Buying a used car on the Internet: pitfalls and lessons learned

This is an unusual topic for me but since I never really found a single article on the web that explained these concepts to me, I thought I’d cobble together some knowledge from my recent used car purchase. Enjoy! Background: my wife and I owned an old, 1997 Pathfinder that recently failed emissions due to a faulty knock sensor. Repairs would cost more than the car was worth, so we decided it was time for a new, used car and […]

Midas: A Marketplace for Innovation in Government

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Midas: A Marketplace for Innovation in Government By Joe Polastre, 18F and Matt Chessen, Department of State Midas is an online platform that brings to life the vision of an “Innovation Toolkit” for government. It is a marketplace of skill building opportunities which matches people to projects that they’re passionate about. You can think of it as “kickstarter for people’s time”. The concept of an Innovation Toolkit started as a Presidential Innovation Fellows project to give federal employees a place to work on innovative ideas across […]

Tim’s Vermeer, Elon Musk and the destiny of human brilliance

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I just watched the movie ‘Tim’s Vermeer’ In which inventor Tim Jenison sets out to paint a replica of Johannes Vermeer’s painting ‘The Music Lesson.’ You can see Vermeer’s painting and Jenison’s work here.  The film was mind blowing, but not because Jenison was able to produce a near masterpiece quality work in his first significant painting. What was mind blowing was the unbelievable level of focus and dedication that Jenison put into the project, which took over five years […]

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Diplomacy Lab – State crowdsourcing the big challenges

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  The Secretary’s Special Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies has gone public with the Diplomacy Lab, their program for crowdsourcing macro-work from universities. This is in contrast to VSFS which is more focused on micro-tasking and shorter term projects. eDiplomacy and SACSED presented an ignite on VSFS and Diplomacy Lab at last Friday’s Tech@State (about half way through) (I also highly recommend John Maeda’s presentation – he’s the president of the Rhode Island school of […]

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Crowdsourced legislation and policy

Crowdsourcing is going to revolutionize how government legislation is drafted and how policy is created and executed. And why not? The very nature of government crowdsourcing is involving the people in government. Whereas open data initiatives are one way – government publishing info to the masses – crowdsourcing enables two-way collaboration. Citizens will have the ability to actively comment on and shape legislation and policy. That sounds a lot like democracy to me. How will this revolution occur? IBM recently […]

Digital reputations, development and diplomacy

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Below is my presentation from the June 7 Tech@State: Moneyball Diplomacy where I analyzed how reputation scores might transform how diplomacy and development are assessed. I’d love any comments you might have on the prezo. Digital Reputations, Development and Diplomacy The full slide deck is here. Following is the text of the presentation as delivered. Hi I’m Matt Chessen. I’m going to talk to you about digital reputations and how they could transform diplomacy and development in the future. Where […]

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US Navy and Army Crowdsourcing innovation

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It looks like the US military is starting to get serious about crowdsourcing. The US Navy launched a massively multi-player online war game back in 2011 to come up with innovative ideas for combating Somali piracy. Now the Army launched Army CoCreate which aims to develop innovative ideas for everything from combat ISR to water filtration. What’s promising about both of these sites is that they look to source ideas from the general public rather than just from the military. […]