From Gov10 to Gov20 and a pattern already emerging

Posted: January 30, 2010 in Gov20
Tags: , ,

I often start my presentations on e-Government with a slide on the failure of e-government, demonstrated by low take-up. E-government was designed and built by engineer and IT people, who thought that “doing things online” was simply too exciting and convenient, and users will immediately rush to “change of address” online, no matter how they were designed. It turned out, users are not so interested to use online services unless they are well designed and intuitive and convenient. So one of the reasons for failure was that the eGov people thought that all citizens shared their enthusiasm for technology.

The strange thing now is that I see a similar pattern in Gov20. Now it’s the activitists, but also the communicators and community workers, who are assuming that an open, collaborative, policy-conscious behaviour is normal and widespread. This is not the case. We have to design Gov20 for non-collaborative, egoistic and non-policy conscious people. As said in an earlier post, we have to design for Bart Simpson, while we generally do for Lisa Simpson. If we fail, Gov20 will remain niche. Powerful, because the impact of the participation-addicts and collaborators is heavily augmented, and they are able to influence government much more than before. But soon, the expectation of wikinomics will fade out.

On the other hand, there is not only the “coolness” and “goodness” of collaboration, but also the genuine advantages in terms of creativity and productivity. But that is a different posting.


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