Clay Johnson (technologist)
Clay Johnson is best known for his role in advocating for open source information in the federal government and has been involved in a number of activities around making government data more transparent and accessible. He also started the first Internet Knowledge Exchange: knowpost.com. His latest project, InfoVegan.com, focuses on information obesity, information diets, and civic accountability. He is encouraging those in the open government movement to "solve problems with technology"  and cultivate a community of developers to help make this happen.
Company and politics
In 2004, Johnson was the lead programmer for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign. Along with three other Howard Dean staffers (Ben Self, Jascha Franklin-Hodge, and Joe Rospars), Clay Johnson founded Blue State Digital, a company that provided technology services and online strategy for the 2008 Barack Obama Presidential Campaign. In 2006, Blue State Digital was one of Fast Company’s Fast 50.
In August 2012, Clay was selected as a Presidential Innovation Fellow and is currently supporting a project called RFP-EZ. The basic goal of RFP-EZ is to make it easier for small IT services firms to bid on and win government contracts for IT services (like coding and web development).
In 1995, Johnson was a frequent participant The Palace community, where he was known as "Turtle Boy", and later, "Turtle Man".
As an undergrad at University of Rhode Island in 1997, Johnson created HumanSearch based on the belief that no matter how intelligent the web becomes, humans could always out-perform it. The site offered its services of humans standing by for questions, at no charge, and grew to a community of over 100,000. In 2000, HumanSearch (then known as KnowPost) closed its doors.
In 2009, he was the Google-O’Reilly Open Source Community Builder of the Year, and in 2010, one of Federal Computer Week's Fed 100. He also worked as an Entrepreneur in Residence at a venture capital firm. From 2008-2010 he was Director of Sunlight Labs, a community of open source developers and designers dedicated making the U.S. Government more transparent, accountable and responsible.
Johnson is a frequent speaker at events such as SXSW, OSCON, Gov 2.0 Expo, and Web 2.0 Expo, where he presents about tactics to make information more available. He was a guest on NPR’s All Things Considered on June 8, 2009.
- Info Vegan
- Tim O'Reilly on accountability
- Huffington Post: Personal Democracy Forum
- Gov 2.0 Summit Apps for America
- Johnson as Lead Programmer
- "The Open Source Force Behind the Obama Campaign". Linux Journal. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
- Barack Obama Case Study
- Blue State Digital in Fast 50
- Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards
- Patent on Mouse-over in Search Results
- "Sen. Grassley's Twitter Broadside At Obama : NPR". www.npr.mobi. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
- Story on NPR
- Clay Johnson (2012), The Information Diet: a Case for Conscious Consumption, Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media, ISBN 9781449304683, OCLC 754720170, 1449304680
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