Hammers and Beer

John Sheridan - CIO & CISO
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Maintaining the AGIMO policy of posting our public presentations on our blog, this post contains the details of two presentations that I gave last week. The first was to a Citizen Centric service delivery conference and the second was a speech to the 2011 Annual Conference of the Australian Law Librarians Association. You might reasonably ask what this has to do with hammers and beer. I'll explain shortly.

The citizen centric conference featured a panel discussion on the first day. In discussing who the citizen was and how to get to them, I offered a three part model that attempts to explain that citizen centricity affects what government does in several directions. Government's work can be divided into policy, operations and service delivery. Across these three areas, the citizen's role varies. In policy development, the citizen is a stakeholder. In operations, the citizen's interests are those of an owner. And, in service delivery, the citizen is the customer.

Addressing citizen centricity in these varying roles requires different actions by government. When dealing with stakeholders, government needs to consult regarding policy, communicate the outcomes of decisions and, to be effective, convince a majority of stakeholders that the chosen policy is correct. Thinking of owners as shareholders, government needs to keep them informed of its work, and to think of the owners as the board, government needs to report regularly to them and ask for direction from them from time to time. Finally, in providing a citizen centric approach to its customers, government must ensure they understand what is available, that detail can be explained to them and, of course, services must be delivered efficiently and effectively.

These actions can be considered in a quadrant view. The y axis goes from push to pull and the x axis from the specific to the general. Owners should be able to pull information down when they need it. This information is more likely to be general in nature, rather than specific to individuals. On the opposite end of this continuum, government should be pushing specific information and services to its customers. Historically, pull down, general information has been sourced from relatively static websites - Web 1.0. Specific, push information has been provided directly to clients; either face to face or by direct correspondence - letters or email.

In between these extremes, we now have a new set of tools - the Government 2.0 set. Blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, microblogging and social networking together provide the means for government to interact in new ways with its stakeholders. Additionally, at the extremes, for some clients and some owners, these tools can, at least, complement more traditional means.

So, to the hammers. On the second day of the conference, I spoke about the various social networking tools available to further the Government 2.0 agenda. The slides for this presentation are available at the bottom of this post. I began by discussing the recent use of Twitter by the Australian Capital Territory's Emergency Services Agency during an industrial fire. I also provided details of a US survey on the state of social media in 2011 and a series of Gartner predictions on social media. The Nielsen survey showed that social media sites are the most commonly visited on the Internet. It also showed that of the 10 national markets in monitors, Australians spend the most time on social networking sites, averaging 7 hours and 17 minutes per month.

The title of the presentation, "Not just hammers" is a reference to the oft-quoted truism about some vendors offering only one set of tools (hammers) and thus needing to treat all issues the same way (as nails). There are, of course, a whole range of social media tools and the presentation covers several of these. The slides detail the uses of each tool and some factors to be considered when using them.

The presentation concluded by providing some preliminary findings from AGIMO's forthcoming survey of the use of online government services and by emphasising that not only do online services need to be accessible but services also need to be designed to overcome the "digital divide".

The second presentation covered by this post was a speech entitled "Free as in Beer and Free as in Speech". It discusses progress in the open government area since the Declaration of Open Government in July 2010. As it was a prepared speech, the full text is attached below. The speech concludes by considering the role of librarians in an online information world and their potential involvement in addressing the growing need for information brokers.

As usual, your comments on these presentations are welcome.

Not Just Hammers - Presentation Slides Free as in Beer and Free as in Speech - Full Text


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Comments (1)

Interesting post & attached docs - thanks! The item about journal costs isn't that simple however. New models are emerging in content access but the current scholarly publishing model has some way to go before i would say time to read is a bigger factor than effective content discovery or cost in access. Look forward to the Federal Government continuing to strongly support Open Access publishing of publicly funded research.

Last updated: 01 August 2016