In approximately 18 months mobile, wireless access to the Internet increased by 15% in the US.
This is where we are now A game changer
The Horizon Report annually looks at technology trends that will affect the higher education community in the coming five years. Mobiles have been on the radar for some time but this year they reached the 'time to adoption' bracket of 1 year or less... Essentially, NOW! What we're seeing is the beginnings of ubiquitous access to the network - the network is ALWAYS ON. a time when the technology becomes invisible...
Clay Shirky is a really well known and intelligent thinker in this area, He suggests that technological change can only create a revolution once the technology has become invisible. And that we are just starting to see how the network will change society. '...Communications tools don't get socially interesting until they get technologically boring. The invention of a tool doesn't create change; it has to have been around long enough that most of society is using it. It's when a technology becomes normal, then ubiquitous, and finally so pervasive as to be invisible, that really profound changes happen, and for young people today, our new social tools have passed normal and are heading to ubiquitous, and invisible is coming.' Shirky Here Comes Everybody, p105. Some tech history: Which came first, the fax or the web? What about the radio and the telephone? You can only answer the 1st question easily because you were around when they were introduced. For young people today that is the case for the fax and the Internet.
So how does ubiquitous access to the network change the status quo? You might remember that on Australia's recent Ashes tour controversy that broke out when Australian Cricketer Phillip Hughes announced he had been dropped from the Test Team on Twitter before the team had been officially chosen? I doubt that was a strategic or vindictive decision on his part. He's 20, It's just the way he communicates. Regardless of whether or not that was the right thing for him to do, What it illustrates is how the pervasiveness of the network blurs the line between personal and professional.
Here is an example of someone trying to map the formal and informal, online and physical communities they belong to.
&quot;The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who is connected.&quot; Pew Internet and American Life Project. The Future of the Internet III http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2008/The-Future-of-the-Internet-III.aspx
When people embrace the network they stay connected. The connection doesn't end when they leave home or work. The Internet is now a place to connect with others rather than just another media channel. The Network has become SOCIAL.
When the network becomes social it becomes a two-way conversation. I think the benefits of having a conversation with your community are fairly apparent. This is something governments try to do - engage their communities and get input into the decision-making process. If your organisation is ignoring the conversation you are missing an opportunity to engage your community, But what is potentially worse is that You may be actively doing harm to your reputation - a point which I'll return to shortly...
This is an example of the kind of community consultation that goes on on Local Government web sites now. I don't want to pick on Coffs as most LG sites are the same but seeing as we're here... Sure, you can download the document but you still need to submit your comments by mail, and if you can't spare the few minutes to download the document it will be much quicker to visit administration centre or your local library!
The network can do this better Future Melbourne allowed the community to help develop the city plan using a wiki. The public had the same edit rights as staff.
Government 2.0 taskforce suggestion box allows anyone to contribute ideas These ideas are then voted up or down and commented upon by the community.
The Ebbsfleet FC was featured in a documentary called Us Now, which explored the power of mass collaboration, government and the internet. I strongly encourage you to track down and have a look at this film. Ebbsfleet is owned by an online community and members could vote on who was chosen in the team each week online. In the season documented in the film the won the premiership.
These are just a couple of examples of new ways the network is enabling greater community engagement. I do acknowledge there are risks associated with pursuing these new ways of engaging community but I think the risks of NOT participating may be greater. The network has changed the way that people source information. Trust relationships are changing. Trust in traditional institutions is declining in favour of individuals.
Amanda Little, Managing Director, Edelman Australia... “ Trust in CEOs and other traditional forms of corporate communications is low. So, who do people trust? The data shows that 39 per cent of respondents will trust information from company employees and peers, and 41 per cent trust what we call ‘a person like me’. This has major implications for companies in thinking about the way they communicate with stakeholders,” Amanda Little, Managing Director, Edelman Australia. those 'people like me' are the same people that are having their conversations online.
In fact, person to person relationships are the aim of social networks. Sandra Hanchard, Hitwise Asia Pacific... &quot;The increase in referrals from Social Networking websites has been largely at the expense of other traffic drivers, including Email Services, Portals and News and Media websites. The implication here is that Social Networks will increasingly become the preferred online channel for organisations...&quot;
These findings come from a study done by StollzNow Research for RightNow Technologies. 'While negative consumer-to-consumer conversations or comments on the social web can have a detrimental effect on consumer spending, there is also massive potential for organisations to engage and interact with consumers through the social web to foster brand loyalty and to turn ‘badvocates’ into advocates. For instance: · 60% of Australians said; if they posted a negative comment about an organisation on a social networking site, they would welcome contact from the organisation to try and resolve the issue · Three-quarters of Australians believe companies should listen to what customers say about their products and services on social networking sites and follow up with the people who have commented · Government agencies receive 8% of posted comments, 63% are negative.&quot; Are the Government Agencies listening to what is being said?
By not engaging in the conversation you may be damaging your reputation.
Engaging in the conversation can build trust with your community and lead to better government.
This is a fascinating report in to the role that trust plays in developing a relationship between local government and their communities.
&quot;Our conclusion is that the past decade’s focus on service improvement has not been enough to gain more trust for local government. Councils also need to use the personal interactions between their staff and the public to build ongoing, two-way relationships with the people they serve based on honesty and reciprocity. At the same time, local politicians need to counter allegations of unfairness in their decision making by developing more robust and open processes for allocating resources.&quot; The findings of this research show that there are 3 things that Councils need to address to build trust within their communities. 1. improved service delivery, which is where most councils focus their efforts, often ignoring: 2. better relationships between staff and customers and 3. more open decsion-making.
&quot;Our conclusion is that the past decade’s focus on service improvement has not been enough to gain more trust for local government. Councils also need to use the personal interactions between their staff and the public to build ongoing, two-way relationships with the people they serve based on honesty and reciprocity. At the same time, local politicians need to counter allegations of unfairness in their decision making by developing more robust and open processes for allocating resources.&quot; The findings of this research show that there are 3 things that Councils need to address to build trust within their communities. 1. improved service delivery, which is where most efforts are focused, often ignoring: 2. better relationships between staff and customers and 3. more open decsion-making.
Government needs to be more open, accountable and transparent to gain the trust of the public.
And when we do that... !
but what does transparency and trust on the network look like? I don't know whether these examples successfully achieve their goals but they do illustrate how governments of all levels can build transparency into their community engagement.
Kate Lundy's Public Sphere campaign a series of events on topics of interest invloving: short talks followed by discussion streamed live so anyone can participate online live feedback via twitter, blogs, flickr, etc. ideas honed in a public sphere wiki result in a briefing paper
NSW Community Building grants being allocated in Heathcote by Paul McLeay... &quot;As a community based MP, I am always looking for ways to involve you in the decision making process. The NSW Government recently announced the NSW Community Building Partnership, which will invest $300,000 into building local community projects in every electoral district. Under the partnership, the NSW Government will contribute to the cost of building important community projects and stimulating local economies. Because we have so many fantastic local community groups in our area, I need your help to make recommendations on the suitability and priority of eligible proposals within our electoral district for the Premiers consideration. It is your money . Tell me how you think it should be spent.&quot;
Civic Surf was a project to teach a group of Councillors in the UK about the benefits of connecting with their constituents through blogging. There is a 15 minute documentary made which includes interviews with the Councillors involved in the project as well as some of the UKs leading civic bloggers. http://civicsurf.org.uk/
This tweet was posted in response to an article in the local paper suggesting that Mosman Council was banning dogs from outdoor areas of cafes...
By listening to the conversation Mosman can respond appropriately to concerns of residents. In this case the link points to their response on the Mosman web site, which states that they're repsonsibility is to enforce the law, not make it. And that they are seeking to clarify the legal position and will not enforce the act until they receive a response from the NSW Government.
So maybe your ready and willing but don't know where to begin..
Learning 2.0 is a self-paced online training package for web 2.0. Originally developed by Helen Blowers at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenberg County and now widely reproduced in libraries throughout the world. It emphasises learning through play - get in and have a go and learn while you use the tools.
If you're going to start engaging with community on the network I suggest that you: When trialing a new service sign up with a personal account and use the site for a few weeks to get get to know the culture. Follow other similar organisations to see how they use the tool. When you are ready create an organisational account: set some goals Friend or follow your community (not other local govt accounts) encourage comments (ask what they think if you have to) but above all...
If I can leave you with one thought from the last 30 minutes or so, it's that trust and transparency are vital to engaging your community online. that open, transparent government is a good thing and that the network is an essential part of this process in the 21st Century. There is, of course, another aspect to what is being called 'Government 2.0' that I have not touched on at all. That is, the idea that government owned data should be open and accessible to all citizens. This is equally as important moving forward but it is a topic for another time. And quite frankly, it's not my speciality.
Pew Internet and American Life Project Mobile Access to Data and Information http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2008/Mobile-Access-to-Data-and-Information.aspx Quang Minh (YILKA) on Flickr How many non-Mac are there http://www.flickr.com/photos/yilka/1829139871/
In March 2008: 41% of adult Americans have logged onto the internet on the go, that is, away from home or work either with a wireless laptop connection or a handheld device. Pew Internet and American Life Project Mobile Access to Data and Information http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2008/Mobile-Access-to-Data-and-Information.aspx
In July 2009: 56% of adult Americans have accessed the internet by wireless means, such as using a laptop, mobile device, game console, or MP3 player. Pew Internet and American Life Project Wireless Internet Use http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/12-Wireless-Internet-Use.aspx
and: One-third of Americans (32%) have used a cell phone or Smartphone to access the internet for emailing, instant-messaging, or information-seeking. This level of mobile internet is up by one-third since December 2007. Pew Internet and American Life Project Wireless Internet Use http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/12-Wireless-Internet-Use.aspx
William Hook on Flickr iPhone http://www.flickr.com/photos/williamhook/2830322349/
...The idea of a single portable device that can make phone calls, take pictures, record audio and video, store data, music, and movies, and interact with the Internet — all of it — has become so interwoven into our lifestyles that it is now surprising to learn that someone does not carry one... 2009 Horizon Report http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2009-Horizon-Report.pdf
"It's when a technology becomes normal, then ubiquitous, and finally so pervasive as to be invisible, that really profound changes happen" Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody, p105
Steven W on Flickr My Communities http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevenwarburton/3209461104/
Pew Internet and American Life Project. The Future of the Internet III http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2008/The-Future-of-the-Internet-III.aspx "The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who is connected."
the Internet is a place to connect alles-schlumpf on Flickr Close Connection http://www.flickr.com/photos/29487767@N02/2855271953/
the web is a two-way conversation z6p6tist6 on Flickr Two-Way Street Sign http://www.flickr.com/photos/z6p6tist6/500048151/
...but we already do community consultation? "Any person may make a submission ... addressed to:" "...be viewed at the Corindi Beach Shop, the Woolgoolga Library and the council's Administration Building."
Eighty-one per cent of Australian respondents said they do not trust information from a company CEO, and just six per cent trust corporate advertising. media release 2009 Edelman Trust Barometer http://www.edelman.com.au/insights/2009EdelmanTrustBarometer.htm
"...Government websites received more traffic from Social Networking and Forums than the online News and Media industry for the first time during August 2009." Government sites receive more traffic from Social Nets than News and Media http://weblogs.hitwise.com/sandra-hanchard/2009/09/government_sites_receive_more.html
...nearly a quarter (23%) of online-Australians have boycotted an organisation after reading a negative comment on the social web about how that organisation treats its customers. PC World 01/09/2009 Consumer Talk in the Cloud about Poor Customer Care Impacts the Bottom Line http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/316894/consumer_talk_cloud_about_poor_customer_care_impacts_bottom_line
how's your reputation? Striatic on Flickr /disapprove http://www.flickr.com/photos/striatic/2191404675/
Trust Ben Macleod on Flickr Total Trust http://www.flickr.com/photos/benmcleod/186122997/
Demos State of Trust http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/stateoftrust
...use the personal interactions between their staff and the public to build ongoing, two-way relationships with the people they serve... Demos State of Trust http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/stateoftrust
...counter allegations of unfairness in their decision making by developing more robust and open processes for allocating resources. Demos State of Trust http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/stateoftrust
Transparency Edans on Flickr iPhone transparent screen http://www.flickr.com/photos/edans/1526393678/
Striatic on Flickr /approve http://www.flickr.com/photos/striatic/2191404127/
what does 'trust and transparency' look like? gerlos on Flickr Binocularportrait http://www.flickr.com/photos/gerlos/3119891607/
Public Sphere Justin Freeman on Flickr Senator Kate Lundy http://www.flickr.com/photos/62428481@N00/3651202753/
be authentic PinCheck on Flickr The Real Thing http://www.flickr.com/photos/freeflier/143843519/
The wrap up... gertrud K on Flickr Wrapped Reichstag http://www.flickr.com/photos/gertrudk/18932596/
many images used in this presentation were obtained from flickr.com under a creative commons license. many thanks to all who make their photos available to others to build upon. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/au/