Top Ten for 2010: Gov 2.0 will become more popular

Friday - 1/8/2010, 5:48pm EST

Adriel Hampton

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By Dorothy Ramienski
Internet Editor
Federal News Radio

Federal News Radio all this week has been bringing you its Bold Predictions for 2010.

On the Daily Debrief, Chris and Amy made their final prognosis on Friday -- that Gov 2.0 will become increasingly more popular and part of the standard operating procedures associated with the business of government.

Adriel Hampton is a Gov 2.0 and new media strategist and said a lot of whether 2.0 technology catches on more has to do with the economy.

"If the economy picks up, I think Gov 2.0 will continue to go at wildfire speed. If it doesn't, you may see stuff getting cut back. You can't be closing hospitals and keeping up your IT initiatives that are maybe going above and beyond basic services."

This isn't the only aspect that will control the popularity of 2.0, however.

"2010 -- because it's a political year for Congress and because so much of this is starting to pick up in the public perception -- we'll see more people who are politicians grabbing onto this issue and talking about making it part of governments. . . . Citizen-facing solutions are going to be big. I think 2009 was a little bit more about the enterprise . . . . In 2010, I think citizen services are the key. I think if people can show that their Gov 2.0 stuff is saving money and is answering citizens problems, then you're going to see cool things happening."

Whether or not 2.0 becomes SOP this year also has a lot to do with the agency itself.

"I worked in local government in my day job and we've got agencies that are barely on email [and] using really antiquated computer systems. Then you have [situations like] our 311 service in San Francisco that's integrated with Twitter and we're working on an open API project. So, you look at [the difference] from department to department and agency to agency and local, state and federal governments and you see very different levels that have already been reached. So when you see Gov 2.0 move very fast in 2009, I hope those disparities start to shrink instead of growing greater."

There is also the case to be made for having too much 2.0. Hampton said he has seen cases where unintentional silos and bubbles develop and certain offices or agencies believe everyone is on the same page, simply because they're only talking with a specific group of people.

"I think, when you look at bureaucracy at the state, local and federal level, you're penetration is still very low. I think that we can sometimes start living in a bubble where, because we're talking to people who are doing innovative things and sharing and highlighting the best of the best, you forget there is a lot of people who maybe are not embracing this. I think in 2010 we're going to see -- does this have legs? Or do we start hitting some entrenched bureaucracy that's resistant to change?"

This is where the involvement of politicians and citizens comes in. If agencies can't make a case that 2.0 is saving money, he asserted, then funding for such projects could dry up and force the 2.0 bandwagon to come to a grinding halt.

"I think there's a lot of unknowns in 2010. I do agree with the basic premise of [the] prediction, but I think that it's going to be rockier."