Transformational eGov - GTC SW 2009


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Transformational eGovernment - presentation for GTC SW in Austin on January 28, 2009

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  • This is an image that has been floating around the web for a couple of years now, but I like how simply it describes a lot of the different elements that have emerged in this new web.First there are all the techie buzzwords – RSS, XML, AJAX, XHTML, Blogs, Wikis. PodcastingThen there are the ideals encompassed in Web 2.0 – User-centered, Participation, Data Driven, Remixability, Mobility, Collaboration, Sharing, TrustSince, I’m not a developer, I’ll be focusing on the latter – the shift in ideals, and how government can and should keep up.Blogging was the first major “tool” of web 2.0 to hit primetime, so a lot of people get stuck thinking that blogging = web 2.0. It’s not only about blogs or wikis or AJAX or podcasting.It’s about what all of those things allow us to do more effectively – interact with our users.It’s a combination of styles, ideals, technology, & attitudes. There’s been a shift. People aren’t using the web just for brochure-ware anymore. They expect interaction. They expect to be able to participate.Here’s our history of interaction with the media… I like how it walks us through the different phases, and shows us how we’ve evolved as people who need, get, and create information.“Web 1.5” – I made that up, but that’s sort of the point. It doesn’t matter if you call it Web 2.0, 3.0, the Social Web, etc. It’s a set of ideas that we’re really talking about.“Web 2.0” simply defines a natural shift in the way we should think of the web. It stands for the introduction of new technologies, asynchronous and cross-site data access, and a community-centric focus. In laymen's terms, I believe Web 2.0 is a vehicle for offering digestible content, and harnessing the mob mentality. --éThe basic theme is a move from a 1.0 world of confined individuality, tightly honed messages, and one-way communication to a 2.0 vision of openness, collaboration, and community.Governments are using the web for transactions, agencies have gone paperless, the lines at the DMV are shorter! But those are all from the 1st generation of web technology.If Web 1.0 created electronic government – eGov as we know it -- what will Web 2.0 lead to??The “e” in eGovernment does not stand for “electronic government.” The “e” refers to EFFICIENT government. Think about it. Our mission is to make life more efficient for the agencies as well as the businesses and citizens you serve. -- Harry Herington, Electronic, Efficient, Invisible: A New Model for eGovernmentTalk about invisible government. Jiffy Lube, Temp Tags, etc.But Web 2.0 is more about the tools that will bring this efficiency, and the invisibility of government to the Web.So, if the old efficiencies have been used up, what’s next? How do we create tangible productivity with this new set of tools?We can do wikis and blogs and social networking, but we need to understand WHY these tools are part of this new era.Plus, in many cases, we’re already doing all of those things that I just listed. Let’s dig a little deeper and talk about ways to think outside the box.Dave Fletcher will talk about “How?”The major difference between Web 1.0 & Web 2.0? PEOPLE. 1.0 brochureware web sites were mostly concerned with attracting eyeballs. The web was a one-way street. Web 2.0 is a “read-write” web – a user-centric and user-generated web. People are most satisfied when they can contribute information as well as receive it.Blogs are no different from the Op/Ed pages in a newspaper – except for the ability of users to leave comments.Wikipedia is basically an online encyclopedia – except that you and I can go online and contribute.We are all shaping the world’s digitized collective knowledge in unexpected ways through our uploads, content, and billions of clicks a day.Who has been to Digg…commented on a blog…watched a video on youtube…viewed a photo on flickr? We are all contributing to not only the success of those web sites, but also the success of the entire network – we are essentially helping others find the data we went looking for.These sites work better the more users are participating and contributing.The more users, feedback, traffic, etc., the better the system can perform – the smarter it can become.Flickr is building one of the best photography collections on the web not because they have nearly 3 billion photos online, but because they have millions of passionate users commenting, tagging, and making notes on those photos. The data is usable because it is searchable and findable.Tim O’Reilly has said that a true Web 2.0 application is one that gets better the more people use it. Think about Google – we all contribute to Google. Whenever we post a page on the web, whenever we link from one page to another, whenever we do a search, or click on an ad, we are making Google smarter… They take all this information and apply it to their system, their algorithms, for our benefit. Harnessing collective intelligence means that users are continually improving the application or the network, simply by their very interaction with it. Companies are embracing the power of wikinomics and crowdsourcing…Over time, a company had lost virtually all documentation regarding a certain project – schemas, diagrams, etc. They decided to put a wiki online and reach out to their network of employees, past employees, and customers… and within TWO WEEKS they had documented the whole project. There are also ways to get some free consulting…Firefox, the popular web browser, has a huge community of beta testers that download nightly builds of the software, and are diligent about reporting bugs. They don’t get paid, but get the satisfaction of contributing to a product that they use and love.Lego, similarly, has a huge and loyal fanbase. While working on the latest version of Mindstorms – their robotics toolset – instead of expensive market research, they asked their most enthusiastic users and consumers to help develop the next generation. Realizing that few people know the product better than those top customers, they decided to get them involved. are driving the connections, but it is still the data that’s at the heart of web services.Tim O’Reilly coined this phrase when he was first defining his core concepts web 2.0. By saying that “data is the next Intel Inside” he’s really suggesting that information has become as important, or more important, than software.For businesses, the race is on to become the single source for certain classes of core data: location, identity, event information, etc. “With a lot of data, you ultimately see things that seem intelligent even though they’re done through brute force.”Google example. “GM” -- you’re probably searching for ‘General Motors’ “GM foods” – knows you mean ‘genetically modified foods’Because they are processing so much data, there’s context built up around acronyms. It makes the search engines seem “smart,” but really it’s just that algorithms and patterns have emerged.“Smart aggregation, recombination, and hyperdistribution make the online world and its user services exponentially better than the simple sum of its parts.” Shuen, p.124A mashup is a web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool. However, the real key here is that each data source enhances the other and becomes more valuable together than they were on their own…e.g.Real estate data + map data. Each one enhances the other and becomes more valuable together than they were on their own… Mashups bring new value to each piece of data by creating a service that was not originally provided by either source.This is particularly worthy of attention from governments, because if we can make certain “mundane” data available in ways that can be consumed and mashed up, then inevitably services will emerge that will be useful to our constituents.One of my favorite examples – a city New Zealand made their pet licensing data available on the web. Someone took that data, mashed it up with a Google map, and created a great visualization of the best neighborhoods to live in if you’re a dog owner or a dog lover.This is obviously something that most government agencies probably couldn’t afford to take the time to program even if they thought of it. But by making that seemingly mundane dataset available on the web, someone produced an invaluable tool for a very specific constituency.The official Cal Train site – flat dataCalTrain data + Yahoo Maps = IamCaltrainNot only is this interface more pleasing, it’s also more helpful. You get much more information on this one screen than you did scrolling forever in all directions on the data screen.First of all, we get a map – immediately helpfulTells us about the Station – this one in San Mateo has a Bike Rack, Ticketing Machines, Parking, a Public Telephone, and is Wheelchair AccessibleGives us the address of the station – not provided at all on the other pageA timetable based on how we think, not schedules – next train in XX minutes.And it’s also pulling images of the individual train station from flickr.Mashup = each piece of data is more valuable together than on its own. under our “What” category is the concept of sharing.The business world is calling this same set of principles “Enterprise 2.0” and companies are beginning to embrace the ideals of collaboration and sharing.No longer about document management and knowledge management, but about employees, real people, interfacing and sharing what they’ve learned in specific situations.Companies like IBM and Oracle are creating internal social networks to connect workers to people they may not have contact with on a daily basis. When people are collaborating in these systems, experts emerge – some who you may have known about, and some you probably don’t.When you think of the workforce turnover that corporations and governments are about to experience, these social, participatory models can help combat the “brain drain” that is inevitable as the boomers retire.If you ask a social media addict like me, this is possibly the heart of web 2.0. Whatever we want on the web, we definitely just want it NOW.To me, there are really two key factors here:1st is the real-time nature of our interaction with the application and the other users. There’s a dialog, and it’s immediate – whatever you’re doing, once you hit submit, the content, or your contribution to the conversation, is out there.2nd is the viral component that is very successfully built in to most web 2.0 sites and applications. Think about YouTube -- once you’ve watched a video, there are at least 3 ways to immediately share it. 1) copy the link and paste it onto your blog, or in an email, 2) there’s a snippet of code allowing you to embed the video in any web page, and 3) you can use the “share it” link which will send an email directly from YouTube.So not only are these things viral in nature, but the barriers to entry have all but disappeared. Think about receiving that email with a YouTube link in it. You don’t need an account, all you have to do is click the link, and the cycle starts again. All in real-time. as the answer to “When” is NOW – the answer to “Where” is, quite frankly, EVERYWHERE.It’s easy to make the joke that the internet is a “series of tubes,” but the concept here is truly that the internet is your platform for computing.Google is, of course, capitalizing on this – possibly more than any other company right now. They have a complete platform of tools on the web – most of which are reachable not only via this laptop, but also via my phone, via SMS, instant messenger, etc. They built a full-fledged software platform that runs on only one installation – your browser – and runs on any internet-enabled device. There is Google Notes; Google Groups for forums; Google Docs for word documents, powerpoint presentations, and spreadsheets; Google Calendar; and of course there’s Gmail.In the world of “the cloud,” there’s no need to manage hardware, just software on a grid you don’t have to maintain. The possibilities here are really limitless for the future of IT organizations. I do think that web-based computing will eventually move into organizations and government. It’s quite possible that this shift to the cloud will be even more important that our original migration to the personal computer.The other component of “the network” is the idea of network effects – and what we’re really talking about here is a combination of Who and What – people and data. The idea being that the value of your data, site, or application increases as more people use it. And in the case of social networking sites, I firmly believe that you only get out of it what you put into it.A not-so-modern-day example is the fax machine. The 1st person with a FAX had no one to communicate with. It was only after the proliferation of the technology, that the communication worked. If you’re on a social network, but your friends aren’t using it, not only will you likely abandon the service, but the service itself will languish.So network effects are really what’s driving the success of all of these web 2.0 technologies.Modern eGovernment efforts are moving away from the 'one stop shop' portal approach that characterized our early efforts, and are turning more towards mashups while experimenting with blogs, wikis, and other social networking software.Gartner has done several pieces on eGovernment over the last year, and is most excited about the concept of the egovernment mashup and a web services architecture.In 2008, in the era of search, aggregators, web services, social networks, etc. – egovernment is much more about “small pieces loosely joined.”There are probably hundreds or maybe thousands of niches open to explore, to provide channels for eGovernment. Just one example -- job search engines and aggregators could hook into government Web Services for unemployment.This requires us to publish data openly – and I’m not talking about identity information, credit card numbers, or any of that. I’m just talking about making all the seemingly mundane data that’s sitting on our servers available to the public. Fishing holes, pot holes, bald eagle sitings, pet licenses…The key is to figure out what to expose. Think about “layers.” There are lots of web services out there with huge user communities – what if your data could be a layer on Google Earth? Or produce a stream of photos from flickr?A quick note about TRUST. Trust is a two-way street. It’s mutual. But it’s not about trusting the individual, but about trusting in the community.By making data available for syndication and reuse, we are essentially saying to people “this is authoritative, go out and use it in ways that will make it valuable for you.” We’re building trust.Trust and transparency will transform the public perception of our governments. People are craving it. Google “(open OR transparent) government” and take a look at the results – 45,200,000 (million).It’s daunting and it’s scary, but we’re talking about the evolution of an era.Let’s get into a few examples of sites and technologies that we could use to start building our government 2.0 platform.A folksonomy is a system of categorization that comes from collaboratively creating and managing tags or keywords to annotate and categorize content. The categorization comes from the bottom-up, from the “folks,” if you will, instead of from the top-down as in a hierarchy or a taxonomy.A fundamental shift in and of itself… Yahoo = \"Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle\" Yahoo home page used to be based around categories…Their purchase of (social, folksonomy-based, bookmarking) and flickr signals a shift in their strategy.Flickr is a photo-sharing web site. You upload your photos in a variety of ways, and they are stored at This is not unlike ofoto or snapfish…But what made flickr unique, was that it combined the best parts of those sites with the best parts of blogs and other web 2.0 technology. It made sharing your photos actually SOCIAL – allowing other people to interact with them. They can comment, add notes, add it to their set of favorite photos, blog about it, or tag it with a keyword they’ll remember.An interesting project currently underway is their partnership with the Library of Congress.The Library of Congress uploaded over 3,000 photos to flickr which had no known copyright information.“The real magic comes when the power of the Flickr community takes over. We want people to tag, comment and make notes on the images, just like any other Flickr photo, which will benefit not only the community but also the collections themselves. For instance, many photos are missing key caption information such as where the photo was taken and who is pictured. If such information is collected via Flickr members, it can potentially enhance the quality of the bibliographic records for the images.” is a typical photo page – again we have user tagging, commenting, and notes, but instead of simply enhancing the data concerning the picture of my cute dog, we are actually contributing to the bibliographic information at the Library of Congress.caption information, and people identification (Carnegie)‏Why should you care about flickr? Because this model has been insanely productive – both for Yahoo and for their users. Apply this model/architecture to any type of massive database that needs to be hosted, viewed, sorted, categorized, tagged, etc. BUSINESS INFO.Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co-workers to
  • Transformational eGov - GTC SW 2009

    1. government in the 2.0 era Hillary Hartley NIC Inc. GTC Southwest January 28, 2009
    2. What is Web 2.0?
    3. Web 2.0 is not… all about technology.
    4. It is an era.
    5. But how did we get here? Talking – Conversation • Reading – Newspapers • • Listening – Radio • Watching – Television • Browsing – Web 1.0 Searching – Web 1.5 • Sharing == Web 2.0 •
    6. Core tenets of Web 2.0 Openness Collaboration Community
    7. What does this mean for government?
    8. The productivity gains from Web 1.0 have been used up. The efficiency gains and the real value of Web 2.0 will come from collaboration.
    9. Web 1.0  eGov Web 2.0  ????
    10. eGov, iGov, we all Gov efficiency & invisibility
    11. Web 2.0 Value for Government Wikis – 46.2% • • Instant Messaging – 26.9% • Social Networks – 11.5% • Blogs – 9.6% Online Chats – 5.8% • Live, Streaming Video • - Federal Computer Week
    12. let’s dig deeper
    13. The 5 Ws Who? What? When? Where? Why?
    14. Who?
    15. Web 2.0 is about people.
    16. Read-write Web + People Using It Web 2.0
    17. Who? Collective User Value • Benefiting from massive traffic and use • The more users, the better the system performs Web 2.0 is about people.
    18. Who? Harnessing Collective Intelligence • Wikinomics & Crowdsourcing • Architecture of Participation Web 2.0 is about people.
    19. What?
    20. Web 2.0 is about data.
    21. What? Data is the “Intel Inside” • Unique, hard-to-replicate data source = competitive advantage • Large amounts of data create their own algorithms & patterns Web 2.0 is about data.
    22. What? Mashed Up • “High-tech versions of Tinkertoys” • Individual pieces of data become more valuable together than apart Web 2.0 is about data.
    23. There are creative people all around the world… and they are going to think of things to do with our [data] that we didn’t think of. Vint Cerf, Google a.k.a. “The Father of the Internet” Web 2.0 is about data.
    24. Quick Case Study
    28. Web 2.0 is about sharing.
    29. What? Collaboration & Sharing • A culture of sharing • Old = knowledge management New = knowledge sharing Web 2.0 is about sharing.
    30. When? 3
    31. Web 2.0 is NOW.
    32. When? Real-time, Always On, Immediate – Real-time interactions among users – Real-time services based on your data • Dialog • Viral, engaging • Barriers to entry have disappeared Web 2.0 is NOW.
    33. Where?
    34. Web 2.0 is about the network.
    35. Where? The Internet as a platform • Cloud Computing – The computer is every computer. • Not tied to a specific device • “Internet OS” Web 2.0 is about the network.
    36. Where? Positive Network Effects “Every true web 2.0 company is building a database whose value grows in proportion to its number of users.” - Tim O’Reilly • Value increases as more people use it • You only get out of it what you put into it Web 2.0 is about the network.
    37. Fax Machine Social Networks
    38. Why? 5
    39. Government 2.0 is here.
    40. Future of eGovernment • moving away from “one stop shop” portal • turning more towards mashups • reusability of content and web services The ability to integrate information and services more easily with Web 2.0 technologies will cause a fundamental rethinking of how government services are delivered online and of what constitutes government data and processes. Gartner, The Real Future of E-Government: From Joined-Up to Mashed Up
    41. “loosely joined pieces”
    42. Trust  Empowerment Cooperate with your citizens. Reward collaboration. Loosen the grips of control.
    43. Examples Some of my favorite sites. What they do, and how you might use them.
    44. flickr folksonomy-based photo-sharing
    45. flickr Who? Huge collective user value What? 3b photos, 50m visitors / month Where? No need for hard drives, backups When? Conversational, real-time Why? Flickr’s commodity is photos…files. Architecture can apply to anything that needs to be hosted, viewed, tagged, sorted, etc.
    46. twitter What are you doing?
    47. a personal twitter page
    48. “news river”
    49. customer service
    50. customer service
    51. customer service
    52. customer service 2
    53. some gov-related twitters
    54. Live Traffic Conditions
    55. Los Angeles Fire Department
    56. It takes reporters time to set up and get the story, but Twitter turns thousands of regular people into citizen journalists – all of whom are on the scene.
    57. UK Prime Minister’s Office
    58. California Governor
    61. twitter Who? Network effects are massive What? 6m+ users, 15m+ messages / day Where? Literally all over the globe When? Instantaneous, mobile, viral Why? Future of hybrid communication Numerous ways to send & receive “tweets” – syndicated, IM, SMS, email, widgets, desktop software
    62. get satisfaction people-powered customer service
    63. company help forum
    64. some gov-related forums
    65. Logan, Utah
    66. Ann Arbor City Council
    67. get satisfaction Who? Companies, experts, users, fans What? Help people help themselves Where? Inside & outside the organization When? Whenever there’s a question Why? Meaningful engagement People-powered architecture for Q&A, discussion, feedback, and the chance for users to share their expertise.
    68. uservoice user-driven feedback loops
    69. uservoice Who? Companies, organizations What? Feedback, support tracking Where? From the bottom up When? Whenever someone has an idea Why? Empowered users, better products User-driven feedback loops, support tracking, listen to users, build consensus, report
    70. reduced support costs happiness marketing Customer Service
    71. policy
    72. Wikify the Process • Draft -> Publish -> Review • Changes tracked, history saved • Near final form in much shorter time Address policy concerns.
    73. Make the Business Case • Perhaps instead of traditional “Acceptable Use Policies,” make the business case and let that drive creation and interaction. Address policy concerns.
    74. Your To-Do List No need to reinvent the wheel. Use available tools. Get your feet wet.
    75. Increasing Efficiency & Productivity • Shared project and team spaces • Live capture of streamed online meetings & conferences for ongoing participation and feedback • Real-time collaboration channels • Collaborative document creation • Development & support of cross-agency Web sites and services
    76. Start Small... • Baby Steps – Encourage use internally – Productivity gains – Learn to appreciate the technology • Wikis, wikis, wikis! – Organize and record notes from meetings – Central repository for login information/web tools – Storing contact information – staff, vendors, etc. – Various “one-stop” projects
    77. The Importance of Web Standards • (X)HTML, XML, CSS, XSLT, DOM, etc. • Microformats • Plain ol’ semantic HTML (POSH) More than just “table-free” HTML. When your site adheres to web standards, that semantic code becomes your API.
    78. What can you do right now? • Be open to technology and existing services – think outside the box • Think about your data in “layers” – for google, twitter, iCal, web services • Start to embrace a culture of sharing and openness • Have conversations; build community
    79. At the end of the day, it’s not even about collecting information on your portals. The best way to make yourself web 2.0 is actually to expose your data in ways that let other people re-use it. Tim O’Reilly, Government Thinking about Web 2.0
    80. Social Media Platform blogs & micro-blogs, wikis, podcasts, photo & video sharing, live video streaming, social networking, social bookmarking, mashups, feeds, microformats
    81. Web 2.0 is not just about the technology… It is the emergence of a new era, a shift in ideals, enabled by the technology.
    82. embrace the shift
    83. Photos & Concepts Many thanks to my friends Tara Hunt ( and Silona Bonewald (
    84. Thank you! Hillary Hartley 415-573-2487 twitter: @quepol Slides: