The Risk and Reward of Web 2.0
Governments are understandably skittish about utilizing social networking sites and other Web 2.0 tools--Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and open-source wiki documents. But some adventurous officials are...
Governments are understandably skittish about utilizing social networking sites and other Web 2.0 tools--Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and open-source wiki documents. But some adventurous officials are forging ahead, acknowledging the risks but emphasizing their potential for transforming government processes.
Perhaps no city has embraced Web 2.0 tools as wholeheartedly as San Francisco. Chris Vein, the head of telecommunications and information services for the city, spoke candidly. "We are in a horrible crisis. I think the only way we're going to get out of it is by doing creative things and taking risks."
The city has adopted what Vein called an "open gov" policy: "Sure, let's use YouTube. Let's use Flickr. Let's use Facebook." The city is adapting those already available Web 2.0 tools to meet its challenges. In some cases, the city works to tailor the service to fit the city's needs. For example, when Mayor Gavin Newsom wanted to use YouTube as the platform for his 2009 State of the City address--which clocked in at more than six hours long--Vein worked with YouTube to get special dispensation for the city to upload such a lengthy video.
The dividends can be impressive. San Francisco now allows residents to use Twitter to send service requests to the city's 311 center, and plans to enable users to send photos via Twitter to document and illustrate their service needs. The city's Facebook page helps provide information to city officials. For example, within minutes of Mayor Newsom's Facebook posting of his response to a major California Supreme Court decision, 250 citizens wrote in to respond. "That kind of immediate feedback, for a politician, is priceless," said Vein. "It wouldn't have happened if we hadn't been using Facebook."
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
LATEST MANAGEMENT & LABOR HEADLINES
From Hundreds to Thousands of Inspections: How Pittsburgh Is Winning the Permit Game3 hours ago
Welfare and the Underappreciated Value of Long-Term Thinking3 hours ago
For Some, Ban-the-Box Laws Are Making It Harder to Get a Job3 hours ago
Houston’s Plan to Cut Pension Costs in Half Overnight1 day ago
For Social Workers in Kentucky, Talking to Reporters Could Get Them Fired2 days ago
Flint Water Investigator Resigns After Drunken Driving Arrest4 days ago