NFOIC’s FOI Friday for December 30, 2011

Happy New Year, everyone!

Below, a few items selected from many of interest that we might not have drawn attention to earlier:

#gov20 2011 Year in Review

By most accounts, the biggest stories of 2011 were the Arab Spring, the historic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the death of Osama Bin Laden. In each case, an increasingly networked world experienced those events together through the growing number of screens. At the beginning of the year, a Pew Internet survey emphasized the Internet's importance in civil society. By year's end, more people were connected than ever before.

Time magazine named 2011 the year of the protester, as apt a choice as "You" was in 2006. "No one could have known that when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a public square, it would incite protests that would topple dictators and start a global wave of dissent," noted Time. "In 2011, protesters didn't just voice their complaints; they changed the world."

Visit O'Reilly Radar for the rest.

Philadelphia Open Government 2011 Year in Review

The time of year-end reviews and top 10 lists is now upon us, so I’m compiling the details of a watershed year for open data and civic hacking in two cities where I’ve seen huge leaps made in 2011 – Philadelphia and Baltimore.

In this first installment, I’ll focus on the “City of Brotherly Love” and highlight some of the events and developments of the past year that made it such a special one for the open government movement there. In the next installment, I’ll do the same for “Charm City.”

Visit govfresh for the rest.

Oakland City Hall gadfly Sanjiv Handa has died

Sanjiv Handa, a City Hall gadfly for more than 20 years who hammered city leaders on open government and regularly spoke on every item at City Council meetings, was found dead in a home near Piedmont Avenue on Tuesday. He was 55.


As sole proprietor of his subscription email newsletter, the East Bay News Service, Handa prided himself on holding elected officials accountable and strictly obeying the anti-secrecy mandates in government law.

Visit for the rest.