Today's Legislators Really Do Get 'Government 2.0'

Lora Bentley

Scanning Mitch Wagner's latest government blog post for InformationWeek, I caught the phrase "Government 2.0." My first reaction was, "Good grief, people will tack 2.0 onto anything anymore." But I can't say much. A quick search of reveals we do it, too: Web 2.0, Infrastructure 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, Femtocell 2.0, and yes, even Government 2.0.


Curious how Wagner used the phrase, I read on. And I think he applied the 2.0 suffix correctly in this case. "I should have known," he says, that elected officials had moved into the world of the Internet and social media when President Obama didn't want to give up his BlackBerry and has since used the Internet to push for "open government."


But until he spoke with Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), Wagner says he didn't realize how big of a misconception regarding elected officials and the Internet he was living under. Culberson told Wagner about a recent project in which he posted the current health care bill on the Internet and solicited comments thereon from constituents using software from Sharedbook. And Culberson himself, not some younger, more Internet-savvy staff member, was behind the effort.


That fact, as well as discussions regarding Google Voice, Facebook and Twitter -- not to mention the fact that Culberson gave Wagner a quick tutorial of video sharing service Qik (no pun intended) helped to convince Wagner that today's elected officials are quite Internet savvy in their own right, and are using new technology to their advantage.


What's more, Wagner said:

When we think of Government 2.0 efforts, we think of it as being led by the Democrats. The GOP is using the Internet too, to coordinate its opposition to Democratic leadership. They're doing it skillfully, and Democrats and progressives will forget that fact at their peril.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Oct 10, 2009 9:52 AM Doug Hadden Doug Hadden  says:

Government is being transformed through social media. Internal collaboration is improving decision-making. Connecting with the wisdom of crowds will improve decision-making by orders of magnitude. Government data is being exposed on the internet to tap into innovative ideas from citizens.

Yes, it limited to the Democratic Party thing. Or the United States. Or developed countries. Case in point:

Mar 19, 2010 11:30 AM Dana Stevens Dana Stevens  says:

The NCSC is a good example of Government 2.0.  The NCSC has contracted with a company called WiiKno to build a Web 2.0 system to enable all the cyber security centers to share information.


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