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Stop Complaining, Go Online

Howard County turns to crowdsourcing on the internet to hear your ideas and suggestions.

Howard County officials residents are around here, and now they’re putting that idea to the test.

They want you to offer your ideas for development of the county’s information technology strategic plan.

It works like this: Residents go to http://ideas.howardcountymd.gov to post knowledge and suggestions in what is known in internet lingo as crowdsourcing, collecting the best ideas from a large online community. When it works, the best of the lot gains momentum and is used to solve problems, discover truths or make change or improvement.

“We are fortunate to have a wired and engaged citizenry to help propel Howard County forward as we strive to better meet the needs of those we serve,” said County Executive Ken Ulman in a press release. “Engaging both residents and the technology industry through this type of online, public forum will enable us to develop a stronger, more meaningful strategic plan.”

Now through May 31, county residents and businesses can visit the county’s “Ideas Page” and offer suggestions for the DTCS strategic plan in six categories: data management, data transparency, records management, social technology, cloud computing and spatial or local awareness. 

If you know what most of those things are, you're just the one in the crowd the county is looking for.

The technology plan was last updated in 2007, according to Ulman’s office.

“Crowdsourcing is a great way to foster openness and identify innovative solutions to make Howard County, and government in general, stronger and more effective,” said Chief Information Officer Ira Levy. “We look forward to receiving guidance straight from those in the private sector and tech community so that we can continue to stay ahead of the curve.”

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