|The eGovernment Resource Centre in 2002|
The site (at www.egov.vic.gov.au) grew to contain tens of thousands of resources and articles on eGovernment and related topics, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each month.
Over the years the site's focus expanded to cover Government 2.0 activities around the world, a monthly enewsletter on the latest eGovernment and Gov 2.0 initiatives and a range of community features as well as a social media presence.
|The eGovernment Resource Centre in 2013|
During its life the site became widely known and highly regarded as Australia's premier source of eGovernment information.
The eGovernment Resource Centre was also highly regarded overseas, being recognised at the 2008 World e-Democracy Awards and having many overseas governments and Gov 2.0 experts reference or link to the site as well as many practitioners rely on it for information and news.
Alas, due to a changing focus in Victoria, the eGovernment Resource Centre was discontinued at the end of 2013.
All the information, articles and links the site contained after more than a decade of operation have been taken offline. The many links in Google search and 3rd party website now redirect to the Victorian Government's digital strategy.
I, for one, am sad to see the demise of this great eGovernment and Government 2.0 resource. For years it was my bible for what was happening around the world in these topics - always with new information, insights and initiatives that could be used to influence and improve the government agencies I worked for and with.
The loss of access to the information and resources in the eGovernment Resource Centre is likely to also affect many public servants within Australian governments, and the publics they serve for years to come. Even if they don't realise what they are missing, the lack of easy access to knowledge and past experience will surely affect the level of 'corporate knowledge' related to egovernance within the Australian public sector.
Kudos must go to the Victorian Government for running the site for as long as it did, as well as particular thanks to the individuals responsible for keeping the site current, useful and usable - particularly one individual in particular who curated the site for many years (you know who you are).
However for every ending, there can be new beginnings. It is the start of a new year and hopefully we'll see governments across Australia continuing to improve and enhance their online engagement systems and release more of their data openly and in reusable formats.
It may also not be the end for the eGovernment Resource Centre - I am looking for ways to resource and renew the Centre, building on the fantastic site the Victorian Government supported and extend it into a sustainable global eGovernment and Government 2.0 resource.
Anyone who wishes to get involved, please drop me a line.
However, for now, the Victorian Government's eGovernment Resource Centre is no more.
It was a great resource built with a great deal of vision. While the resource is gone, I hope the vision is not.