Thursday, December 04, 2008

What is your view of Web 2.0 use in Australian government?

Following AGIMO's Web 2.0 in government seminar this morning, what is your opinion on how well Australian government has been implementing Web 2.0?

I'm writing this before the event and will not be attending due to other commitments (but are sending several of my team), and so are very interested in what others thought.


  1. In general I would say pretty poorly.

    I think some of the cultural institutions (in particular the Australian War Memorial) have been making some pretty good progress, but the large departments are way back in the field.

    A lot of the excellent examples this morning were from state and local government - which have a large service delivery component (transport, law and order, education).

    Many departments and agencies at the Commonwealth level (but not all !) have a high level policy focus - the target audience is not so broad, and the opportunities for web 2.0 are not as wide ?

  2. Policy is supposed to be formed through consultation, collaboration and conversation is it not?

    Surely if this is do there is significant room for web 2.0 approached to inform policy formation and review.

    I heard good things about the event - that there is a great deal of support from the minister and that AGIMO is not far from releasing it's guidelines on the area.

    But what did people who attended think?

  3. "It's not the information you have, it's how richly linked it is" is something I stand by as far as information usage goes - whether you call it web 2.x or whatever.

    The big problem in government (and business) is the poor maintenance of metadata, most importantly for email - which holds a huge amount of information.

    This could be remedied very quickly by email client programs allowing "custom headers" to be added to a message (the infrastructure is already there, available in almost every rfc822-compliant api, as was a feature of many older character-based mail clients).

    Imagine if mail clients within agencies had an "add customer header", prompted for labels from a list (like AGLS metadata labels but starting with "X-AGLS-") and then let users enter values.

    FOI and bots preparing rich links would then be trivial - and the information would actually be used, rather than merely (at best) archived and forgotten.

    p.s. I'm a huge fan of AGIMO and Tanner's efforts ... but it is a massive culture shift they are attempting.

  4. Craig, i see from googles's cache you once managed to try out Govdex's confluence install ,

  5. My thinking is: agimo has devoted a lot of time money and people to the govdex project, and skilling up with confluence, the application is clearly feature rich enough to do any 2.0 functionality via it's xml/plug-in architecture, why wouldn't they go with confluence as the platform for whatever public-engaging eGov 2.0 activities they have in mind?
    So I started to play around with it, to get up to speed, registering a space, adding pages, resources, exporting, but then when i wasn't looking, my login disappeared, and I can't see how one registers now. I figured maybe I wasn't supposed to have been able to register in the first place, or they changed their mind about letting the public in.
    Can you still log in to to your govdex space?

  6. Craig... did you make a submission to the online consultation blog consultation of AGIMO's in late 2007/early 2008?? If you did, was it part of an agency submission or did you do it anonymously?

    And if not, why not... you obviously have a lot of useful thoughts on this.

    And my comment on the PDFs (unfortunately no html) from the seminar: Check out the file properties for the metadata.... YUK!

    At least you can ask for a DVD from