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Allen Chen is a marketing director at Accela, working in a number of areas including product innovation, corporate branding, demand generation, strategic partnerships, and operations. He established Accela’s user experience program in 2006, which is responsible for the user interface design of Accela’s products, to ensure functionality is logical, consistently applied, scalable, and above all usable.

Civic Engagement: Where Does America Rank?


The  OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) just released an updated version of their  Better Life Index . The annual report measures the well-being of societies on 11 different dimensions from Housing, Education, and the Environment to Life Satisfaction and Civic Engagement. Accela is interested and involved in most all areas of governing, but we're keenly focused on civic engagement. In fact our new mission can be summed up as  bettering government through civic engagement . Check out the Better Life Index here:  http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org There's a rather nifty interactive UI that lets you tailor your own index according to the topics you value most. So how did the United States fair in 2013? When the 11 topics were weighted equally, Australia came out on top, with the U.S. near the head of the pack (6th out of the 34 nations included). The U.S. was #1 in both Housing and...
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Regionalization and Open Government: Key Themes of This Week's Civic Engagement Roadshow


The Accela Crew was out in full force this week in the heart of the South, with stops in Atlanta, GA, and Charlotte, NC. Our gracious host cities invited us into their offices to talk about Accela's new mission for #civicgood, to preview the new  Civic Hero 311/service request app, to hear a brief introduction to the Accela Developer Portal (available at  developer.accela.com ), and to interact at the first ever Southeastern regional user group meetings. Accela Sr. Software Architect Kris Trujillo discusses App Development in Atlanta In our discussions with Accela administrators and users, government leaders, and others from the local development community, several trends emerged: Engagement Is HOT Indeed! Just a few years ago, discussion around the concept of civic engagement centered around making government services more accessible to citizens over the Web or on their mobile devices. While this is an important part of government's purpose and...
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"Data-Hungry" Is the Sentiment at the Code Across America Hackathon



"In just one word, how are you feeling this morning?" That was one of the ice-breaker questions every participant of the  "Hack Your City with Your City" event in San Francisco answered as we went around the room and introduced ourselves. The most common answers were 'excited' or 'over/under-caffeinated,' but the answer that struck me most, and which was also a common theme amongst participants whom I spoke with throughout the day, was the phrase 'data-hungry.' It succinctly summarizes the primary challenge facing the Open Data movement today -- giving Developers an understanding of what data is available, how to get at it, and how to use it most effectively for common good. Once the data floodgates are opened, we just stand back and see what amazing apps spring forth. Accela partnered with  Code for America to host a hackathon on Saturday, February 23 at their Headquarters on 9th Street....
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