This talk builds off of my presentation at last years SLA conference on the federal governments’ use of social media. I specifically looked at how the Obama administration and Change.gov inspired Gov 2.0. I argue that we are just starting to see the promise that new media technologies hold for doing the business of government. After the SLA presentation I wrote a short article for the SLA CI division on how CI professionals can take advantage of Gov 2.0 for their research. I am continuing to build on this research by looking more in-depth at the tools of Gov 2.0 for CI research.
What it “Gov 2.0?” It is a buzzword for both a new culture of government and also how the government is using new technologies. The old way of doing government or Gov 1.0 was more insular, top-down, a need to know culture of silos and secrecy. The new way of doing government or Gov 2.0 is more inclusive of the broad population, more participatory with everyday citizens, and focused on transparency and collaboration. With the support of the Obama administration we are seeing a myriad of executive agencies adopt social media tools to collaborate within and outside of government to solve important problems. For example, the apps.gov portal facilitates widespread use of social media.
CI differs from ordinary library reference and research in that it is tightly aligned with the organizations’ objectives. CI professionals provide “decision support” for their business executives by providing the research and analysis necessary to launch a new product or approach a new client base. CI professionals would make regular use of federal government information, reports and data because the government is involved in a myriad of industries such as financial regulation, energy markets, health care reform, and environmental management. My research question is: How does Gov 2.0 impact the CI professional? What tools are available to assist in CI? Today I’ll look at two new tools that government is using: Twitter and data.gov.
Twitter is a micro blogging site that rose to general popularity in 2009. Twitter is also being heavily used by government agencies and members of congress. Twitter has emerged as the de-facto real time search tool. Because of its open and up to date nature I believe that this tool holds a lot of promise for CI research, where timeliness is very important. Now that government information is being published up to the minute via Twitter, CI pros will have another avenue for research. Third party applications developers have created tools such as Tweet Congress and the Sunlight Foundations’ Capitol Tweets to help the everyday citizen monitor their congress peoples tweets.
The tool I am highlighting here allows you to enter in a search term and view all congressional tweets using this term. This application also allows you to view an individual members’ tweets and to see which states are participating in Twitter. This example is a search for “health care” which is of course a hot topic right now. Tweet Congress allows you to search over all the members’ tweets on a certain topic.
Data.gov is an initiative of the Obama administration to provide open access to the raw data produced by government funded research projects and programs. It was originally voluntary for agencies to submit data feeds. However, the Open Government Directive of Dec 9, 2009 mandates that each executive branch agency submit at least “three high value data feeds” by late Jan 2010 in order to increase the value of this tool. This past Friday was the deadline for submission and a big announcement was made via AP news. I believe that data.gov is an excellent example of a new service with a lot of promise. While there are only a few thousand data feeds and there issues in linking out to the data I believe that this site is an excellent move towards opening up the governments valuable data.
Data.gov allows CI professionals to directly download and remix government data. I also used the example of health care here. So, theoretically a CI professional could download data sets on health care and then import that data into their own system for further data calculation or visualization. The Sunlight Foundation, an open government advocacy group, recently held a competition for applications developers to use the data.gov platform to create useful applications. Called Apps for America 2: The Data.gov Challenge entries included: DataMasher, GovPulse, and ThisWeKnow.
I believe there are four main areas of research related to Gov 2.0. This is an emerging field with updates and new developments occurring regularly. Assessment – How do we measure the success, use rate, and public interaction with government social media use? Some of the applications provide their own metrics systems but should there be a more coordinated effort to manage and assess Gov 2.0.? Preservation – As many of these technologies only serve a limited “real time” purpose how do we preserve the messages and links? How will this patchwork of public-private networks ensure permanent preservation or is it even necessary to archive these real time messages? Whose responsibility? Continuity – Will sites such as data.gov disappear once the Obama administration is no longer in office? How do CI researches ensure that these data sources continue for the next five to ten years? Next big thing – Is the government monitoring new tech trends to adopt? As the technology adoption curve quickens how do government staffers and CI researchers keep themselves abreast of the new technologies?
Gov 2.0 for competitive intelligence
Gov 2.0 and theCompetitive Intelligence Professional Kim Lyall CUA SLIS Symposium January 29, 2010
Gov 2.0• New way of doing business• Move away from "need to know” culture• Social media – Apps.gov – Collaborate with the public through online forums
Competitive Intelligence• Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals – CI is the process of • monitoring the competitive environment • analyzing the findings in the context of internal issue • decision support for organization