Friday, December 19, 2008

A better name for Government 2.0

I'm not a fan of terms such as Web 2.0, which seems to refer to any internet development since 2001. The web is an evolving medium, just like any other. We don't see the term 'Television 2.0' (or 5.0 considering all the generational changes) used to refer to reality TV.

I'm even less comfortable with the term 'Government 2.0' - which refers nebulously to government use of 'Web 2.0' technologies - a slogan on a slogan.

Government 2.0 isn't quite an entire rethink of how democratic government works. Government remains an elected institution designed to provide 'public goods', infrastructure and services more efficiently than would be provided by private concerns. It also has a critical role in regulating and balancing competing economic and social forces to ensure the needs of a community are met with minimal disadvantage to specific groups.

What government 2.0 involves, in my thinking, is significant changes to mindsets, business processes, infrastructure and funding models to adapt how government listens to and engages the public, customers, clients and other stakeholders.

These changes mirrors the social and economic changes already occurring in the community to exploit potential benefits derived through technological innovation.

(Feel free to tell me that my definition is wrong)

So if we need an alternative term to Government 2.0 what should it be?

Personally I favour terms such as 21st century government, modern government or connected government - which reflect that the goal is to reconnect government with its stakeholders using modern techniques and tecnologies.

Dr Mark Drapeau, from the Center for Technology and National Security Policy of the National Defense University in Washington, DC., recently asked people for a few ideas and presented them in his blog at Mashable in the post, Rebranding Government 2.0.

DO you think any of these terms will catch on?

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