Gov 2.0 is not a “Fail” – the opposite.

“Failing Fast” is becoming one of the latest business terms to stick for more than 15 milliseconds. As an entrepreneur and analyst, I think it is best to succeed, and work hard to do it. But – when you fail, do it fast. Get it over with, then get up, dust yourself off and do it another way till it works.

Make it work or fail fast.

Governments work at a glacial pace. Even in the Digital age in which we live. Here in the United States, social media is enhancing the speed of delivery of services as well as opening a world of data, information and facts to citizens across the Globe.

Sure there are some false starts. Sure there are some failures. But there are also pure success stories, building more and more each day. I talk to Governments and companies around the world every day. There is a huge level of increased awareness, combined with a huge level of activity. I contrast this with two years ago. There was no Open Gov plan for any Country. Two years later, now several countries either have plans or the plans are in the works. See my earlier post – “The Gov 2.0 World is Growing” for more on this rapid growth.

At the same time there are literally dozens of new Government services/Public Sector services Gov 2.0 oriented companies popping up every couple of months. The market is beginning to gel, to find itself.

So I respectfully ask the people at Gartner – Sorry, but WTF with your calling Gov 2.0 a “Fail”?
Seems wrong headed and a head in the sand call. Time will tell.


Why it (Gov 2.0) matters to you.

Republished from Silberberg Innovations.

The other day I had an awesome opportunity to moderate a panel at Los Angeles City Hall. As part of the Social media week, Los Angeles, we were having an engaged dialog about Government 2.0 and the accompanying culture change that is sweeping Governments across the country, and indeed across the Globe. The President of the Los Angeles City Council, Eric Garcetti, decided to join the discussion.

This made for an even more engaging dialog. Mr. Garcetti joined us with his blackberry in hand and was indeed both live tweeting the event and handling emails all while being part of the conversation. This was a great moment for me. Not just because I was thrilled to have him be part of the panel; but because he was giving a live demonstration of Government 2.0 in action. Here I was silently watching the President of the City Council of the 2nd largest city in the United States actively participating in a dialog, and contributing from the user perspective, not just a politician trying to seek answers. He was actually giving some of the answers.

While we were sitting at the top of the Los Angeles City Hall in the famous Bradley room which offers a unique 360 degree view of Los Angeles, it occurred to me that we have already crossed a major chasm with Government 2.0, even if few realize it. Not only are doing it now, but the politicians are starting to realize this is a leadership position to be taking.

We are no longer in the maybe stage. We have left the what if stage. We are in the doing stage. Here was an elected official – using the very tools we were talking about – and describing an ever more engaged public. This City Council President described both a vision of the “ultimate Gov 2.0 Platform” and a dynamically changing electorate. We are winning the revolution, even if it may not seem like it. These tools are not only being used, but smartly in many instances. Those politicians who are jumping in are seeing higher levels of engagement, (which brings it’s own set of issues to be sure.) Citizens are beginning to see ways to take back control of their Governments. We were even using the word “fun” to describe how citizens should be able to view their online engagement with their elected officials.

This matters. It matters to you, your children, your families and communities. This is not something that matters today, and then will fade away. This matters more and more. It is up to Citizens (You 2.0) or (Citizen 2.0) to take this new direction of Governance and run with it. It matters because we have the attention of our leaders now. Now we have to keep pressing.
In the room where the Declaration of Independence and later the Constitution was signed in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania there is a famous chair. The chair that George Washington sat in, with all the people around him while signing both. The chair has a sun on the headrest, it is often said that it was the rising sun for the United States of America. In this case, the sun is most definitely rising.

The many Voices of Gov 2.0

Republished from Silberberg Innovations.

Government 2.0.
Let that sit there for a second.
The term is widely credited with having been invented by William Eggers. If you do not know who he is, it may be because others would like you to think they came up with the term. Don’t let them fool you.

The Gov 2.0 World is Growing Fast. I have said that on many occasions and written it all over the place. One of the reasons it is growing so fast is that despite efforts to the contrary – there has been and continues to be more than one voice representing the Gov 2.0 Revolution. This is a vitally important and crucial aspect of the continued organic growth in this space. Collaboration and ideas flow together naturally. When an un-natural dam is placed in that flow, it merely diverts the flow, but does not stop it.

The past three years have been an exciting time for many, here in the United States and abroad. The voices in Government 2.0 abound. Below I have chosen to list just some of the ones that come to the top of my head and also ones you may never have heard of and are in no particular order. So in addition to the cast of the “usual suspects” we all know and read each day in the #gov20 stream on Twitter and elsewhere, I offer some others.

Dominic Campbell
Nick Charney
Craig Newmark
Luke Fretwell aka Govfresh
Seth Grimes
John F. Moore
Karine Barzilai-Nahon
Gwyn Kostin
Mike Kujawski
David Osimo
Lovisa Williams

Something to think about as the Gov 2.0 world heats up: The inclusion of voices; acceptance of different types of events, camps, conferences is a critical part to all of us growing this into not only an industry, but one where the freedom of ideas runs parallel with the hard nosed business tactics already being deployed.

Gov 2.0 needs You 2.0

republished from Silberberg Innovations.

As a longtime proponent of the need to break down citizen engagement with our governments into simple to understand segments, I am thrilled by the recent conversations again about the importance of People and language. It is something the planners of Gov20LA 2010 took very seriously. The discussion around Government 2.0 – the revolutionary approach of applying working web applications to solve old time government problems. But really, it is about getting your “You 2.0” on. Engage. Roll up your sleeves. Fix the problems.

So in advance of the coming fall Gov 2.0 conferences, un-conferences, camps, uncamps, etc – I want to take it a step further. So you can now solve some basic problems with your local governments You can in many states now go online and handle the majority of your DMV related issues, as in this case in California.

What else has the Government 2.0 Revolution done for you? Or for a neighborhood near you?

Here are some examples:

These are just but a few of the many examples around the World of the Government 2.0 revolution taking root with engaged Citizens 2.0. Yes, there will be stumbling blocks. Yes, there are still those who would prefer to hide their heads in the sand and pretend this day was not coming. But, Gov 2.0 is here to stay. Now when are you getting your Citizen 2.0 on? Or even better, when are you getting “You 2.0” on?

Gov 2.0 and Gov 3.0 Mashup.

The semantic web (Web 3.0) is coming to a Government 2.0 app near you!

In one of the first International Strategic Alliances in the Gov 2.0 / Gov 3.0 space, Silberberg Innovations is announcing our partnership with Bubbleideas, of Singapore. We are extremely excited about this collaboration and both companies will be seeing tremendous leverage arising out of the alliance.

Government 2.0 is taking the world by a storm. Citizen driven campaigns, open-source projects, large companies, smaller start-ups and even individuals are flocking around Gov 2.0, each tackling different set of problems and solving them with innovative little solutions. The eco-system is all set to push out a very new and unique format of Governance. The very approach brings us into thinking the future of the web: Semantic – where websites are dynamic applications that talk to each other, data is meaningfully connected and the aggregate of services offered over the web react optimally to actions from one platform to another. One such application that is path breaking the route for Government 2.0 & Enterprise 2.0 is BubbleIdeas (in beta) – the World’s first Semantic Collaboration Tool.

BubbleIdeas is designed to allow mass conversations between citizens and leaders. The way BubbleIdeas works is by opening enterprise scale terminals for celebrities, leaders or organizations which pull out the relevant conversations and ideas that would be worthwhile for the leaders to act upon. The terminals offer customizable HTML5 layouts with access to CSS and dashboard for more creativity by designers around the world. It boasts of features such as ‘protection of minority interest’, ‘multiple sortings’ and best of all – a simple straightforward ‘signup-less’ process to converse which ensures that no human is demotivated from participating.

BubbleIdeas is in many ways an opposite to Twitter, where broadcasting happens between bunches of people to celebrities, leaders or organizations. One of the founders of the company says “if you have a million followers on Twitter, it is easy to announce. But it is nearly as impossible to listen to what your followers have to say. BubbleIdeas is expected to change that, and complete the conversation loop between power-centers and followers”.

The company will provide access to “RDF” to developers for downstream work and integration per the prescribed international standards of semantic web and make all the public data “available” for meaningful linking outside of BubbleIdeas. “This would ensure interoperability and openness at a level desired by the semantic web, and perhaps align best with the objective of most Government & non-Government organizations – i.e. actionable transparency” said Arvind Nigam the CEO of Bubbleideas. He continues: “We are focused on matured markets, at this point of time. We have also opened a platform for social media experts to join the next wave of Government 2.0 and use our resources to do their bit in spreading the desired level of social skills to agencies and organizations.”

Silberberg Innovations is building a network of sales consultants around Bubbleideas Semantic Government 2.0 applications. As part of our commitment to excellence in Gov 2.0 we are providing a unique chance for top technology people to take a Web 3.0 platform to the market. During this time of economic strain, we are pleased to be able to empower job creation.

Gov 2.0 Leadership and Visionary Moves

Well. Here we are.

As of May 24, 2010 – “,,” are all now officially part of the History of the evolution of both the Internet and Government 2.0 The site is still up, and you will notice it up and down over next several weeks. It is not an identity crisis. It is not a retreat. It is a next step as one of the leading Gov 2.0 Companies in the United States.

Yes. It is true.

Being one of the pioneering and visionary Government 2.0 Websites in the United States and helping to unleash the Government 2.0 and Citizen 2.0 Movements is hard work. Along with being one of the principal private companies driving the innovative ideas now percolating through Capitols; State and Local, Federal and International, it is time for us to take a pause.  It is time to breathe.

We have worked tirelessly to build a citizen engagement platform. The Government loves us. The media loves us. But few people take the time to actually make use of these tools as of right now. After two years of providing cutting edge Government 2.0 capabilities – guess what happened? The Government 2.0 Community is growing. Fast. It is growing on Facebook, it is growing on Twitter, it is coming to a locality near you. But NOT necessarily as a platform. It may involve a real fabric of tools and applications; carefully woven together to increase transparency, open our governments to all of us, and stop organized corruption.

Instead of competing in a bloody red ocean over yet-to-be defined profit points – we have  decided to close the platform side of our business while focusing on other areas like further innovation and strategic consulting. Why? There is tremendous competition that is extremely well funded that is now just on the horizon, in those clouds over there. There is also amazing opportunity on the innovation, strategic consulting and multi-media aspects.

You2Gov is not going black.

Just our websites (sometimes) until the next generation of it/them appears.  That might seem counter-intuitive. But we are not focusing on this side of the Gov 2.0 equation anymore. We do have our sights focused on some other pieces that many are yet to be talking about. So instead of focusing our efforts on a platform that is now being replicated by many others in different forms, we will be addressing new areas of the Gov 2.0 and Gov 3.0 space.

Some of our highlights to now:

Being named to PC Magazine’s Best of 2008 List after only two months in existence.

Craig Newmark Taking an Interest in You2Gov’s Mission and following thru.

Rollout of Direct Democracy 3,0

Being Interviewed by Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris (several times, even with kids in tow!)

Creating the groundbreaking (and Taking Lots of Heat for it) GOV20LA

Executing on an incredible Gov20LA 2010. See all the  Long Form Videos Here.

Thanks to all who have in your own way helped to make this early part of You2Gov’s existence be such an exciting ride.

I especially want to note the following: Ralph J. Shapira, Lisa Cohen, Craig Newmark, Lewis Shepherd, Lovisa Williams, Bev Godwin, Naomi Caietti, Debra Bowen, Scott Johnson, my brother, my parents and everyone around us who support what the You2Gov platform is all about.

Sign up on the right over there —– subscribe to this blog, and learn about all of our next moves. Because – there is lots coming down the pike – and sometimes as progress and changes happen, so do unexpected movements. Innovation requires forward thinking and sometimes innovators make moves that are not clearly understood at the time, but reveal themselves as part and parcel of a larger process.

Alan W. Silberberg

Co-Founder, CEO, You2Gov, LLc.