Posts Tagged ‘Gov 2.0’

During the last two weeks, I heard two very different speakers talking about this very topic – Gov 2.0. Both of them of course had different views on it.

Dr Nicholas Gruen, Chair of the taskforce on Gov 2.0, was talking at a seminar in Parliament of Australia, possibly as part of his role to disseminate the findings of the taskforce and publicize the whole agenda of Gov 2.0. Being an web 2.0 evangelist, Nicholas of course, was keen to show the positive impacts of these so called web 2.0 technologies and what it means for government. Nicholas did point out the fads and pitfalls with these technologies but with the spirit of ”need for change in culture” in APS. Nicholas cited many examples from around the world to show the strength of these new applications and how they might change the way people collaborate, share and engage with each other.

Tim Turner, ADFA, presented quite a skeptic view of this topic in his seminar on 2nd March 2010 at an ACS branch seminar series. His talk titled : “Web 2.0 and Government-Citizen Interaction:Will the implementation reality be nirvana or nightmare?” explains his stance on this issue . He with humor tried to identify some grave concerns about these new ways of communication and connecting with citizenry. He showed the mismatch between the expectation set of citizens and the business of government and tried to highlight the problems that a government cannot afford to face. He posed questions like: How do you know these collaborations are by the mass and not by some mentalist Jo Blogg who has either nothing to do or just would like to destroy a good cause. How do you know which version to trust? How do you know these are authenticate, accurate? etc etc I have just discovered (26th march 2010) that  Tom Worthington’s blog ged about his talk as well.

What’s my take on this – of course there are concerns of using such disruptive technologies which are emerging and changing as we speak. But having said this, one can find plenty of examples, if not hundreds, of government initiatives with these new applications. Governments around the world are trying to reach out to citizens, trying to engage them and consult with them for a more collaborative, participatory and open government. Some of these initiatives have done well, some resulted in disaster. But if you haven’t tasted something how can you say you do like the taste or it’s not for you? The hype is true – the uptake by poeple is ‘humongous’. Government must get their hands dirty and find out whether web 2.0 is the new way of connecting and collaborating with citizens.

I believe the web 2.0 has potential to enhance the business of government in certain areas both internally and externally. But what form it will take is still unknown. It could be Gov 3.0, networked government or altogether totally something different.


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