Chris Anderson, of Wired magazine and “The Long Tail” fame, was the keynote speaker at FOSE this morning. He spoke on “For the People and By the People: Delivering on the Promise of Gov 2.0”.
Anderson started off with an interesting example – the infamous Twitter fail whale. Countless users have bemoaned the unreliability of Twitter, though in fact, the service has been down only occasionally and it’s gotten dramatically better of late. He contrasted this with a couple of stories about government sites. In the first, he had to pay taxes in Delaware for his corporation but their web site was down for the entire weekend before his taxes were due. In another example, he wanted to pay a traffic ticket he received in Truckee, CA, but the town did not take credit cards online, something a teenager could’ve set up. These are much more critical tasks than updating your Twitter feed.
Four Web Rules of the Google Generation
In Anderson’s view, the Google Generation (those who grew up with the Internet) expects government sites to work as well as commercial sites. But I think any regular user of the web thinks this way, no matter the age. He listed four rules of the Google Generation. This is what they expect:
- Everything should work all the time.
- If you can’t find it on Google, it doesn’t exist.
- Meet us where we live (Facebook, Flickr, Twitter).
- We want to interact with your content.
Unfortunately, as Anderson listed in his Delaware example, not everything works all the time on .gov sites. Also, while optimizing your content for Google is a great idea, not all .gov sites do this and some government content is hidden in databases which Google has a hard time searching. There are just a few examples of government in Facebook or Flickr though this is a common practice in the .com and .org worlds. And the idea of people discussing, rating, ranking and remixing government content on a .gov site is something I’ve never seen before (but would love to). Continue reading “Chris Anderson on "Delivering on the Promise of Gov 2.0"”
Here’s what’s interested me this week:
Government 2.0: The Midlife Crisis
Hard truths about the difficulties of implementing Web 2.0 in government.
It’s Time for Governance
Even more hard truths, this time about professionalizing web site management in government.
Wil Wheaton Interview on Lulu
Interesting article on why a blogger went the self-publishing route.
Apple Store Coming to DC
One more day to see this photo show at Flashpoint.
Some more random thoughts about Transparency Camp 09. Here are my big take-aways from the conference.
Excitement: There’s a tremendous amount of enthusiasm among enlightened advocates of government transparency, fueled by the election of Obama and the mainstreaming of Web 2.0 tools like blogging. There’s a real can-do spirit, which is in marked contrast to continuing bad news about the economy.
The Importance of Free Beer: How do you get people to hang out after the formal sessions of a conference, for a further exchange of ideas? You offer them free beer, of course (courtesy of Peter Corbett). I saw this at SXSW too. The convivial sharing of booze leads people to make connections they never would’ve made.
Twitter is Useful: This micro-blogging service was a great utility during the conference. Attendees tagged their tweets with #tcamp09, which enabled anyone (even people not at the conference) to see what attendees were saying about the sessions.
Macs are Everywhere: I was pleased to see so many Macs at the conference. The facility at GW had outlets at every table and wifi was available as well, which led to a proliferation of laptops, the majority of which were Macs.
Education is Needed: Advocates of open and accessible government need to learn more about the near infinite complexities of government policies and procedures. A host of rules limit what government can do online. Also, there’s not “one government” as Jeff Levy from EPA repeated over and over. Different government agencies have different IT policies and requirements. Pity the poor developer who wants to create a web application for all of government.
As someone with a background in government and nonprofit web sites, I got a tremendous amount out of this conference. Attending events like this, you come away with renewed excitement about the possibilities of the web and a host of new ideas to explore.
Conversations and Connections, a writers’ conference in DC, just announced that this year’s conference will be April 11. It’s definitely worth attending. For $55, you get a day-long conference, a literary mag, “speed dating” with editors and a chance to listen to Amy Hempel.
I went last year and enjoyed it, not only for the conference, but the chance to meet other writers. Read what I wrote about my experience.
Here’s what’s interested me in the last week:
How Phony is Shepard Fairey?
There’s a fine line between art and plagiarism.
Apple Store Design Hits a Glass Wall Again
Who is the Old Georgetown Board and why are they holding up Apple coming to DC?
How Will We Survive Battlestar Galactica’s Radioactive Future?
Some practical suggestions.
Christian Bale, Hero of the Set
I find this a little hard to believe – a movie set being terrorized by a DP?
Writers Need to Promote Their Books
Seems obvious, but just because you’re published, it doesn’t mean that your work is done.
“Rise of the Goverati.” Isn’t that the new Terminator movie?
No, “goverati” is the term Mark Drapeau uses for:
people with first-hand knowledge of how the government operates, who understand how to use social software to accomplish a variety of government missions, and who want to use that knowledge for the benefit of all.
This includes people inside and outside of government who wish to apply Web 2.o principles and technologies to the not always transparent work of government.
And, as a former member of the goverati, I got to say, it’s a great term.
Government 2.0: The Rise of the Goverati – ReadWriteWeb .
One of my photos is a finalist in Washingtonian magazine’s monthly photo contest. My pic is the first one:
It’s a black and white shot from a Pink Line Project art exhibit that was held at an old auto dealership. Very arty – the event featured dancers in gold paint who posed like statues.
DC has its very own holiday market, December 5-23, on F Street, outside the National Portrait Gallery.
I snapped this pic at Co Co Sala, a high-end chocolate store on F Street near the National Portrait Gallery featuring tiny (but delicious) pieces of black gold. On the right side of the plate is a little piece of mint chocolate. On the left, the waitress gave me a free sample of chipotle chocolate, which had a spicy kick to it. I paired them with a double espresso. For $6, this is affordable luxury.