Monday, February 14, 2011

Who in QLD government is using Web 2.0 or Gov 2.0 tools?

The Queensland State Archives recently commissioned a whole of Government
Recordkeeping and Web 2.0 online survey to investigate how Queensland's public
authorities were using Web 2.0 and social media2 tools to conduct government business.

The survey also asked public authorities about the policies and procedures they had in place to guide the business use of Web 2.0 tools by public sector staff.

While the survey focused on exploring how records of Web 2.0 activity were kept, it provides some useful insights into the extent of Web 2.0 and Gov 2.0 activity across the Queensland government.

There were 135 responses from 193 authorities invited to participate.

The full survey is available in PDF from (this link now works!)

Here are some highlights, paraphrased from the survey:
  • Over half the responding Queensland public authorities are currently using, or intend to use, Web 2.0 tools for business purposes.
    • All State government departments (13) responded, with 10 indicating they are currently or would soon be using Web 2.0 tools (76%) 
    • Forty-seven local government agencies responded, with 23, slightly less than half (49%) indicating they were currently or would soon use Web 2.0 tools for business purposes.
  • The most common uses by public authorities of Web 2.0 tools are to provide information, promote, or receive feedback on services or products. Community consultation is also commonly undertaken using Web 2.0 tools.
  • Public authorities are using Web 2.0 tools on externally hosted websites, on government websites and on government intranets.
  • Web 2.0 tools are used by and in diverse areas within public authorities, including communications, marketing, corporate services, IT, community engagement and customer services functions.
  • Pertaining specifically to record-keeping, while most responding Queensland public authorities had recordkeeping policies in place, they had not yet developed and implemented recordkeeping policies which specifically address Web 2.0 records.
So what tools or services were State government agencies using?

RSS feeds - which I wouldn't consider a Web 2.0 technology, ranked the highest, with 70% of state agencies already using the technology.

Facebook and Twitter were the most common services used,  with 60% of state agencies currently using these services, followed by YouTube at 50% current use.

Blogs and wikis were also quite popular, with 40% of state agencies already using these tools.

Agencies didn't indicate any current use of crowdsourcing, however 40% of agencies indicated they intended to use crowdsourcing tools in the next twelve months.

Mash-ups received a small mention, alongside other Web 2.0 tools.

Why did local government use Web 2.0?

It's interesting to see the diversity of uses for Web 2.0 services and technologies - for promotion, information, feedback, consultation, information release, professional networking, organisational learning and so on (see graph below).

It's clear that Web 2.0 services and tools have enormous horizontal utility in organisations which, in my view, supports the case for social media not being the sole preserve or under the control of government communications units.

Web 2.0 policy

Finally, there's still an enormous gap in the area of policy and procedure for Web 2.0 use.

Over 40% of Queensland public sector authorities who responded to the survey did not yet have guidance in place to support, educate and guide staff in the use of Web 2.0.

In many other cases guidance was specific to a particular medium (such as Twitter) and did not adequately cross all the different forms of social media and Web 2.0 channels.

I believe this remains an area of significant concern for government agencies. It makes it more difficult to identify, flag and address inappropriate use of digital channels, or to educate and support staff on how to use these channels effectively and appropriately for their own benefit as well as the organisation's.


  1. Thanks for this summary Craig.

    The direct link doesn't seem to work for me however, it does seem to work from the State Archives page -

    On RSS: I see RSS as a key enabler in making Open Data usable and thus useful (along, of course, with the data being made available in machine readable formats and with open licensing). Thus, whilst not strictly a Web 2.0 technology, definitely a useful architectural component - and very happy to see it's widespread usage across authorities.

    Also great to see Web 2.0 tools being used for Collaboration and Consultation within agencies and for Research purposes.

    Regarding Social Media Policy: I think that last weeks publication of the Social Media Policy and Guidelines by the Queensland Government will go a long way to addressing the concerns about the limited number of authorities with such guidelines in place.

    Thanks again for summarizing - I'll raise this in our 'Gov 2.0 News' section at this weeks Government 2.0 in Queensland get-together ( for anyone interested).


  2. Hi Craig,
    Thanks for the post. I've heard lots of good feedback about your presentation and the session last week. It's great to see momentum growing up here!
    The Gov2qld community is going great. We've built a real community of practise and discussion is encouraging and constructive.
    BTW - the link in this post doesn't work.
    Hope to meet you soon.