Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Presentation from Friday's Seamless conference

Last Friday I presented on a personal basis at the Seamless CMS Government Conference in Melbourne to a collection of Councils from around Australia and New Zealand about the state of Government 2.0 in Australia.

I've included my presentation below.

It was an interesting conference. Councils are struggling with the same issues regarding Government 2.0 as their larger cousins at state and federal level, limited resources, management buy-in and mitigating the risks of engaging online.

As the 'front-line' of government, service-focused but smaller and often very agile, local councils have some unique advantages in the practical implementation of Government 2.0. In many cases their smaller constituencies can allow for deeper engagement simply as there are less relationships to maintain at any one time.

However they may suffer as well, having insufficient constituent mass on some issues to maintain an effective conversation and their individual lack of resourcing can make it difficult to add new capability.

One topic I spoke about was how councils can work together to leverage their resources. As they generally don't compete (except over attracting population or tourists) and perform almost identical functions - garbage, roads, community services - they have many opportunities to co-design solutions across council boundaries.

I also suggested that as the first government mash-up competition was run by a local council, the District of Columbia, they have a similar capacity to run events which attract best practice ideas and solutions from around the world - not simply their own constituents.

Over time I'm expecting significant Government 2.0 innovation to come out of councils - as we've already seen from places such as Mosman Council.

Also speaking at the conference was Ben Peacock, a founder of Republic of Everyone. He laid down five guidelines for social media that I felt were worth repeating:
  1. Involve people,
  2. Show respect,
  3. Share the wisdom,
  4. Don't be boring,
  5. Be prepared to lose control

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