Tim O'Reilly Mentions Scott Heiferman On TechCrunch

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Scott 2.0, MeetUp.com 2.0
Social Networking: Where The Internet Comes Down From The Clouds

I just met Scott Tuesday evening: NY Tech MeetUp: Gravitas.

And now I read this gushing mention of him by Tim O'Reilly in TechCrunch: Gov 2.0: It’s All About The Platform. Makes me feel good. Scott started what I call a 5.0 company, one about face time. (Netizen: Web 5.0: Face Time) And he has executed well. And he has a sound business model. He charges organizers, organizers charge those who show up: everyone is happy. Wishing the guy all the best.
It’s important for the idea of “government as platform” to reach well beyond the world of IT. It was Scott Heiferman, the founder of meetup.com who hammered this point home to me. Meetup is a platform for people to do whatever they want with. A lot of them are using it for citizen engagement: cleaning up parks, beaches, and roads; identifying and fixing local problems.

In this regard, there’s a CNN story from last April that I like to tell: a

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road into a state park in Kauai was washed out, and the state government said it didn’t have the money to fix it. The park would be closed. Understanding the impact on the local economy, a group of businesses chipped in, organized a group of volunteers, and fixed the road themselves. I called this DIY on a civic scale. Scott Heiferman corrected me: “It’s DIO: Not ‘Do it Yourself’ but ‘Do it Ourselves.’”

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Imagine if the state government were to reimagine itself not as a vending machine but an organizing engine for civic action. Might DIO help us tackle other problems that bedevil us? Can we imagine a new compact between government and the public, in which government puts in place mechanisms for services that are delivered not by government, but by private citizens? In other words, can government become a platform?
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