The Open Government Brainstorm


The Open Government Brainstorm is wrapping up, and a lot of people had a lot to say. Over 1000 ideas got published and voted on. You can see all of them, too– from most popular: “Support a 72-Hour Mandatory Public Review Period on Major Spending Bills” to the least popular: “Create a new Administration”. My personal favorite was obviously “Free Pizza Fridays” but alas, I guess the community didn’t feel as though it had much relevance– it ended with a score of -25.

There’s actually some great ideas here, and also some interesting metadata. Of course we made our traditional gratuitous tag cloud:

Wordle Applet

I made some editorial choices here: I removed the words: “Federal”,”Government”,”Open” and “Dialogue” as they were extremely prevalent and really didn’t have a lot of relevance. Going beyond tag clouds though, you get to see some other interesting data. For instance, looking at the major categories of Transparency, Participation, Collaboration, Capacity Building, Legal & Policy Challenges, and Uncategorized (other) you can see which categories people have the most ideas in:

Transparency and Participation clearly got the majority of the ideas– and they must have expected this. The number of ideas in each major category is correlated to their order on the sidebar on the Open Gov dialogue page. But what if you get into votes? How does that fare? Which categories had the best average?

All in all, there’s some real treasures in there. If you’re interested in the Apps for America 2 contest, then you may find some inspiration amongst the ideas. For me personally, I found that the ideas that received the most votes are the ones with institutions behind them– so they may not be examples of the best ideas, but rather examples of the ones with the best organizers behind them.

The real question is: what’s next? Apparently the next phase is “Discuss” to dig deeper on the ideas discussed on the brainstorm pages. That starts late next week.