Today’s Wired News column is Saving Democracy With Web 2.0. Though I’ve tried to assiduously avoid the Web 2.0 hype, I’ve finally succumbed, drank the Koolaid and emerged more optimistic on the other end.

In the column, I try to convince Web 2.0 innovators that they can improve our political system. I write about Bruce Cahan’s (of Urban Logic) ideas for tagging datasets with spatial and other metadata to make them interoperate with other information. Bruce’s work involves using the market to encourage cities to do this with their data, creating a metric called “sustainable resiliancy”, so that in crisis decision makers have critical infrastructure, public health data, pollution flow, and all sorts of other critical information in a cool-looking, comprehensive map.

I want Web 2.0 technlogy applied to, for example, campaign finance data,government contracts and grants information, and EPA partical emissions permits so we can see how big campaign contributers get paid back, and which neighborhoods suffer. People can lay facts and figures from various sources on top of each other and learn all sorts of things about how the government works. More honest information in the hands of voters could transform politics-as-usual into government for the people.