Patch Monday: The challenge of government 2.0

ZDNet Australia logo: click for Patch Monday episode 22In episode 22 of Patch Monday, a look at the draft final report of the Government 2.0 Taskforce with the Taskforce chair Nicholas Gruen.

I also talk a little about the Taskforce’s MashupAustralia competition and its winners. And there is, as usual, quick run-through of the week’s news headlines, should you have missed them.

You can listen below. But it’s even better for my stats if you listen at ZDNet Australia or subscribe to the RSS feed or subscribe in iTunes.

Please, let me know what you think. Feedback very, very welcome. And do let me know if there’s any topics I should cover, or guests we should interview.

Gosh, is it really a week since I last posted something here? Must. Do. Better.

Talking Government 2.0 on Radio National

Further to my appearance on Radio National’s Future Tense talking Telstra and corporate transparency, last week a little more of my recorded interview was used in their program on Participatory democracy, Web 2.0 and the Government 2.0 Taskforce.

My main point was that people will expect the Government 2.0 Taskforce to do a lot of things — especially given their massive brief — and yet they’ll be disbanded at the end of the year.

There are going to be expectations that there’ll be something really significant to put on the table by Christmas, and yet it’s all uncertain. The uncertainties in all this are incredible. We’re expecting this group of people to essentially solve all of the problems of government 2.0 and have this grand road map in just a few months. It’s an enormous bullet point list of stuff that they’ve got to achieve. And now that people are starting to look at it, they’re realising we’re only at the very early stages of people starting to agree on what the questions might mean, let alone what the answers might look at. And my gut feeling is people are starting to be a bit hesitant about ‘Hey, are we actually going to get something of value at the end of this, or is it just another of the Rudd government’s talkfests to make it look like we’ve got something happening but there’s no real end result?’ I mean the Australia 2020 Summit, did we ever get anything really concrete out of that?

Duncan Riley essentially agreed. But I found the response from Nicholas Gruen, who chairs the Taskforce, interesting.

Gruen says that unlike most government inquiries — and he’s been on eight — this time the recommendations aren’t the important thing. It’s more about educating everyone — including the public service and politicians.

Click through to the program for the full transcript or, for a limited time at least, to listen to the podcast.

Risk, Fear and Paranoia: Perspective, People!

Penny Sharpe MLC asked me to say something controversial at her NSW Sphere event back on 4 September. Here it is. The full video and transcript (below) of my somewhat rambling discussion of the challenges facing the Government 2.0 revolution.

Hi. I’m Stilgherrian, and I’m avoiding the whole projection thing today.

My presentation, the long name was “Risk, Fear and Paranoia: Perspective, People!”, and I just want to spend a few minutes throwing in some ideas which might trigger some discussion point around those, those words.

Continue reading “Risk, Fear and Paranoia: Perspective, People!”

Why Twitter is useless for covering conferences

[Update 9.40pm: It’s only 40 minutes since I posted this, but discussion has already turned to the topic of the government’s role in developing new services rather than the original Twitter-as-Chinese-whispers theme. Hey, join the discussion!]

Twitter bird cartoon by Hugh MacLeod

Even though I’m one of Australia’s most prolific Twitter users, and even though it seems like I’ve spent half the week defending it from half-arsed criticism, I’m also well aware of its limitations. Like tonight.

Earlier this evening I attended the Government 2.0 Taskforce‘s Road Show in Sydney. At one point, I tweeted:

Nicholas Gruen seriously says that the government should have created community good like Google, Facebook and Twitter. #gov2au

That was soon picked up by people who weren’t in the room, who hadn’t heard the context. Hours later we’re still seeing tweets like this one:

@skaye: “The Govt should have invented twitter, flickr…” LIKE WTF?? #gov2au *shudder* (via @NickHodge) They struggle with discounts on utes!

Notice how the content mutated as the message was passed on? “Created” becomes “invented”, Flickr is added to the mix, and the “community good” qualifier has vanished.

Here’s what really happened…

Continue reading “Why Twitter is useless for covering conferences”