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Government 2.0 Takes a Big Step Forward

About a month ago I wrote about Tim O’Reilly’s excellent seminar on Government 2.0 and told you about the forthcoming Gov 2.0 expo that O’Reilly was coordinating. The expo, May 25-27, 2010, was another leap forward as some of the top people in the digerati world convened to show their enthusiasm for Government 2.0 and the emerging applications that are being born. Lots of exciting new visions were portrayed and some of the brightest minds expanded on the themes under which government may be transformed. Tim O’Reilly expanded on his theme of Government as a platform for greatness. He compares the tsunami of application development (over 200,000 apps and counting) that emerged once the iPhone was made into a platform with the potential of government to act as a platform for social engineering, including the awakening of collective intelligence.

Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, made a very direct and simple potato chip-based explanation of his notion of linked data and made his case for government to lead the way in creating linked data on the web in an afternoon interview with Alex Howard of O’Reilly Media.

A host of fascinating slide decks and videos from this expo are published in the proceedings on the web for you to study. There are a set of 20 videos just directly on YouTube coming from this exciting venue. There is no doubt from these presentations that Government 2.0 is here and moving toward 3.0.

It is interesting to note how many of the 2.0 and beyond applications are ways to enhance information sharing, either by providing more transparency in government, more ways to open government to citizen involvement, or sharing the best data about ways to get things done – the march toward better and more useful information sharing is at the heart of 2.0. We are seeing more apps appear in emergency management, law enforcement, and even in location displays for the fire service that serve to raise information sharing to a new level. This trend is likely to continue as we get more sophisticated and introduce more standards in the cross-domain information sharing world. And that is as it should be.

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