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State governments don't tend to be incubators of innovation. Certainly not when it comes to technology, design or digital fabulousness. That would be OK — if they recognized and adopted good ideas when they found them.
For the most part, however, they don't. With some exceptions, the typical government website is about a decade behind the technology curve, difficult to navigate and about as effective at promoting transparency as a brick wall. California has done particularly badly on that front, according to a recent study by the California Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, which rated it one of the least digitally transparent states when it came to spending. Even Texas does a better job of making government information available online, the study found.
This is particularly embarrassing for the state that gave the world Silicon Valley, but it doesn't have to be that way for long. A new online initiative, DigitalDemocracy.org, shows Californians exactly what they are missing and provides a blueprint for how to build it.
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