Government 2.0 Club is an informal organization focused on convening the tribe of technologists and thinkers focused on applying social technologies to the governments worldwide.
the Next level of Government 2.0
June 28, 2009 at 7:23 pm #74912
Have Cross-posted to Egovernment Group
IMO very interesting blog posting which has a great deal of relevance to what I perceive we are trying to accomplish here at govloop.com
Make sure that you visit the O’reilly blog posting and at LEAST read some of the comments if you choose NOT to join in the conversation…
Naming an Emerging Movement
by John Geraci
There’s a movement going on around the world.
We don’t have a name for it, though.
Gov2.0, e-gov, e-democracy, open gov–these are all names that get applied to what is happening. And they are great for describing a certain aspect of this movement, the aspect that actually deals with government.
What’s really going on right now is much bigger than that. Open gov is a big part of the story, but not the whole story. On top of Open Gov, there are organizations like The Open Planning Project (TOPP), or Front Seat, or my own DIYcity, working alongside these open gov groups, trying to make the whole civic system work better. Or there is Robin Chase, CEO of GoLoco and founder of ZipCar, singlehandedly trying to reinvent the way transportation works in cities. Or there is the subway alert I just got in my inbox, courtesy of New York City’s MTA, notifying me that the F train has delays due to mechanical problems. All of these entities–TOPP, Front Seat et al, plus the open gov groups–are interrelated, and together create a new, emerging ecosystem of information, user activity, and possibility. But that ecosystem doesn’t fit neatly under the hood of “Gov 2.0” or any of the other “gov” labels.
Recalling my post last week about the four pillars of an open civic system, these “gov” names–e-gov, gov2.0, open gov–focus on the G2C aspect of what is going on, to the exclusion of the other aspects of this open civic system that is emerging.
And this new civic system should have a name, because it is a real ecosystem. It is also a movement, with more and more people focusing on it around the world every day. It is also increasingly becoming an industry.
So what do we call this new thing?
What do we say when we want to say to someone, “All of the stuff that is emerging right now in the civic space that helps communities operate better, both with and without direct or indirect involvement on the part of the government?”
I was talking with Micah Sifry, co-host of this week’s Personal Democracy Forum, a while back, and he suggested the name “civic software” for the apps that come out of this space. Riffing off that, I have been talking about the “open civic system.” Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, who recently posted on this movement, thinks that name is too long, but also thinks “civic software” doesn’t quite do it justice.
So I thought I would open up a thread here on Radar for a discussion:
What should this new space be called?
Let me know what you think. All ideas are welcome…
June 28, 2009 at 9:40 pm #74914
For a name to catch on, it needs to be capture the unique attribute of the concept, and top of mind to catch on. Certainly, the name civic software does not capture a movement. For instance, ZipCar is just about an urban car transportation system as it is about Web 2.0 software. Government 2.0 is also tied to the enabling Web 2.0 technology. I mean does the movement name need to change when we start applying semantic Web 3.0 technologies in solving social problems:-?
Before naming the movement, I would think it makes sense to discuss the attributes of the collective initiatives under this banner. In that vein, here is my attempt. I think we are talking about the application of open innovation principles to self-government.
Open Innovation is a term coined by Henry Chesbrough as the development of high quality solutions using the best sources in the world by collaborating with outsiders. At DHS, the employees are the outsiders that TSA IdeaFactory draws upon. At Library of Congress Flickr Project, the citizens as outsiders add value to the archives. At Walk Score ( a Front Seat project), the pedestrian experts add value as the outsider. TOPP applies the power of open source software to solving social problems.
In summary, open innovation enables the users, citizens, community, etc. to become insiders by participating in the development of a social solution.
Open civic system gets closer to a descriptive title but it suffers from top of mind recall. Wouldn’t it be nice of ‘open social’ was not taken?
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