I did not start the g0v movement. It was started late 2012 by my very good friend CL Kao and three of his friends. The way g0v works is this — we have a slogan, called “Fork the Government.” Fork has a very specific meaning in open-source development. It means take whatever is here, not rejecting it, but taking it to a different direction.

When it’s taking it to a different direction, it’s like experiments. It may fail and that’s OK. If it doesn’t fail, if it works in some way, then the original project — what we call the upstream — can merge this experiment back, and change the way it works. This is a way of a “constructive deconstruction” of an existing system.

So g0v.tw works very easily by taking the Taiwan government’s websites, such as the environmental agency, or the legislative body. Then, because they all end with gov.tw — that’s their domain name — we just have the “o” changed to a zero. For example, the Legislative Yuan is ly.gov.tw, if we change the O to a zero, you get to ly.g0v.tw.

That is a “fork” — experimenting for a way that’s easier for people to reason it out, to understand, and to interact with.

Once the government sees that, “Oh, this is actually a pretty good idea”, because we relinquish copyright using open source licenses, the government can merge the works back. They have already worked with the budget visualization systems, and the participatory systems on law-making. Nowdays, there are lots of g0v works that’s co-maintained by the city governments and the national government.

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