Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Revolution requires Government thinking that understands the web

I'm not sure Martha Lane Fox's latest report is calling for anything like a 'revolution' - as the headlines are screaming.

The Government's 'digital champion' is calling on the Government to sharpen up its online processing of our needs. In other words to do better channel management.

That's no revolution. That's what those in Government have been trying to achieve for some long time. They know it costs less to deal with an individual online than it does by phone or - God forbid! - face to face.

It's all about reducing the cost of transacting with the public. In other words, applying old principles of service delivery (one to many; from the centre to the edge) to the network tool set that is the web. Sure. Do it better. But incremental improvement does not a revolution make.

The real revolution would be for the Government to understand the value it can derive by connecting people to make what they need together - like our example for turning digital dole queues into a breeding ground for new businesses.

It's time we adjusted our thinking away from driving people online to deliver services more cheaply and instead use the advantages of online to develop new models in keeping with the network. Ones that make better services with less waste and deliver new services with those who need them. And everyone can join in that revolution.

And with my work hat on; here's my response to Sir Tim Berners-Lee's discussion of the way uber silos are threatening the web and our ability to create value with it: A wake up call for Open business

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The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?