WSG: Web 2.0 and Government

One of my teammates invited me along to a WSG meeting today on Web 2.0 and Government. There were two presenters, Matt Hodgson (slides here) and Stephen Zafir. Although quite different in content, the two presentations hit some of the same core messages. To me, the take-aways were:

  • There's a genuine opportunity for government to change the way it interacts with citizens by making use of some of the newer web technologies and communication paradigms
  • You really, really need to think through how your users want to interact with the organisation, and vice versa
  • It's important to speak in the language of your users, not your department
  • Internal culture will be the biggest barrier

    • Decision makers might be keen to implement buzzwords,
    • but may be less keen about the consequences of opening things up
  • Using a particular technology can bring expectations, so be careful how you brand things (eg expectation that a wiki is open, comments can be left ob blogs etc)
  • Existing popular sites/tools (blogs, facebook, flickr, twitter etc) can help drive traffic to your main site, if used in the right way

    • these presences need to be actively managed
    • there's an expectation that you will engage, not just publish
It was also nice to see that the site Matt's currently working on is pretty similar in design to what my clients have been working on to engage the community with respect to the design of the main website. So despite being a pretty damn conservative, we're not completely clueless.

comments powered by Disqus