Friday, June 06, 2008

Government of Canada: The Web 2.0 Genie Is Finally Out of the Bottle

As I mentioned on May 3, 2008 in a post entitled Federal Library Community Forms Web 2.0 Interest Group, members of the federal government library community are eager to start moving ahead on the Web 2.0 front.

The Web 2.0 Interest Group mentioned in the above post is holding its first meeting next Monday, June 9 at the headquarters of Library and Archives Canada and interest is said to very high.

Government can appear to be slow when it comes to the IT cutting edge: IT departments are often wary of anything that is "open source" and are known as "Microsoft shops"; the open and collaborative (therefore uncontrollable) nature of wikis, blogs and other Web 2.0 applications may not make them attractive to higher ups worried about security, privacy and embarrassing info leaks; and who has the time?

Well, it looks like there are many librarians and others in government service who have been waiting for this moment or who have decided to just "do it!" and forge ahead.

A contribution today on the FLC/CBF listserv (Federal libraries community/Collectivité des bibliothèques) pointed to examples of implementation of social networking on government Web sites:
  • Canada embarks on major Web 2.0 initiative (May 28, 2008): "A comprehensive system for online collaboration and social networking projects by government departments is in the works. The project involves systems that can provide social networking capabilities for around 250,000 people and will cover 58 government departments. Key technology for this initiative is being provided by Waterloo, Ont.-based OpenText..."
  • Treasury Board to share wiki success secrets with deputy ministers (June 3, 2008): "Treasury Board Secretariat is getting ready to share some of its early experiments with Web 2.0 technologies with deputy ministers across Canada who may build on them in their own communities..."
The Chief of Technical Services here at the Supreme Court of Canada Library drew my attention yesterday to the use of social bookmarking at NRCan (Natural Resources Canada). NRCan has also been deploying wikis internally. I am sure there are other government departments, agencies and offices who have implemented or are about to implement Web 2.0 applications on a local or wider level.

And a sign that the Web 2.0 genie is definitely out of the bottle in Canadian government circles: Infonex is organizing a conference on Government Web 2.0 and Social Media in Ottawa on June 17 and 18, 2008.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:44 pm


Blogger Mark Goren said...

Hi, Micheal:

Discovered your blog while researching for a workshop I'll be giving in Ottawa this September, as part of the Social Media for Government Conference.

Thought it may interest you!

4:18 pm  

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