So What is Gov 2.0 Anyways?

reposted from Silberberg Innovations

So what is it about Gov 2.0 anyways? Is it because Government needs an overhaul? Or because somehow Gov 2.0 is gaining some sex appeal? Or maybe it is just plain and simple: Power and Truth.

Or is it?

We have witnessed shocking perversions of truth and power this past weekend with the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords. Technology is being infused into the debate surrounding this tragedy on multiple points. We are trying to decipher the shooter based on his online life. Granted this opens lots of prismatic windows into his life and more broadly into the very rough and tumble real politik world of today’s political rhetoric.

If you took five minutes right now to interrupt people’s online social spheres, or their live streaming of films, or peel them away from their touch device long enough to ask the question, “Do you have any idea what Gov 2.0 is?” – you would find most do not know the answer. If you compare Bing and Google searches between Gov 2.0 and Web 2.0, or Enterprise 2.0 – obviously the Government space has a ways to go to reach the level of interest in those other 2.0s. But why?

We are all affected by Governments. Whether driving a car, paying taxes, demanding services from ever shrinking public pools of services or trying to right a wrong through the law. But yet still, so many do not take the time to make civic life a priority – let alone an urgency.

I have long called for people to take an active “investment” in their civic lives, just like we do with retirement plans, education and other areas. The need is pressing and immediate. Truth. Power. They are just words, but words with tremendous reach. The digital age, what with social media post re-dux and deletion, provides us with a new variety of the word truth. Power becomes enhanced, both for the people, and those they wish to have power over.

If the shooting of an elected official is shocking and visceral, then made all the more so because technology made this a real time event. Twitter was getting the news and mostly correctly for more than half an hour before the cable news networks were able to get packages up. This is no longer the abnormality – but rather our new reality. Technology has brought real time data, information and news into our lives with almost mesmerizing effects. Same is true inside Government and many governments are working to create their own new reality to meet the demands of this instant on now world we live in. Events no longer give us tomorrow to respond by. This is having huge implications for Government, whether in passport control at the State Department, or the TSA dealing with online protests, or even local governments like sheriffs having to deal with horribly complicated issues like Congresswoman Gifford’s shooting, and do so in real time under the exam of tens of thousands of microscopes simultaneously. The room for error has disappeared into the digital exhaust we all create every day.

There are many, many entrepreneurs working with and amongst some of the smartest minds in technology an government to bring the new reality to the forefront. So why do so few of our fellow citizens, whether here in the United States or in Singapore or in Japan even know what Gov 2.0 is? You have to take the initiative, your neighbor may not care to become You 2.0. But YOU need to become You 2.0, and do so immediately. Treat this like any other investment you make in yourself. Every year create a process to “re-allocate” – ie. vote. Yes, I said every year because of local and national election cycles that are staggered.

We have to take back control. You and me, your neighbor, my neighbor. You 2.0 is now. Are you investing?

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