International e-Participation Symposium

0 0
Read Time:2 Minute, 0 Second
Media_httpstevedalene_bbcvi

The Empowering Citizens Through Technology and Participation Symposium has posted a couple of webcasts of the two-day event. I was presenting on the first day on the topic of building communities in the local government sector, using metaphors to describe how village communities developed around meeting places such as the village hall in by-gone years, and how communities of practice can flourish once a domain of interest is established (I used the Gosport Allotment Holders association as a contemporary example, where the mix of gardening experts and novices find mutual benefit in belonging to a collective). The key point being that just because we now have much better on-line collaboration tools and technologies, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that it’s the people that make communities (of interest, or practice or whatever). A message that was probably lost on a speakers platform that was almost exclusively devoted to Web 2.0 technologies as the panacea for enabling more effective citizen engagement with the public sector. Reinforced of course with a veritable blizzard of ‘e’ prefixes – e-Collaboration, e-Empowerment, e-Participation, which never fail to give the uninitiated the impression that we’re all in the technological fast lane (though some of us suffer from deja vu when we recall a similar e-word blitz associated with the previous dot-com era of the mid-90’s. It meant nothing then, it means nothing now!).The Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP gave the keynote presentation on day one. She was clearly well briefed on social media tools, but I couldn’t help chuckle (quietly) when she expounded the virtues of Youtube and how her department (DCLG) were now using it as a key channel for getting their information (aka ‘spin’) out. I trust someone will have informed her by now that most government departments and local councils block access to the likes of Youtube, Facebook and Flickr, which are all deemed to be social playthings, where staff cannot be trusted to use them properly.I’d like to think that the government is investing in the right ‘e-programmes’, but I can’t help feeling that their inherent lack of agility and the propensity for the big consultancies to sell them hugely expensive and over-complex Web 2.0 solutions will mean yet more missed opportunities. In the mean time, us citizens get on with life as best we can!

About Post Author

Stephen Dale

I’m a life-long learner with an insatiable curiosity about life. I love travel, good food, and good company. I’m happy to share what I know with others….even the interesting stuff! My outlook on life is pretty well captured in this quote from a book about the legend of King Arthur: “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” ― T.H. White, The Once and Future King So much to learn, so little time!
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %
Previous post International ePaticipation and Local Democracy Symposium
Next post It’s not the (social networking) technology – it’s the people that matter

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.