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My Society Our Society

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Ron Brownstein of the LA Times has a really thoughtful column today on what transparency means in the Internet Age. Keying off Sen. Barack Obama's announcement a week or so ago about the need to create more transparency for the work of government, Brownstein highlights the need to go beyond the simple provision of information about what government does in useable ways online (we agree that's necessary but not sufficient) to developing the kind of interactivity between citizens and lawmakers that is the hallmark of our colleagues in England at MySociety.org. That nonprofit's creative use of the Internet to engage citizens to collaboration with government (and the other way around) is setting the standard. Sunlight's already begun a series of conversations with MySociety that we expect yield some ways for us to experiment here in the US. Several future Sunlight efforts are looking in this direction.

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