Monday, September 14, 2009

US launches Gov 2.0 consultation on national broadband network

The US is a little behind Australia in considering a National Broadband Network, however it has taken a very different approach in consulting and engaging citizens, opening up the discussion to the US community in a Gov 2.0 manner.

The US Government's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has launched Broadband.gov as a web 2.0 enabled site to manage the central conversation around a US National Broadband Plan.

It has also introduced an Ideascale portal for individuals to raise, vote on and discuss ideas and potential challenges at national and local levels and shake out the key issues for the community.

The FCC also has a blog, Facebook site, interactive Twitter feed (where the FCC responds to questions), YouTube channel and RSS feeds. It is also holding face-to-face and webinar workshops to discuss what US citizens want in a broadband network. All of these workshops are recorded and made available online.

What I think is most important is how the FCC is using these channels in a consistent and integrated manner to support public discussion and engagement.

Often organisations don't have a strategy (communications plan) behind their online engagement channels and, as a result, they do not function in a synchronised and mutually reinforcing manner - and in some cases can act against each other, reducing the effectiveness of an online conversation and reducing the online credibility of the organisation.

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