Gov 2.0 Can’t be Driven by Government

At a conference in Canada, Andrea DiMaio argues again that for Government 2.0 to be effective, governments need to go where people are rather than trying to reinvent the wheel.  From itWorld Canada:

In a keynote speech at the Municipal Information Systems Association (MISA) 2011 conference, Andrea DiMaio, vice-president and distinguished analyst at research firm Gartner Inc., said the concept of “government 2.0” often lacks clarity. While more cities are investing in online tools to collaborate with citizens or serve them more directly, he said the pace of collaboration is driven entirely by government, and pays scant attention to the sites where everyday people do most of their online activities.

…Most municipalities, unfortunately, find themselves at some point on the continuum of either denying the use of social media in their organizations, attempts to replace services by creating their own versions of Facebook, which no one uses, or embracing the services. He suggested that rather than creating “official” Facebook pages for cities or departments, it might be better to encourage personal accounts to work directly with citizens.

“Employees are banned or are tolerated for using services, when they should be protected and rewarded,” he said. “This is about policy, performance appraisal, making every employee more productive. Most of the focus is on social media policies, how to stop or prevent people from doing stupid things, rather than encouraging people to do the right things.”

While many cities have also been aggressively releasing set of information for the public to create their own applications, DiMaio was far more sceptical of the “open data” movement.

You can read the rest of the argument here.

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