Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Gov 2.0 and Balneus nostalgia

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-06-24

Regular readers will know of my interest in citizen engagement with policy development processes, information systems governance, and my respect for AGIMO and AGIMO’s political masters (including Gary Nairn from the Howard regime).

So, with Lindsay Tanner launching the Government 2.0 Taskforce, which is looking at ways of leveraging recently introduced "Web 2.0" tools (I hate that term, and prefer "The Semantic Web"), it’s worth raising again my submission to the AGIMO consultation about on-line consultations, and some previous posts on related issues.

I’ll admit that improving consultation processes is only part of the task, but it is an important part.

More important, I feel (and this is hinted at in my submission) is getting a grip on metadata management, which most bloggers/feedreaders refer to as "tagging".  The quality of the tags in government documents, whether for internal or external use, directly determines the efficiency (or not) of government operations, as well as determining whether citizens can find what consultations or announcements are on offer (or not).

More on this in future posts.

And before you look at the bits below, it’s worth reading Lindsay Tanner’s "Internet Drives Policy Rethink" (2008-11-24) post, because Tanner is one of the "good guys" pushing improvements in governance and Web 2.0.  It included this great paragraph (my bolding) which talks of the advantages of crowdsourcing, and by extension if nothing else, the advantages of high-quality open-source software:

Peer production frees labour from the need to work in the same place at the same time.  Groups can now work on a project across time zones and continents.  Significantly, peer production does not rely on hierarchy for organising labour….  The glue that binds peer production together is the ethic of collaboration it inculcates among groups.  People contribute their time to peer production because they find communities with a passion for making their adopted content niche the best it can be.  This environment also creates efficiencies by allowing skilled amateurs to allocate their intellectual capital to the content niche about which they are most passionate.  This is significant when you consider the quality and value of work done by people for love and not money.

Anyway, to the bits and pieces on government information handling and consultations:


3 Responses to “Gov 2.0 and Balneus nostalgia”

  1. Lyn said

    Your comment on Tanner’s Age article re the distinction between consultation and the clean feed stuff is right. Still, it’s a dreadful shame they got the order of process implementation the wrong way around. The clean feed would have been a perfect topic for open consultation.

    It’s not too late to repair the damage though. A couple of small experiments releasing info on other topics for Web 2.0 processing could give the masses the chance to prove ourselves trustworthy, which is the other side of the coin here.

    I notice Nic Gruen linked to Club Troppo in his entry, which is a promising sign, as is Nic himself.

    Also, the banner comp struck me as a good start, despite complaints elsewhere about expecting free labour. An odd argument coming from a blogger. Small, specific, mostly harmless challenges to begin is good.

    Early days, but this looks a far more promising experiment than the last. Did you read Gruen’s piece about the products of Web 2.0 being the by-product of sociality? That man has a brain the size of a large planet.

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