech Startup of 2009


Now, .gov websites have historically been backwaters at best, a
bunch of awkwardly-designed, poorly defined sites that only met the
bare requirements of a web presence. But of course the current
administration is comprised in great part of digital natives, and it's
remarkable how quickly they've remade the .gov world into not just a
number of compelling websites, but into a broad set of platforms that
are going to inspire as much technological innovation as Twitter,
Facebook or the iPhone did when they unveiled their technology
platforms.

.gov Sites

Need proof? Well, let's take a look at some of the most compelling
new sites that have launched in just the few short months since
President Obama took office:

  • Data.gov, providing open access to feeds of valuable facts and figures generated by the executive branch.
  • USAspending.gov, allowing any of us to drill down into the details of spending from various federal agencies.
  • Recovery.gov, perhaps one of
    the best-known of the new sites, offering up details of how resources
    from the Recovery Act are being allocated.
  • And of course, there's WhiteHouse.gov. You know about that one.

What's remarkable about these sites is not merely that they exist;
There had been some efforts to provide this kind of information in the
past. Rather, what stands out is that they exhibit a lot of the traits
of some of the best tech startups in Silicon Valley or New York City.
Each site has remarkably consistent branding elements, leading to a predictable and trustworthy sense of place when you visit the sites. There is clear attention to design,
both from the cosmetic elements of these pages, and from the
thoughtfulness of the information architecture on each site. (The
clear, focused promotional areas on each homepage feel just like the
"Sign up now!" links on the site of most Web 2.0 companies.) And
increasingly, these services are being accompanied by new APIs and data sources that can be used by others to build interesting applications.

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One Comment

Andrew

Ah, the classic trillion-dollar, 8-year late-to-the-market startup :)
They have done a good job, nevertheless!

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