Our Definition of Web2.0

What is Web2.0?
According to wikipedia, "Web 2.0 is a term describing the trend in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration among users. These concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities and hosted services, such as social-networking sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies".  Web 2.0 is still a very new field, particularly in local government.  However, all signs indicate that this will at some point become a mandate of constituents for interacting and communicating in a bi-directional fashion with their government.


The inherent value in the technologies that make up Web2.0 reside on a transformation of the way a government interacts with its stakeholders.  Web2.0 moves us beyond the traditional one-way release of services and information and instead establishes a framework of collaborative government in which stakeholders have not only the ability to become informed about governmental decisions but rather have at their disposal more and easily facilitated participation in such decisions.  Web2.0 also strives to provide a richer and interactive experience in conducting transactions with government based on a user’s preferences (i.e. the next level of e-government).


So What Does it Mean to Government?

Today Web 2.0 is new, fragile and barely utilized in government.  Federal and state governments are beginning to explore.  Yet local governments, with only a few notable exceptions, are still well behind the curve of evolution in this field.  For years local government was slow to catch on to the true value and flexibility of the traditional World Wide Web.  If we do not act now to make a leap ahead, we will continue to be behind the curve as 2.0 takes hold as well.  As the population make-up shifts and the millennials become the driving percentage of our workforce and our population, demand for 2.0 will increase.  Universities and colleges across the globe are incorporating these 2.0 technologies and concepts into the curriculum as a core of the learning experience.  The students of today are the citizens of tomorrow.


We should try to raise our heads above the issues of the day and make a planned leap forward, leapfrogging the general population so as to position ourselves for the demand before it becomes one.  Let’s institutionalize the concepts in our workforce, in our organizations, before it becomes a public mandate.

Jack Pond,
Apr 8, 2009, 11:00 AM