Brazil Govcamp shows continued Gov 2.0 Global Growth

Brazil “BrasilGov2.0” Govcamp shows the Global Growth of Gov 2.0 and Open Government

Governments and the people they serve around the world are struggling to adapt to a new reality of real time information, demands for openness and transparency and more efficient service delivery. There is tremendous enthusiasm and interest in the utilization of social media, mobile and open data tools to remake the term “Government” as we know it.

Until recently, the majority of Government 2.0 initiatives were undertaken in places like the United States, Britain, Australia, Germany and Japan to name the leaders. The continued blossoming of this movement is taking hold in many other countries too like Brazil. Coming soon to Sao Paulo, Brazil is the next part of the dialog continuum.

Some recent examples of Open Government, and Gov 2.0 initiatives in Brazil:



my friend Michael Walsh had this to say about Plone use in Brazil in a recent blog on Govfresh.

More on Gov 2.0 in Brazil: This is an example of how the Government of Brazil is using Open Source software and solutions as an early adopter of the Open Government movement. So this makes Microsoft’s involvement even more inclusive and shows the depth to which this global company is looking outside itself as part of the effort to bring Government 2.0 and E-government to a reality around the world.

Government 2.0 requires the input, participation of many parties – obviously governments, also the big and small companies that service them, and of course the people. As a result there have been many conferences and “camps” that have sprung up to address the educational and collaborative needs of this emerging industry.

Microsoft is sponsoring Govcamp Brazil this coming June 8, 2011 with the idea of creating an open learning environment for anyone interested in Gov 2.0 in Brazil. While the event does require registration, it is open to all, whether Microsoft devotees or open source advocates. In fact, Microsoft is actively seeking the participation of as broad a group as possible to facilitate a collaborative dialog and create a new level of understanding. This represents a major part of Gov 2.0 – openness.

Rodrigo Becerra of Microsoft provided this insight:

“We believe that local communities have the passion, skills and insight to drive Gov 2.0 and OpenGov efforts on their own and we simply want to be able to provide a platform upon which they can dig deep into these issues. This is a space for creating connections to happen between citizens, organizations, groups and governments that may otherwise not exist. We have done them in Berlin, Mexico City, Colombia, Moscow, Russia, Toronto, Sydney, Wellington, Boston, Lisbon and will sponsor the Brazil event in the coming month. We specifically have local organizing committees run each event. We conduct them all in local language and invite social media, competitors and partners to revel in the discourse to help drive the progress of the Gov 2.0 movement.”

As the founder of Gov20LA in Los Angeles, California, I am thrilled to see how far and fast the Gov 2.0 movement is growing around the World. It is really encouraging to see this transformative change happening in places not often thought of for progressive thinking with regard to Government.

In full disclosure: I am an adviser to the Brazil Govcamp and am very excited to see what develops in this first ever Gov 2.0 Camp in Brazil.


Do you want to shake a Politicians Hand Part 2?

It is interesting that people ask questions about politics but until recently were not assured of the answer.

Until recently there was not anyone who could or would answer those questions. As a young person, I clearly remember my parents taking me to public events and rallies around issues I knew little about. I did know there was lots of energy, and I would ask lots of questions, usually of my forgiving parents. Sometimes they had an answer, and others, like when we were standing in protest against apartheid, there was none.

I want to make sure that future generations have their questions answered. So we started to build a tool and action kit, that we will be rolling out soon.

This study was done by the Pew Center, and is right on with our sentiments, and only reinforces how the Internet has become the answer, or at least part of it.

Politics Goes Viral Online


The 2008 election campaign has sparked unprecedented interest within the electorate. Throughout the spring, surveys by the Pew Research Center for The People & The Press have found that roughly one-third of Americans have been following news about the primary campaign very closely — a level of interest not usually reached until the peak of election season. Within this context, large numbers of Americans are not only going online to learn about the campaigns, but are also taking an active role in promoting online conversations about politics as well as spreading news and information about their candidate of choice or the race in general.

In total, 46% of all adults are using the internet, email or phone text messaging for political purposes in this election. This percentage includes those who are doing at least one of the three major activities we probed — getting news and information about the campaign, using email to discuss campaign-related matters, or using phone texting for the same purpose.

  • 40% of all Americans (internet users and non-users alike) have gotten news and information about this year’s campaign via the internet.
  • 19% of Americans go online once a week or more to do something related to the campaign, and 6% go online to engage politically on a daily basis.
  • 23% of Americans say they receive emails urging them to support a candidate or discuss the campaign once a week or more.
  • 10% of Americans use email to contribute to the political debate with a similar frequency.

This is the first survey in which we have asked about the use of text messaging for political reasons. While text messaging has not yet equaled the internet or email as a widespread political tool, we find that nearly one-in-10 text messaging users (representing 4% of all adults) are sending or receiving text messages about the campaign or other political issues on a regular basis.

More Americans have gone online to get political news and campaign information so far than in all of 2004.
At this point in the 2004 election cycle, 31% of Americans had used the internet to get political news and information. The jump to 40% who say this now is even more striking because the population of online political users already exceeds the number of Americans who had used the internet for politics in the entire 2004 campaign. Moreover, the proportion of Americans getting political news and information on any given day in the spring of 2008 has more than doubled, compared with a similar period in 2004. In May and June of 2004, about 8% of adults were using the internet on a typical day to stay in touch with political developments. In April and May of this year, 17% of adults are getting political news online on a typical day.


Two new internet activities have stormed the political stage: 35% of Americans have watched online videos related to the campaign and 10% have used social networking sites to engage in political activity.

After the 2004 presidential race, the Pew Internet Project asked a broad question about whether respondents had watched any kind of video about the campaign or the election and 13% of adults said they had. This year we asked more detailed questions because video has become such a commonplace activity online and found that 35% of adults had watched some form of political video online so far.

We have also added questions about the role of social networking sites in politics to our survey this year and found that 10% of all Americans have used sites like Facebook or MySpace for some kind of political activity. That amounts to 14% of internet users and fully 40% of those who have created profiles on such sites.

For young adults in particular these sites are a key component of the online political experience: 66% of internet users under the age of 30 have a social networking profile, and half of young profile owners use social network sites to get or share information about the candidates and the campaign.

Nearly one in ten internet users has donated money to a candidate online at this point in the race
Some 8% of internet users (representing 6% of all adults) have donated money to a candidate online thus far. This is a notable increase from the 3% of internet users (representing 2% of all adults) who had donated money online the first time we asked this question in our fall 2006 survey.

Young voters tilt towards Obama specifically and the Democrats generally and that gives the Democrats some online advantages.
Young voters in our survey tend to gravitate towards the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign at greater rates than their elders, and their comfort engaging with the political world online is clearly in evidence in our survey. Online Democrats outpace Republicans in their consumption of online video (51% vs. 42%). Furthermore, Democrats are significantly ahead among social networking site profile creators: 36% of online Democrats have such profiles, compared with 21% of Republicans and 28% of independents.

Supporters of Democrat Barack Obama are the most in evidence in several key online activities. Among Democrats, his supporters are more likely than Hillary Clinton’s to be internet users. And even among the internet users in both camps, Obama partisans are more active online political users than Clinton supporters or John McCain’s.

  • 74% of wired Obama supporters have gotten political news and information online, compared with 57% of online Clinton supporters.
  • In a head-to-head matchup with internet users who support Republican McCain, Obama’s backers are more likely to get political news and information online (65% vs. 56%).

Among online Democrats, Obama supporters are more likely than Clinton supporters to have made online campaign contributions (17% vs. 8%), to sign online petitions (24% vs. 11%), to have passed along political commentaries in blogs and other forms (23% vs. 13%) and to have watched campaign videos of any kind (64% vs. 43%). Obama backers are also more likely than McCain partisans to have engaged in a range of online campaign activities.

39% of online Americans have used the internet to gain access to primary political documents and observe campaign events.
There is evidence of significant citizen desire to access campaign materials directly. Fully 39% of internet users (29% of all adults) have gone online to read or watch “unfiltered” campaign material, which includes candidate debates, speeches/announcements, position papers and speech transcripts. Obama supporters are the most likely to have embraced these online activities.

Despite the increased salience of online sources in the politcal debate, wired Americans have mixed views about the overall impact of the internet on politics.
While a respectable share of online Americans say that the internet has helped them become more involved in the campaign and feel more personally connected to their candidate of choice, even larger numbers feel that the internet is a megaphone for extreme viewpoints and a source of misinformation for many voters.


Wired Republicans are more likely than Democrats to have negative views about the internet, while online Democrats and young voters are more likely to agree with positive assertions about the impact of the internet.


Read the full report at

Do you want to shake a politicians hand?

Many people wonder why Iowa and New Hampshire play such an important role in American Politics. What many people don’t really fully appreciate is that it is the actual eye to eye and face to face communication that is so key to really understand.

The reason we all get so inundated with ads during election years, is that most of us live in states where there is no retail politics, only wholesale – mass barrage of information.

Maybe the Internet is helping to change the orientation from all wholesale, 24 hour media barrage to the handshake and eye to eye contact again, albeit electronically. In fact, the AP just ran a story about the numbers of Americans turning to the net to get deeper into politics.