Will e-government be replaced by Gov 2.0? This is the prediction made by market research firm Government Insights, (GI) an IDC company. E-government was all about putting citizen services on the Web. Gov 2.0 is about assessing, sharing and interacting with information to create new opportunities and to allow agencies to deliver more holistic services to citizens, according to a June 12 Webinar conducted by Government Insights.
Will this prediction become a trend? Hard to say right now. But evidence of a Gov 2.0 world is beginning to emerge around the globe, Government Insights points out. Early adopters include:
But does all this emerging activity mean government is ready for a Web 2.0 future? Some challenges stand in the way, according to GI. First, many governments face challenges trying to integrate the new technologies of Web 2.0 with existing technologies. Older government workers, of which there are huge numbers in the public sector, are resisting adoption of Web 2.0, while younger workers are clamoring for them.
In countries that are bilingual (e.g., Canada), questions arise as to what language government workers should be blogging in. Participation rates in blogs and wikis tend to be extremely low, raising questions about the views represented. Other concerns raised include the transparency of wikis and blogs, their impact on decision-making, the expectations they raise, and so on.
The bottom line: The collaborative exchange of information holds tremendous value for government. But Web 2.0 represents a change in how things are done, something government has always struggled to embrace.