The Mobile Gov 2.0 Influence

Mobility is the key. Government 2.0 and it’s namesake online “Gov 2.0” are already looking down the tunnel of version one – ie social media.

Version two is mobile. Mobile growth is explosive around the World. More and more people are using their mobile devices to become smarter, at least on the go smarter. Projected growth for mobile phones from the lowest phone only version to the smartest ones with “on-board life controls” is in the hundreds of percent over the next few years.

I have written about the Digital Divide many times.  The response has always been powerful. Why is this? Because it is a sensitive issue driven by fear of rich vs poor thinking. Unfortunately it’s true. As I have said before, a big part of the digital divide is now those “with smart phones” and those with “basic cellular” phones.  This is due to the increased mobility of our society as the continued economic realities around the world are changing living situations and human migration rapidly.

The person with the smart phone is able to go almost anywhere, find almost anything and be informed of alerts and information relative to their life no matter where they are. The person with the “basic” phone – or none at all does not. Pretty simple.

I caught a lot of grief for writing about the Social Darwinism of Gov 2.0 recently. Some people suggested I was loosely using a term I “did not seem to understand.” However, the economic situation is turning more and more of our society into us vs them/rich vs poor/smart info vs dumb or no info. I stand by what I wrote.

Just because the truth hurts does not mean it should not be told. The Mobile Gov 2.0 influence is already clear. Market leaders like and have been demonstrating that for a few years now. But there are a host of iphone apps and smartphone Gov 2.0 applications now available for download from dozens of companies. This past election showed the power of social media combined with mobile.

How many SMS messages were generated from a social media site visitation or share?

What percentage of the decision to vote was done through advanced, real time, mobile conversations flowing between campaigns and people’s pockets?

Think about that. Then think about how useful Government 2.0 applications become when the people, You 2.0, are in control – no matter where they are. This has huge implications on what is happening now, and what is to come in the next 18 months or so.

Look for the fusion of social media and mobility into Gov 2.0 in a real way. Look for how Government agencies start to be graded on their mobile access and Gov 2.0 access. Wait until the AARP or other large interest groups start issuing Gov 2.0 report cards along with the customary budgetary efficiency and policy effectiveness reports.


Trust, Transparency and the Gov 2.0 Triage

Republished from

Lately there has been lots of news about a breakdown in trust of those in Government. Bell, California is just the latest obnoxious example of gross malpractice and criminal activity in a Government. Trust is something we have always tried to demand from those running our Governments. It does not always work out that way though. One would think that with social media we would have become more aware. One would think that with “OpenGov” initiatives sprouting up like weeds the days of Government officials doing things in secret would be over. Don’t go to Vegas and bet on that.

    If anything, there is a dark side to Gov 2.0 – that it may conveniently offer up yet another bureaucratic layer if not implemented carefully.

I have been working on a political campaign this cycle. It’s blog was hacked recently, and attempts were made to hack the website too. In this case the hacker is known to the campaign, and is being dealt with appropriately. But it brought another side of the trust prism to light: through social media we let total strangers “into” our lives, both digitally and sometimes literally. Little things that seem innocuous suddenly loom huge. Strangers get to peek in, you get to in return. To what end? How does this flow to the people’s oversight of the Government?

Recently I wrote about the need for the “G” chip – my name for it. My point, and I am going to quote from what I wrote:

” * How do you know when you go from a commercial site to a government site? This will become a more complicated issue as governments start rolling out new sites with commercial elements on them.

* How do you know if the government site you are on is using persistent tracking cookies or other web information services to not only identify you but deliver appropriate services?

* How do you know if the government site you are on has partnerships with another company; say, Google? Whose terms of service are you under?

My anti-virus program uses red and green lights to indicate safety of my system and safety of websites I may be visiting. Perhaps we need a “G” chip dashboard with a similar layout. One that lets you know you are crossing into government owned e-space, and one that alerts you to different persistent tracking techniques, and one that alerts you to multiple Terms of Services on one site.”

This would go a long way towards addressing the the open wounds that failures in trust and transparency have created. A “Triage” if you will from Gov 2.0 and even You 2.0. But there is more to it than just knowing where you are and how you got there. Part of what the Gov 2.0 Revolution is inspiring beyond new companies and and ideas into a new way of Governing too.

Gov 2.0 will be meaningful in a very deep way when it transcends from a nifty way to do something to an embedded and permanent transparency window into how our Government officials serve us, the people.

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.