When you do something interesting (especially with government), it's sometimes better to act first and get permission later.
Think about the limitations of what a government (especially public servants) can do, then do what they cannot.
When building technological solutions for a community, invite the community to participate actively in a manner of *co-creation* so as to ensure the right needs are being met. Build with the community, not for it.
Publish your prototype as soon as possible, instead of trying to build a full product.
Whenever you invite your user to contribute their time or information, make sure to give them something back - like a customized interface.
Making civic technology is not about technology, it’s about finding new patterns of interacting with government and with each other. CivicPatterns collects lessons that we’ve learned about what we can do to enagage citizens using the web, to help governments and other institutions to open up, and to provide great services that people can use every day.