The 3 types of Web 2.0 in Government

I want to elaborate here the 3 types of Web 2.0 in government. You will need to know this. You should print this out, as you will need to show people when there’s a discussion about Web 2.0.

Check it out: there are 3 types of Web 2.0 in government:

Types of Web 2.0 in government

Yes, there’s overlap, but that’s pretty much the field there.

This will be very important for you to know. If you’re talking about Social media, you’re not talking about collaborative tools, and vice-versa. Sure, you can use social media tools for collaboration, and you can use collaborative tools as social media, but key here is to realise this in the conversation.

Characteristics about these circles:

  • Social Media: The domain of the communications people.
    Technology footprint: Low. IT hardly needs to be involved. You’re “borrowing” a presence on tools on the Internet.
    Examples: Your department’s presence on Facebook, Twitter
    Information Flow: From Government TO public and back, depending on the campaign
  • Collaborative Tools: The domain of everyone else. IT usually implements the tool, Corporate engages users to use it, and everyone else fills it up. Enter: Organisational change and all the fun stuff.
    Technology footprint: High. You need to install the tools, customise, maintain.
    Wikis, blogs
    Information Flow: Within government. Government-to-Government.
  • Open Data: I put this here to keep it off the social media and collaborative tools. I agree with colleagues it’s not quite Web 2.0, but see it as a necessary circle, as it is the underpinning of this whole Gov 2.0 & Open Government wave. ┬áThis area is largely unexplored, especially with the federal government.
    Technology footprint: Low-to-high. Depends on your infrastructure and whether staff is willing to update the external data on a regular basis. May be super-high if it involves API connections.
    XML data, RSS feeds, APIs and other acronyms of complicated stuff. Check out

So next time you’re in a meeting and you’re all discussing a Web 2.0 strategy, engagement or even learning, chart out the territory. These 3 areas are challenging to attack all at once – and why bother? There’s enough goodness in each. Besides, you’ll see each involves its own approach and strategy, for a different group of people, audience, stakeholders.

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