Gov 2.0 Is Not Cool Tech
I’m generally fond of cool tech. I recently bought an iPad, and it’s pretty sweet. I read Wired’s big cover piece on tablet computing, and I agree it has transformational potential. I’ve got a touchscreen desktop, too, and I know of a local school using touchscreens to great effect in special needs education. I love municipal wifi and Australia’s national broadband plan. I see cloud services dramatically reducing infrastructure costs for businesses an government. I like it when politicians and elected officials use social media.
But none of this is Government 2.0.
Sen. Claire McCaskill tweeting and reading PDFs on her iPad is not Gov 2.0. The federal government saving hundreds of millions with cloud computing is not Gov 2.0.
Fooling ourselves that adoption of new tech tools and toys is Gov 2.0 is the equivalent of settling for ‘clean coal’ as green energy. It is consignment of the future to the broken past.
If Sen. McCaskill used MixedInk or another mass collaboration tool to write legislation, that would be Gov 2.0. When Manor, TX, convenes technologists and process experts to give a free civic infrastructure makeover to another small town, that’s Gov 2.0. Code for America creating a safe space for governments to share code? Gov 2.0. Same for OpenPlans and its efforts to create a standard API for 311 non-emergency services access.
But just because Gov 2.0 is getting cool, let’s not confuse it for public officials using cool tech and doing the same old things.