As currently written, the CONOP only addresses internal activities (means) and doesn't identify the outcomes (ends) that would result from successful implementation of Data.gov. In paragraph 1 the CONOP states "Data.gov is a flagship Administration initiative intended to allow the public to easily find, access, understand, and use data that are generated by the Federal government.", yet there is no discussion about "what data" the "public" wants or needs to know about. The examples given in the document are anecdotal at best and (in my opinion) do not reflect what the average citizen will want to see--all apologies to Aneesh Chopra and Vivek Kundra, but I do not believe (as they spoke in the December 8th webcast) that citizens really care much about things like average airline delay times, visa application wait times, or who visited the Whitehouse yesterday. In paragraph 1.3 the CONOP states "An important value proposition of Data.gov is that it allows members of the public to leverage Federal data for robust discovery of information, knowledge and innovation, yet these terms are not defined--what are they to mean to the average citizen (public)?
I would suggest the Data.gov effort begin with a dialogue of the 'public' they envision using the data feeds on Data.gov; a few questions I would recommend they ask include:
1. What issues about federal agency performance is important to them?
2. What specific questions do they have about those issues?
3. In what format(s) would they like to see the data?
I would also suggest stratifying the "public" into the different categories of potential users, for example:
1. General taxpayer public, non-government employee
2. Government employee seeking data to do their job
3. Government agency with oversight responsibility
4. Commercial/non-profit organization providing voluntary oversight
5. Press, newsmedia, blogs, and mashups using data to generate 'buzz'