Saturday, December 6, 2008

Government 1.0 -> Government 2.0

Observing, describing, and defining a 1.0 -> 2.0 transition may be a difficult undertaking.  Take Government 2.0, for example.  What is our context for "government;" local, state, federal, international?  All of these?  I think if we are going to attempt any articulation of a 1.0 -> 2.0 transition we should start by following a model.  In the case of all things 2.0, that model is obviously the seminal piece by Tim O' Reilly, entitled "What is Web 2.0?  Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software."

I suppose we should first start by questioning the appropriateness of trying to draw such inferences from one domain to another.  However, this is occuring regardless.  The 2.0 moniker is being attached to everything under the sun, perhaps without consideration of anything but brand/buzz recognition.  So, like it or not, we are now at a point where we must articulate what we mean by Government 2.0, indeed, by 2.0 in general.

I do think it is appropriate to use Web 2.0 as a model for other domains.  Web 2.0 is not just about technology.  It is about technology that recognizes and leverages the profound role of human behavior and scale.  It certainly seems relevant to Government 2.0

Literally, it may be appropriate to relate the seven top elements of O' Reilly's paper to other domains.  Intuitively I can see such relationships in Government 2.0.  Harnessing Collective Intelligence strikes me as very Democratic.  What could be more E Pluribus Unum?  Data is the next Intel Inside is Open Government Data (see also:  Kundra).  The sub-elements relate as well:  "A Platform Beats an Application Every Time" is exactly the point being made by Robinson, et al,  in "Government Data and the Invisible Hand."

But even before we get too carried away with that exercise, perhaps we should start where O'Reilly and MediaLive International started; with a brainstorm.  What are examples of the 1.0 to 2.0 transition in government?

Here are a few examples that are obvious to me:

NOAA active weather bulletins -> NOAA active weather RSS
Agency reports -> Open Government Data
Budget competition -> transparent investment
representatives' web sites -> representatives' blogs
Public council meeting -> public council WebEx
Requests for Proposals -> Contests for Apps (solutions)

Well, perhaps it's a start anyway.

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