Monday, January 18, 2010

Australian Gov 2.0 isn't a spectator sport - get involved in 2010

I've had an extended break from blogging over the holiday period to think about the direction of Gov 2.0 in Australia for 2010.

Now that the Gov 2.0 Taskforce has disbanded, it's time for the budding Gov 2.0 community to begin taking on more responsibility across Australian governments to support each other, share knowledge and build a more interactive and supportive community.

To play the self-interest card, it is also good for peoples's future careers to be involved - building their professional expertise and networks.

There are already several groups beginning to form and a number of individuals across Australian government becoming more active in Gov 2.0. However more involvement by more individuals will be needed to build momentum for 2010.

Gov 2.0 isn't a spectator sport - it's all about participation. So if you're involved, even peripherally, in the area, get involved in events and groups like those below.

At the moment the (free to attend) events below are all in Canberra. If you have one coming up in your state, let me know with a comment. I'll put them all into a calender of Gov 2.0 events for Australia.

Upcoming events
Gov 2.0 dinner
When the Gov 2.0 Taskforce kicked off last July a lunch gathering took place in Parliament House with the Taskforce Chairman, Dr Nicholas Gruen, to introduce him to Canberra's Gov 2.0 community and to provide some initial thoughts on the process.

Having reached the end of the Taskforce's road (in its present form), I've organised a Gov 2.0 dinner on Friday 22 January at Ottomon Restaurant in Canberra. Dr Gruen will again be in attendance and I'm sure the discussion will both reflect on the Taskforce process and on the path ahead.

Please RSVP quickly if you wish to attend as most of the booked spots are already filled - at

BarCamp Canberra
What's a BarCamp? An ad-hoc conference where anyone can choose to speak or discuss a topic they are passionate about (usually related to design, technology and the internet).

As Canberra is heavily weighted towards public servants, BarCamps in Canberra tend to feature a large number of public servants and feature wide-ranging discussion on Gov 2.0, as well as many other fascinating topics. People interested in speaking for 15 minutes on a topic close to their heart are particularly welcome.

The third BarCamp Canberra is being held on Saturday 6 February at the ANU. Entry is free, but you must RSVP at

Australian Community Managers Roundtable
The Australian Community Managers group formed several years ago as a community of practice for people involved in managing online communities focused on user-generated content.

The group meets in-person regularly (see this post about a previous meeting) and also discusses the topic online (naturally) at Facebook and in a Google Group. If you're involved in managing one of the growing numbers of government sites incorporating user-generated discussions this group is a valuable source of shared knowledge.

The next Australian Community Managers Roundtable is in Canberra on Friday 5 March and is now open for RSVPs - though limited to only 20 attendees. RSVP for the event at the Facebook group.


  1. 18, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    good on you Craig and you're so right! There's been a tsunami of talk, reports,guidelines ad nauseum, ad infinitum on this and related e-engagement, web 2.o/gov2.0/e-democracy concepts for years now, but action is what's required. We just need to do it.

  2. Hi Craig:
    Can you please contact me at when you have a chance? I was hoping I could ask you a question.
    Thank you.


  3. Speaking of which; why not post a few articles on actions taken to open up specific individual bits of data?

    In the last while I've:

    2006: Fought with the SA Dept of Transp. Energy & Inf. re bus time tables, and been treated like a child

    2009: Synced up a lot of geonames places with Census Population data.

    2009: Nibbled at getting NUTTAB data ( onto Freebase - kind of hard :(

    2009: Gotten a knock back by the war graves commission to use their data, even though it was used in one of the gov2.0 mashups :(

    2009: Gotten the SA Dept. of Env & Heritage frog atlas data onto the semantic web as best I could

    2010: Complained to my council and gotten stuff fixed with "Its Buggered Mate" (two streetlights and some pavement. WOO.)

    2009: Made a scraper for EDALA for (SA only, and I have no idea if it's switched on or functional.)

    2010: Made some tentative efforts to get a dump of ABN details and link that all up to Freebase's Company listings.

    This is just little old me - I'm sure there are hundreds of examples out there to shine a light on.

  4. Hi Daniel,

    The difficulty is finding these wonderful examples :)