Monday, December 22, 2008

Common Web 2.0 Services for Government Brainstorm

  1. SMS - ex., Twitter
  2. Expertise Location - ex., Facebook, LinkedIn, semantic profilers
  3. Tagging - ex., Delicious, Magnolia, Stumble Upon
  4. Image Sharing- ex., Flickr, Picasa, PhotoBucket
  5. Video Sharing- ex., YouTube, Vimeo, TroopTube! (12.28.08)
  6. Audio Sharing - ex., SoundCloud, HuffDuff
  7. Document Sharing - ex., Google Docs, MOSS, Word Press, Blogger, Tumblr
  8. Registry - ex., ACME.ProgrammableWeb, Wiki (?)
  9. Tele-presence - ex., Breeze, WebEx, GoToMeeting
  10. Search - ex. Google, Yahoo!
  11. Visualization - ex., ManyEyes, Swivel
  12. Dictionary - ex., ([WORD])
  13. Data Transformation- ex., ??
  14. [Update 12.29.08] Geospatial, mapping - ex., Google Earth/Maps, Microsoft Live Virtual Earth/Maps
  • Utility model (i.e., like electric, water, natural gas)
  • Specialized content and application services infrastructure
  • Government needs a strategy for inserting these technologies
  • Government strategy must be capabilities-based and vendor indifferent, yet cannot be generic
  • How exactly/specifically can government do business with Facebook or LinkedIn, for example?
  • To what extent will/should third-party integrators be involved?  Is Twitter likely to provide labor resources for technology insertion or would they just want to license the platform to third parties?
  • Companies listed above need a strategy for doing business with government.  Some have them, but most don't.
  • The mutual strategy should be for companies to implement their architectures for these platform services in public and government-managed domains.
  • Probably the biggest hurdle is the massive amount of process and procedure required to navigate the government marketplace and interact with customers
  • Culture gaps

More later...

[Update 12.23.08]
  • Security model is much more complicated than just protecting access to personal information; ease of and tracking of information flow a greater concern
  • Security models need to be reconsidered by both buyers and sellers


meznor said...

- Which culture needs to change - political or bureaucratic (or both)?

- Who will monitor the intense information flow? Time consuming... virtually a minute-by-minute monitoring is needed to stay on track...

- ...Twitter is a good medium for this, but are politicians/bureaucrats expected to respond, or simply consume the information and come up with a larger strategy?

- Is communications strategy, in its traditional sense, dead? They take a long time to research, and even longer to approve/implement/evaluate...

- ...communicators in government need to rethink EVERYTHING they were taught about communications/public affairs!

(I could go on forever on this topic.. at work, need to close screen lol...)

Kevin Curry said...


The culture gap I was thinking about was between Web 2.0 companies and both civil servants and traditional government IT contractors.

I assume by "monitor" you mean "pay attention to." I agree it can be time consuming. Some groups are clearly either assigning people to do it or letting them have the time.

But, taking Twitter as an example, we need to talk first about use cases. Specifically, I'm thinking more about platform for SMS as a medium in general, of which Twitter is an obvious example. Use cases to me might be more along the lines of, say, getting tweets from the national weather service about an impending storm. Even that might not be the best use case b/c after all so little of the public would get the message over that channel; just one of many channels. Perhaps there are use cases for private SMS networks in remote field locations? Anyway, have to start with actual use cases.

I don't think communications strategy is dead. Quite the contrary, any effective organization needs one. Perhaps modern communication operations and tactics are stilled viewed as non-traditional by many. Then again, SMS seems to be the most popular method of choice in the developing world and outside the US (and up there in Canada?). In any case can't abandon comms strategy. More important than ever.

meznor said...

The problem I see in my own workplace is an absolute fear to receive negative feedback from our publics. The open culture necessary for social media is not lining up to our corporate culture... our political culture is somewhat on board for social media, but they sort of see it as another *controllable*, one-way channel as opposed to what it's meant to be.

Monitoring is a huge issue in government, at least the way we're run. Our approval process is cumbersome, and to have to make the decision whether or not to approve a comment (my bosses are talking about closed comments entirely, but if they were open, they would absolutely be moderated) each time it appears on the site would be an extraordinarily cumbersome process.

I think communication strategies are more important than ever, too... just thinking out loud. But I also think plans will need to be more flexible, since social media is unpredictable. Our plans generally follow a template and don't allow for a lot of unpredictables. It's hard to pry open people's minds who are approving my plans and find a way to convince them that open comments is not a bad thing.

And Twitter as an SMS tool is a GREAT idea... we're crazy about Blackberrys in Canada. A Twitter-type communication with the publics would be awesome, if we could get one of our politicians or even directors to start doing it. I'm so impressed with how many American bureaucrats are on Twitter, talking with their own voices and speaking to the people. It's very heartening to see, and I hope it's an example we adopt sooner than later.

But we'll probably "wait and see"... wait to see if it's a good method before adopting. I don't believe we're ever early adopters in Canada.