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Archive for January, 2010

Just like politics, all governance is local. And, as the Gov 2.0 movement grows from infancy to toddling around the country, we’re seeing key concepts of openness, collaboration and tech-fueled government innovation and transformation make their way further into municipal and state agencies. Last weekend, Chicago hosted CityCamp, and coming Feb. 6, the west coast kicks off its first major Gov 2.0 conference, Gov 2.0 LA.
If you’re interested in the future of Gov 2.0 there’s something you can do right now to shape its road map: take this 15-30 minute survey designed by Antonio Oftelie of the Leadership for a Networked Word program at Harvard Kennedy School.
At Gov 2.0 LA, we’ll be working with this survey, our speakers, and workshop participants to create a framework for tackling the near future of the Gov 2.0 movement, particularly online services, enterprise collaboration, and community collaboration. Is evolutionary change in government enough, or, like the radical shift shaking up the newsgathering industry, does the disintermediation of a networked society call for a full-scale re-creation of governance structures? Big questions, so sharpen your mouse pointer, and help us out by completing the Harvard survey.
Now, a little more about the Gov 2.0 LA event:
You can register (free, thanks to sponsors and lots of volunteer work) and check out the camp themes here. If you’re coming, take a few minutes and vote for your favorite sessions – I did it last night, and there’s some great content from great speakers to choose from. The camp will be announcing winning submissions, as well as keynotes and themed sessions, next week.
Logistics such as location, hotel and transportation are here. If you plan on attending an opening reception Friday night, Feb. 5, RSVP by e-mailing register@gov20la.org.
If you want an early look at speakers, check out this Twitter List. And network with speakers and other attendees with this List.
Along with sessions all day Saturday and early Sunday, attendees have extended invites to great pre- and post-session activities. Tracy Lee is putting on the “Gov 2.0 La Dishcrawl,” a Saturday night tour of four dishes at four restaurants. If you can make it down early on Friday, Ted Nguyen of the Orange County Transportation Authority has invited social media practitioners to the Southern California Transit Forum.
Please share your thoughts, inputs and related events here in the comments and on Twitter using the hashtag #gov20la. I’ll see you in LA!
Oh, and don’t forget to complete the Harvard Gov 2.0 survey. Thanks!

~ Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant, host of the Gov 2.0 Radio podcast, and a Gov 2.0 LA organizing committee member. Follow him on Twitter @adrielhampton.

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We Are All #Yeg’gers

Several weeks back, I noticed the prominence of a community-based Twitter hashtag in my network stream and made a few inquiries that led to a pair of well-read blog posts about the twitizens of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and their energetic social media community. I’m happy to say that Edmonton – #yeg – continues to impress.
Since those posts:
I’ve virtually met the CIO of Edmonton and planned a face-to-face chat for his next S.F. Bay Area swing in April – CIO Chris J. Moore drives a car plated “YEGIT,” FTW!;
Roma Sobieski made me an honorary Yegger;
and Edmonton firmly positioned itself as a local leader in the open gov/Gov 2.0 movement.
I guess you could say I’m yegstatic about Edmonton.
~ Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant and host of the Gov 2.0 Radio podcast.

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In a 2008 year-end blog post about my fledgling Gov 2.0 advocacy efforts, I wrote, “In 2009, let’s say we did it.” And did we ever.
From the open data technologists in the Obama administration to grassroots-led barcamps to O’Reilly’s Gov 2.0 Summit to the explosion of social media into the mainstream, a fledgling idea that back in 2007 required framing by pricey consultants has taken on a life of its own in the hearts and minds of thousand of everyday public sector workers.
I also think that the Government 2.0 movement is just now getting its sea legs. The ecosystem of govies, vendors, consultants and conference organizers is not far from the Wild West. Today, we face the challenges of how to make tech-based collaborative reforms real for more than just technocrats and the affluent urban young, and we need the energy to keep bashing up against bureaucratic and political barriers to change. We’ve got a long way to go, but I have great hope.
I hope for a Gov 2.0 that brings us back to Lincoln’s ideal of an enduring people-focused government.
It’s this hope that has me blogging away far past my bedtime to invite you to Gov 2.0 LA, the first major Gov 2.0 conference on the West Coast. The event is free thanks to sponsors like Microsoft and Rock Creek Strategic Marketing, and incredible work by You2Gov CEO Alan Silberberg, and I hope you’ll sign up and make travel plans this weekend. At the hybrid event, we’ll have structured panels as well as attendee-driven sessions and hands-on tech demos. We’ll be building on the history of Gov 2.0 research to road map the past and future of implementation in the enterprise and in gov-citizen collaboration, and we’ll be discussing democratization of the language we use to describe this movement.
I’m hopeful about the future, and I hope to see you in LA.
~ Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant, host of the Gov 2.0 Radio podcast, and a Gov 2.0 LA organizing committee member. Follow him on Twitter @adrielhampton.

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Over the past few weeks, I’ve stepped up efforts to connect with Gov 2.0 types outside of the U.S. Looking at the Twitter community in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, helped in this, as did tweets in Japanese about Gov 2.0 Camp LA. Monday, I learned about a mature and vibrant Gov 2.0-oriented community in the Netherlands, and event got a little lesson in Dutch.
Now, I’d already connected through the U.S.-based GovLoop with like minds in the U.K, Australia, and New Zealand, but as Twitter grows internationally, I’m struck by the universal nature of hashtags. Not just a fun semantic tool or event aggregator, issue tags easily cross language barriers that are more limiting on static sites. See, I had no idea that ambtenaar + civil servant, but when I see #gov20 pop up in tweets I can’t read, it’s plenty easy to run that message through an online translator. Connection established.
Now please excuse me, I’m off to read Ambtenaar20.nl.

~ Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant and host of the Gov 2.0 Radio podcast. Follow him on Twitter @adrielhampton.

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I like Twitter Lists, a lot. Since their inception, I’ve been slowly adding to groups that I think are pretty good uses of the tool. I’ve also been added to a good number. But what strikes me is that out of all the public lists out there, very few people are following lists compiled by others.
Only five of the lists I’m on have more than 50 followers – compilations by Cheth, Alonis, Tweetprogress (automated list), BuzzEdition, and Kim. Of the top lists on Listorious.com (great site, by the way), only 25 have more than 1,000 followers.
I’ve written a fair bit about why I like lists, but these low numbers show that few have the free attention to click and follow lists compiled by others, let alone track those streams. Social pro Chris Brogan wrote recently about how sometimes it looks from outside like he’s chilling out, but he’s really working. That’s what I think about Twitter for meaningful use – you get out of it what you put in. Lists are a great tool, but you’ve got to work them.

~ Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant and host of the Gov 2.0 Radio podcast. Follow him on Twitter @adrielhampton..

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Do other people’s tweets show up on my page? That’s a common first question from officials contemplating Twitter.
And the ‘no’ answer is why, as social media use by politicians, officials and agencies goes increasingly mainstream, Twitter will beat out Facebook as platform of choice. This will hold true especially for official use, as public records concerns, takeover by critics, and complexity continue to plague Facebook adopters.
From the perspective of Gov 2.0 advocates, this may be a regressive trend, as it is easier on Twitter to dodge engagement. But the beauty of Twitter is control of one’s presence, without any overt need for filters. If you’ve got a wide open Facebook page and somebody wants to spam you all day long, you need a strategy to deal with that. Left alone, it’s going to muck up your page. But with Twitter, it’s easy to ignore hostile or spammy comments. And your active Twitter users have grown used to creating their own filtering systems. Your challenge on Twitter is to be noticed, not to dodge activity that ends up on your page. Full control of a Twitter stream also allows for pure broadcasting, and it remains to be seen whether that will be enough to please a majority of the public. – Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant and host of the Gov 2.0 Radio podcast. You can find him on Twitter @adrielhampton.

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