Is Gov 2.0 to Web 2.0 as SOA is to Web Services?
Gov 2.0 certainly has roots in and relies on Web 2.0 to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a website. So from a technology perspective it is easy to think of Gov.20 as just a particular implementation of Web 2.0. But along with many others I think and say that there more than technology going on here. For one thing Gov 2.0 must reflect designs that support particular visions and government practices. In a way this is a bit like the way that Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) leveraged Web Services to supports business and technical vision. Web services provide a basis for flexible IT solutions based on alignment of IT services with business process.
However, these Web Services and standards are a tool and the people who articuate the SOA vision realized that servics alone were not enough. They needed to be architected within a “service orientation” . This is what made it much more than a pure IT solution, more than just an incremental advance in client/server technology achievable by buying a set of software and replacing applications in older languages. It seems to me that the same is true of Gov 2.0.
This means it’s a mistake for Programs and Projects to look for Web 2.0 service technology, without any idea as to how it fits into Gov 2.0 orientation, their enterprise architecture and the business of government. Gov 2.0, like SOA is more properly viewed as part of a strategic IT process starting with business goals and business functions. It aligns Web 2.0 within a Government context.
Andif this analogy is useful one of the things that is missing from Gov 2.0 is an adequate Reference Model to guide the leveraging of Web 2.0. SOA has several simple reference models that describe how producers and users of services can avail themselves or services. This is much more difficult to model for government but it might be interesting to attempt this as we move forward. Certainly discussion of transparency and collaboration would be part of such a model and these are much more difficult concepts than the IT ones in SOA.