Gov 2.0: Stay Wired to Share

from adrielhampton.com – Last evening I was reminded about a point Canadian govie Nick Charney made in a recent chat – tools like Twitter are fantastic for connecting those in government (or anywhere, really) who are “wired to share.” That resonates with my strong opinion that “Government 2.0″ is about a culture, not any particular set of tools. Whenever folks start wanting to can the term, which is indeed becoming a bit played, I simply think “democracy.”

Also this week, I was hearing a lot about SharePoint, the enterprise social network Microsoft sells to government agencies. One of the passing comments I noticed was an argument that Twitter and Facebook and the like will never be fully applicable to government (again, extend this argument to anywhere) because critical information isn’t protected.

The reason I like GovLoop is is does exactly what a locked-down enterprise network doesn’t – it cuts through silos to get folks from all different agencies and levels of government talking with each other. Twitter functions in quite the same way.

So here’s the issue – the problem IS NOT security. The problem is that there aren’t really that many people whose default mode is sharing. Social media is radically changing things by allowing us to connect and share, but we’re still a minority in a very large, very hierarchical, command and control structure.

So, I say we ought to drop all the “midlife crisis” talk. We’re vastly outnumbered, the movement’s popularity right now is accepted as a “fad,” and if we buy into that, the momentum for reform is lost. This is a long, hard battle – one of those generational struggles.

Will we rise with collaboration, trust and openness, or will we be swallowed in a Sargasso Sea of bureaucracy or jump over to the private sector?

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Martha McLean


A great post!

It’s interesting in that I was naturally inclined to shout it out – “I’m wired to share!” But am I really? Upon reflection I’m wired to progress. Does ‘sharing’ still count if it’s after the fact or comes with a caveat that we’re moving ahead and comments will only be considered?

In no way do I want to discourage the adoption and growth of these tools and the culture shift I’m starting to see. Twitter and govloop in particular have radically changed my ability to do my job, see more clearly where my work should be going and connect me to those within my own government (Canada) and others who could help.

The one area I see and will continue to watch is this – will all of this sharing impede progress? Does the fact that you can find information or can comment on it mean you should? It will be interesting to see how some late-bloomers leverage these tools when there is more information available.

It is a culture shift and it is my hope that the government can embrace it. If nothing else, the government will change and no crystal ball can tell us how. I’m thrilled to be a part of it!!


Adriel Hampton

I’m thinking right now mainly about the cultural attitude of “sharing,” to which I would add an element of orientation towards progress. Don’t know if you saw the recent essay by Lawrence Lessig criticizing “naked transparency.” (I have to confess to not having finished it yet.) This is why I like the word sharing and am not so much about transparency/openness for their own sakes. More later.