Gov 2.0: The Next Internet Boom

The emerging online field is helping entrepreneurs help governments work better
Apps like SeeClickFix, which lets citizens report problems, aim to make government more efficient

Kevin Merritt never intended to become a government contractor when he launched Socrata, an online service making it easy to share data—anything from crime statistics to football schedules. But early last year he noticed that federal agencies were the site's biggest users. "It became clear that a really good place for our technology was helping government organizations share data in the interest of transparency," says Merritt, a Microsoft veteran who lives near Seattle. Today the 14-employee startup has 20 government clients, including Medicare and the City of Seattle, some paying more than $5,000 a month.

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