Wednesday, June 24, 2009

6-24-09: Follow-up: Wired Magazine Article on

This is probably a first for me. I first read "And Data for All: Why Obama's Geeky New CIO Wants to Put All Gov't Info Online" in a physical copy of Wired that was mailed to me via subscription. Then I saw the online article via a Google Reader RSS feed. Then I saw the video of the interview online (see below), embedded in the article. Marvelous use of technology to cover a story.

I'm a Conservative, I think by nature. On the whole I don't agree with what Obama is doing. But when I saw this interview with Vivek Kundra, the CIO of the United States (the first CIO I might add), I came to the conclusion that, on the technology front, Obama is on to something. Specifically:

Throughout the interview, Kundra mentions how they are trying to save taxpayer money, which is a key principle among conservatives like myself. This program also gets at the core of how the Federal government is supposed to operate, which is partly as a hub of information. The purpose of is to allow the American people to tap into the vast wealth of data collected by the Federal government. Kundra speaks of creating applications for the iPhone or starting up new businesses that use this raw data for good. I like that. That's innovative thinking I can believe in.

There are also some obvious drawbacks. There's always going to be the question of how the Administration's agenda plays into it (healthcare reform is one). It'd be hard to prove, since they are merely providing raw data, but people always suspect bias. What I'd like to see, as a person who mostly disagrees with Obama's tax and spend policies, is something from that changes how the Obama Administration operates. That would be good. I don't want this to simply be a program that says "Hey, look at how ass-backwards the Bush Administration was. All they ever did was delete a bunch of e-mails." Transparency is all well and good, but if it doesn't serve a general and objective purpose, people will simply see it as a political football.

There is a lot of promise in, and I am really interested in seeing it succeed on an objective level.

No comments: