I attended the Gov 2.0a conference in Oklahoma City this past week, and came away with a lot of valuable information.
What exactly is meant by "Government 2.0"? Applying new technology to how government is run, in order to make it more efficient, transparent, accountable, and participatory.
Speakers at the conference spoke on a variety of topics, from utilizing social networking to interact citizens/constituents, to how using technology can save money and improve services, to how a transparent government can spark (as speaker Laurel Ruma said) an "innovation economy".
Here are just a few quotes and tidbits from the conference.
- Laurel Ruma: "People are moving from using Social Web to participating in Civic Web."
- Carolyn Purcell: "Web 1.0 was the government giving citizens information. Web 2.0 is two-way interaction and communication between the government and its citizens."
- Mark Mitchell: "eGovernment encourages citizens to get "online" instead on "in-line" to interact with government."
- Mike Koehler: "People are hungry for information, and for participation."
- There are 192 members of Congress on Twitter - 65% are Republicans.
- Crowd-sourcing is a way to get citizens and employees involved. Sam's Club has saved $1M by unscrewing lightbulbs in their store vending machines - just one idea that came from crowd-sourcing with their employees.
- 75% of people get some of their news from blogs or social media. Kind of like you're doing right now!
- Facebook has 400,000,000 users, and Twitter has 105,000,000 users.
- SeeClickFix is an amazing tool that local governments should take advantage of. Citizens can post issues (i.e. potholes, graffiti, etc.) on a map of their city. The city is then made aware of the problem, and takes care of it. Not only does the citizen know that the issue was resolved, but it builds goodwill between the government and the citizens (as opposed to the all-too-often situation of a local government that seems unresponsive to citizen input).
- Manor, Texas, is on the forefront of the Gov 2.0 scene. They utilize social networking, crowd-sourcing, SeeClickFix, and a very interesting way to communicate with the public called QR-Codes, just to name a few.