Transparency in government
The government is using new technologies to engage its citizens in a more open and transparent way. Data is being made more accessible. The panelists seemed to agree that within the next 18 months much of the data would be available. This prompted Clay Johnson, who recently left Sunlight Labs, to say that the next step in transparency is an “information diet” meaning that we need to be careful about the news sources we select.
Alex Howard wrote a great summary of the Gov 2.0 sessions on Huffington Post.
Charlene Li, author of Open Leadership, talked about how social media can change the way people lead. Her thoughts on organizational change are relevant particularly as the government becomes more participatory. She encourages leaders to define the rules of engagement in the "sandbox" of openness. Read the introduction.
Focus on organizational goals
A theme running throughout the week was the importance of using social media strategically. There are many ways to engage your audience, but the focus should not be on the technology. The bottom line is social media can help achieve the goals of the organization. I'll write more about this in future posts.
The connected me
At the 140 Conference, organizer Jeff Pulver described how he connected with a variety of people through Twitter. In his opening remarks he emphasized the social value of social media. People can donate skills, not just money. You can catch part of what he said in the last two minuets of this video. The program he put together showed the application of micro-blogging in areas as diverse as emergency response, education, dating, film making and the military.
Failure and criticism in public
We learn from our mistakes. But in social media, our mistakes take place in a very public way. Geoff Livingston, Allyson Kapin, and Justin Thorp described their experiences of failing or being criticized in public. Simply put, the conversation will happen with or without you. You have to decide how to participate. Geoff wrote about the topic here. Jill Foster, who moderated the panel, later tweeted: Live, fail, thrive.