Government 2.0

Bug On A Yellow Flower

Australia is in the early stages of government 2.0 and has been communicating some information through a blog where the latest post in it caught my eye.
The post is titled with a twist over Bill Clintons known 1992 election phrase IT’s the economy stupid latching on it and forcing the post to adhere to the title.

The depiction of interaction using web 2.0 tools is uneven and tends to look at the community to government communication channel.
This in turn is depicted as an overwhelming tidal wave making government representatives conduct several conversations at the same time whilst responding to these “Social Applications”.

“Web 2.0 cant turn Ministers into omniscient beings able to conduct thousands of simultaneous conversations”

This aroused a bit of sarcasm and made me think that they deserve their future as they are planning it. They should suffer their stupidity!
But that is not my true nature and i thought i need to help them out.

The issues that are obvious revolve around the aspiration of the Australian government to build and maintain a community for every aspect of every office, doing so will make them the omniscient creatures they are so scared of.
This aspiration is probably driven from the need to control and is lacking true eDemocracy feature like freedom of speech.
Government doesnt need to go through the extremely difficult process of establishing a community it has to tap into existing online communities as a participant.
The role of the government as a community builder is twisted and wrong, it opposes the ground over which a government is established, government is the peoples tool and should be capable of gathering the needs from the public, election is one of these tools.
The disregarded area of Government to Citizen communication channels in the post is, from my point of view, makes a much more natural Web 2.0 adoption process then enforcing the political infrastructure to change its way of conducting business and become community moderators and builders.
Looking at Enterprise 2.0 toolset and how it might be implemented in the internal corridors of an office makes me think of enabling the internal processes of the government with internal wiki’s and external blogs and twits, that is probably the initial stage.
I totaly agree with tim’s point of view about the adoption of the hyped up toolset,

Its all too easy to get caught up in the cool factor of Web 2.0. The potential of the technology is so amazing that sometimes we can forget that at the end of the day, its still people on either end of the tubes.

but there is a need to advance with the time and the way people communicate with each other, there are many new tubes out there.

To enable the voice of the people there should be a more rigours study of the current communities and their covered subjects, a map of this eco system will benefit the short term initiatives exposure online and might reduce the need to use of media to announce the initiatives, in some cases.
The eco system map should be global to all offices and managed by an independent contractor, may be in Australia by Smart Services CRC, enabling all the offices to be exposed to the vast array of community and publish the word in multiple community making the information more visible.
Enterprise 2.0 in the government space is not as intuitive as the solutions in the Enterprise space and requires aggregation of many sources to a more coherent need of the citizens, this makes the adoption of the Enterprise 2.0 tools different and much more challenging then the Enterprise workspace but not much different.
The current processes of aggregation of information should not be abandoned for the sake of a new hyped up technology, technology should enable the prices to be more efficient and open thus improving it not abolishing it.
Should Government open their doors to outside information? yes they are required to do so in order to keep up with the citizen and the service he is getting from the business entities surrounding him. Citizens are getting used to know what is going with their friends and neighbours almost instantly and are capable of letting their opinion show, government should be able to let us know what is going on and how we can affect it by using the new communication tools like rss and twitter and allow us to act when we feel it matters.
I see the room for applications like online voting and crowd pools, experts forums and hosted forum threads, twitter/RSS updates for the office news based on subjects (not one twitter account for an office but multiple to each area) and so on.
What do you see in the future of eDemocracy?

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