Alex Howard

Alexander B. Howard is the Government 2.0 Washington Correspondent for O'Reilly Media, where he writes about the intersection of government, the Internet and society, including how technology is being used to help citizens, cities, and national governments solve large-scale problems. He is an authority on the use of collaborative technology in enterprises, social media and digital journalism. He has written and reported extensively on open innovation, open data, open source software and open government technology. He has contributed to the National Journal, Forbes, the Huffington Post, Govfresh, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, CBS News' What's Trending, Govloop, Governing People, the Association for Computer Manufacturing and the Atlantic, amongst others. Prior to joining O’Reilly, Mr. Howard was the associate editor of SearchCompliance.com and WhatIs.com at TechTarget, where he wrote about how the laws and regulations that affect information technology are changing, spanning the issues of online identity, data protection, risk management, electronic privacy and cybersecurity. He is a graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

Charging up: Networking resources and recovery after Hurricane Sandy

In the wake of a devastating storm, here's how you can volunteer to help those affected.

Even though the direct danger from Hurricane Sandy has passed, lower Manhattan and many parts of Connecticut and New Jersey remain a disaster zone, with millions of people still without power, reduced access to food and gas, and widespread damage from flooding. As of yesterday, according to reports from Wall Street Journal, thousands of residents remain in…
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NYC’s PLAN to alert citizens to danger during Hurricane Sandy

A mobile alert system put messages where and when they were needed: residents' palms.

Starting at around 8:36 PM ET last night, as Hurricane Sandy began to flood the streets of lower Manhattan, many New Yorkers began to receive an unexpected message: a text alert on their mobile phones that strongly urged them to seek shelter. It showed up on iPhones: This Emergency Alert just popped up on my phone. Ten seconds later,…
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What I learned about #debates, social media and being a pundit on Al Jazeera English

Why I'll be turning off the Net and tuning in to the final presidential debate.

Earlier this month, when I was asked by Al Jazeera English if I’d like to be go on live television to analyze the online side of the presidential debates, I didn’t immediately accept. I’d be facing…
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San Francisco looks to tap into the open data economy

With revised legislation and a chief data officer, San Francisco is iterating on its platform goals.

As interest in open data continues to grow around the world, cities have become laboratories for participatory democracy. They’re also ground zero for new experiments in spawning civic startups that deliver city services or enable new relationships between the people and city government. San Francisco was one of the first municipalities in the United States to embrace the
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Data from health care reviews could power “Yelp for health care” startups

Data-driven decision engines will need patient experience to complete the feedback loop.

Given where my work and health has taken me this year, I’ve been thinking much more about the relationship of the Internet and health data to accountability and patient-driven health care. When I was looking for a place in Maine to go for…
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The missing ingredient from hyperwired debates: the feedback loop

The 2012 Presidential debates show how far convergence has come and how far we have yet to go.

What a difference a season makes. A few months after widespread online frustration with a tape-delayed Summer Olympics, the 2012 Presidential debates will feature the most online livestreams and wired, up-to-the-second digital coverage in history. Given the pace of technological change, it’s inevitable that each election season…
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Four key trends changing digital journalism and society

Commonalities between the Knight Foundation's News Challenge winners hint at journalism's networked future.

It’s not just a focus on data that connects the most recent class of Knight News Challenge winners. They all are part of a distributed civic media community that works on open source code, collects and improves data, and collaborates…
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Congress launches Congress.gov in beta, doesn’t open the data

The Library of Congress launched a new website for a more mobile public to access legislative information

The Library of Congress is now more responsive — at least when it comes to web design. Today, the nation’s repository for its laws launched a new beta website at Congress.gov and announced that it would eventually replace Thomas.gov, the 17-year-old website that represented one…
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A marriage of data and caregivers gives Dr. Atul Gawande hope for health care

How transparency, real-time feedback, and lessons from the police can improve health outcomes.

Dr. Atul Gawande (@Atul_Gawande) has been a bard in the health care world, straddling medicine, academia and the humanities as a practicing surgeon, medical school professor, best-selling author and staff writer at the New Yorker magazine. His long-form narratives and books have helped…
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President Obama participates in first Presidential AMA on Reddit

The President's participation in a user-driven Q&A was a notable precedent in digital democracy.

Starting around 4:30 PM ET today, President Barack Obama made history by going onto Reddit to answer questions about anything for an hour. Reddit, one of the most popular social news sites on the Internet, has been hosting “Ask Me Anything” forums — or AMAs…
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