E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Government Next By Tara Hunt

A lot has been said in the past from different industries around their faster / slower adoption of social computing and social software behind the corporate firewall. Some of them, like Education, have been relatively successful in their adoption rate, whereas others keep struggling, even while trying to understand some of the key concepts, like the example of the banking and government industries.

Well, today, I am just going to expand further on that thought, specially from the Government industry perspective, where perhaps the adoption has not been as rampant as you would have expected, even though plenty of governments out there, and, finally, after several years, are starting to open up things and diving into blogs, for instance. I am sure that you would be able to come up with a few examples from different governments who are already heavily involved with blogging.

However, I am thinking … why stop there? Why not go all the way and try to help embrace and adopt some other social computing technologies that have been out there for as long as blogs have been and start making a difference with the way governments reach out to their citizens?

Don’t you think that it is about time now? I am not sure what you would think, but I have always felt that there is just such a huge opportunity from our local governments to get us all much more interested in politics with social software than ever before. I can imagine that plenty of folks would feel very nervous about that, about the openness, about letting it go, about leaving behind the command-and-control attitude, about trust and the list goes on and on and on. Well, let me show you something.

Check out one of the latest presentations that Tara Hunt (a.k.a. missrogue) has put together already in Slideshare under the title Government Next. I must say that I have been following Tara’s work for quite some time now and this is probably one of the most incredible pieces of work she has put together that I have seen around the adoption of social software by one of the so-called difficult-to-get-the-buy-in industries.

Yes, I can understand that going through a presentation of 170 slides may be a turn off, but I must say that it is not the case at all. And most of you know how I feel about presentations. The truth is that Tara’s Government 2.0 slide deck is a wonderful piece of work that you breeze through in no time having learned a whole bunch of stuff on what you could as a government, while trying to adopt different social software tools.

In it, you would see Tara mentioning some really key concepts to social computing, such as branding, authenticity, social pursuits, collaboration, security, privacy, declarative living, trust (Which works both ways, by the way), openness, community, transparency, blogs, wikis, discussion groups, group chat, Twitter and how they can be used for, with some really good concrete examples.

From there onwards, Tara puts the money on the thought around collaboration and how you can encourage collaboration by following some basic guidelines, which I am going to reproduce briefly over here, but which I strongly encourage you to check out further in the presentation itself, because I am sure it will be worth while the time:

1. Be a platform
2. Publish everything in open channels
3. Be available
4. Embrace the chaos
5. Provide clear goals and purpose
6. Reward collaborators
7. Show progress
8. Take simple steps first
9. Reach out to people from different backgrounds and industries
10. Be part of the community
11. View the public as a partner, not a recipient
12. Run real open betas

Finally, from there onwards the presentation will just detail further the key role that serendipitous knowledge discoveries and communities do play in the whole equation of adopting social software within a governmental environment and how you can benefit the most from the overall movement of social computing. And guess what, at the heart of the matter and throughout the slide deck one single recurrent theme keeps popping up: Trust, one of the key fundamental success factors from any social networking tool.

Like I said, Tara’s Government Next is probably as good as it gets as far as progressing further into Government 2.0 and further beyond, because most of her slides could also be applied to whatever other industry. Here is the embedded video so that you can check it out for yourself, enjoy its wonderfulness and help spread the message around:

Easier than you thought, right? Let’s bring it on!

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