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Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful Paperback – November 2, 2010

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Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful + Open Government: Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice + Beyond Transparency: Open Data and the Future of Civic Innovation
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A sweeping visionary yet highly pragmatic book! Beth Noveck concretely shows how to leverage the participatory nature of web 2.0 technologies to build a new kind of participatory democracy and a smart, lean government. She speaks from experience. A must read not just for policy folks and the digerati but for any of us wanting to understand how to tap the collective and diverse wisdom of the America to create a better, more connected style of democracy."—John Seely Brown, Former Chief Scientist, Xerox Corp and Director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)



"Beth Noveck is one of the most innovative thinkers working today on how to reform government using digital technologies. Her theory of collaborative democracy is a genuine advance. Wiki Government offers indispensable advice for anyone who wants to learn how to foster democratic participation in digital environments."—Jack M. Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment and director of the Information Society Project, Yale Law School



"A fascinating look at how government can be transformed for the needs and opportunities of the twenty-first century."—Don Tapscott, coauthor of Wikinomics and author of Grown Up Digital



"The Internet has taught us that good ideas come from everywhere. Wiki Government translates that lesson for policymakers. With a compelling blend of high theory and practical know-how, Beth Noveck explains how political institutions can directly engage the public to solve complex problems and create a better democracy."—Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO, Google Inc.



"After more than fifteen years of public service, I've seen firsthand the difference it makes when government focuses on meaningful, measurable outcomes. Wiki Government shows how citizens' voices and expertise can transform and help deliver effective, efficient government. This book is a must-read for policymakers committed to participatory democracy."—Timothy M. Kaine, governor of Virginia



" Wiki Government both instructs and motivates policymakers to use collaborative tools to strengthen government accountability and engage citizens directly in this critical endeavor. This book is not just for tech geeks and policy wonks but also for the millions of Americans who demonstrated in 2008 how eager they are to engage individually in government reform."—John Podesta, president and CEO, Center for American Progress, and former White House chief of staff



"At once visionary and pragmatic, Wiki Government offers the first glimpse of how public officials might enlist the wisdom of crowds in order to improve government's decisions—while promoting participation at the same time. A brilliant book and a truly extraordinary achievement."—Cass R. Sunstein, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard Law School



"Beth Noveck concretely shows how to leverage the participatory nature of Web 2.0 technologies to build a new kind of participatory democracy and a smart, lean government. A must-read not just for policy folks and the digerati but for any of us wanting to understand how to tap the collective and diverse wisdom of the American people to create a better, more connected style of democracy."—John Seely Brown, former chief scientist, Xerox Corp.



"Noveck's approach to e-governance is to study where citizen online collaboration can have an impact, and she shows that one can design for participatory democracy with compelling results."— Library Journal



"An inspiring and ambitious book, Noveck uses the United States Patent Trade Office (USPTO) "Peer-to-Patent" model which invites the public to participate in the patent examination process, as the central example of how ordinary people can participate within democracy in the digital age."— OhMyGov!



"Book of the week"—Michel Bauwens, P2P Foundation



"Good reading."—Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland, Science

About the Author

Beth Simone Noveck is professor of law and director of the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School and a visiting professor at Stanford University. She advised the Obama-Biden campaign and transition project on innovation and government.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press; Reprint edition (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815705107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815705109
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,160,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Beth Simone Noveck directs The Governance Lab (www.thegovlab.org) and its MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance. Funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Google.org, the GovLab strives to improve people's lives by changing how we govern. The GovLab designs and tests technology, policy and strategies for fostering more open and collaborative approaches to strengthen the ability of people and institutions to work together to solve problems, make decisions, resolve conflict and govern themselves more effectively and legitimately.

The Jerry Hultin Global Network Professor at New York University's Polytechnic School of Engineering, she was formerly the Jacob K. Javits Visiting Professor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a visiting professor at the MIT Media Lab. Beth is a professor of law at New York Law School and a Senior Fellow at the Yale Law School Information Society Project. She served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer and director of the White House Open Government Initiative (2009-2011). UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her senior advisor for Open Government, and she served on the Obama-Biden transition team. Among projects she's designed or collaborated on are Unchat, The Do Tank, Peer To Patent, Data.gov, Challenge.gov and the Gov Lab's Living Labs and training platform, The Academy.

A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, she serves on the Global Commission on Internet Governance and chaired the ICANN Strategy Panel on Multi-Stakeholder Innovation. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Open Contracting Partnership. She was named one of the "Foreign Policy 100″ by Foreign Policy, one of the "100 Most Creative People in Business" by Fast Company and one of the "Top Women in Technology" by Huffington Post. She has also been honored by both the National Democratic Institute and Public Knowledge for her work in civic technology.

Beth is the author of Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger and Citizens More Powerful, which has also appeared in Arabic, Russian, Chinese and in an audio edition, and co-editor of The State of Play: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds. Her next book Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing will appear with Harvard University Press in 2015. She tweets and writes on Medium @bethnoveck.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andy Nash on November 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone interested in using the Internet to help improve the way government works should read this book. Noveck presents an excellent background describing the problems with existing government decision-making processes, a case study of the Peer-to-patent process she helped develop and recommendations for developing effective Internet based applications.

The book is well written and edited, easy to read and full of examples that will spur your creativity. I read it quickly and thought it was very good, but as I go back and re-read sections I think it's extraordinary.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pat B on April 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Many feel that government will be improved when there is more participation by individual citizens. In Wiki Government,1 Beth Simone Noveck tells of the potential for using information technology to acquire more input from the citizenry. Noveck sees more social justice in a world in which government actions are influenced by the inputs of citizens on the Internet with social networking software.

Peer-To-Patent

Wiki Government starts off by recounting one successful use by government of the interactive technology of Web 2.0. The author directed this project when she was a Professor at New York Law School. The demonstration project is the Peer-To-Patent Initiative, a system that now facilitates the processing of patents in the field of information technology at the US Patent Office.
The problem faced by the Peer-To-Patent demonstration project is multi-faceted: the allocated time for a bureaucrat to approve a patent is short, many patents are approved in error, and this leads to costly litigation. The solution is to provide government officials with better information when they are making decisions. This information comes from the online collaboration of relevant volunteers who participate in Peer-To-Patent.
A volunteer user of Peer-To-Patent initially chooses from a list of patent applications and joins a team that's reviewing one. The reviewers discuss the application's focus and quality with posted comments, suggest further research, and inputs of prior "art." The latter is documentation of significant advances in information technology that occurred before the date of the patent application. The intellectual property in this prior "art" is protected by functions that are built-in to Peer-To-Patent.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I sat down intending to make this a five, but the two fluff reviews have to be off-set. Robert Ackoff would say this is a spectacular book about making the wrong things righter instead of the right things righter--too many lawyers and focused on improving a patent approval system that probably needs to be eradicated and the buildings and files plowed under with salt. It also lost one star because I was one of the 4,000 that actually participated in the Open Government experiment, where the legalization of marijuana triumphed and every time someone voted for my governance reform idea, a "monitor" from the partisan correctness office came in and voted against it moving it back down to zero. The author is naive to think this initiative is going anywhere without electoral reform that displaces the two-party tyranny and restores the Constitution, the Article 1 independence of an honest Congress, and integrity of the Executive at the political level. [See especially Chapter 21 in my new book that just went to the printer, INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainaabilty and is free online at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, and my earlier wire-bound book, also free online, Election 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (Substance of Governance; Legitimate Grievances; Candidates on the Issues; Balanced Budget 101; Call to Arms: Fund We Not Them; Annotated Bibliography).Read more ›
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By Sagar Jethani on September 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
Yawn. The author is far too taken with her previous work in pushing Washington to crowdsource patent applications. As nice as Peer-to-Patent may be, it does not define the totality of how the open-source movement can rebuild the way democracy works.
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