Members (citizens in & out) should have a set time/week to experiment with social networking. There should be a civil space set aside. N.B we are not trying to taech people about tools. We are trying to make them feel they are on the same side. so they (initially) need a common space to understand the culture.
The APSC in consultation with the lead TF to regularly review online practices and tools and compare results. ie.e number of citizens (inside and outside the PS) participating.
The lead TF to establish an online forum in which members from different agencies can identify their peers and collaborate in choosing tools, building strategy, etc.
The gov 2 lead taskforce must be the leading exponent of interactive media in public inquiries
All public inquiries funded by australian government should … require that all should be advertised on the aph.gov site (a la Scots parliamentary site), submissions are open and linked to a place to discuss them, in a fixed online environment (a domain) which can be shared with other .gov.au inquiries). Sumissions must capable of being uploaded in any format.
One thing missing – choosing the tools. Govdex and edna have proved that just putting up tools and expecting collaboration to happen is wasteful. This is something the edu space can do better than those in .gov.
No mention of the moderation skills required. This need has been felt in the edu space for about a decade now, so although embrionic they are there.
Make it easy for the agencies. Every project should be a collaboration between agencies. (try and stop using ’service delivery’ all the time. We don’t need delivery men, we need negotiators)
I think there should be some attempt to get past the federal silo mentality here. Inclusion of one member from each state would seem mandatory if we are trying to change the ‘level of gov ‘culture. Let’s face it the states have more influence here. They need to be seen to be collaborating.
No mention of international collaboration with this english speaking group (although it’s inferred). Important to mention Aussie’s non inclusion in the UK, US & Can Digital Engagement TF conferences.
No mention that PSers of tommorrow are being educated on social networking tools and have a global perspective whereas older PSers are sceptical. i.e. edu practices leads gov. practices
…………….. the invitation to engage is an invitation to citizens to participate; to be involved in understanding their mutual governance and the design of how things, and when things, will be done.
This demands a new, more inclusive, culture within our federated governments; one which is broader in their policy’s development, collaborative in their agency’s nature and pro active in their implementation.
Engagement between those citizens inside and outside the federation of public services…………..
Most australian citizens are unused to being able to engage with ‘their’ government in any way; consultation ‘blogs’ (if we must dumb it right down) are just another way that they might (not).
The policy should be that no single agency should run an online engagement space. No online engagement space should be hosted on an agency’s web site.
I would have thought the thing to do would have been to take all the best ideas and build a platform for the .edu.au domain.
If ‘gov’ (whoever he/she is) wants to do a little outreach and consult around the global traps, that fine. That’s just cheap promotion and a good thing to do. But of we are serious, then we need to build an archive of stuff in a context, so you’l need to RSS back to the (official) ‘inquiry space’ in the .gov.au domain.
I agree. But this is only because producers often don’t know how to do something (easily). The bar will only be lifted by those who know (and are included).
People will trust in a domain with .gov.au on the end. This is where an SSO comes into its own. The usual reassurances apply (your email wil never be diisclosed). But i heard most of the excuses for not partcipating. They usually come down to “why bother, nobody listens”.
Easy. Do the broadcast circuit first. qanda or insight, a few radio programmes, a few newspaper articles (NOT ads). And point them all at a online environment manned by people from three agencies, who have committed to running three (related) inquiries over some timeframe. And then do something unheard of in .gov.au; talk to them, on a personal basis.
They will. There’s no doubt. But all this is saying is that people prefer different kinds of media as wel as different types of online tools. These days most people under (say) 25 are like pigs in mud; for the over 50’s it’s often just mud.
We’ll never replace face to face hopefully, and qanda has introduced a broadcasters approach. The only thing is to have a programme in place to start, which employs some people with very different skill sets, and emcompass all media kinds and types. As long as this is done in an initiative undertaken by at least three agencies, then it shouldn’t be too hard to handle.
One someone’s in the swing then yes, let’s encourage them. That’s why I’m suggesting it’s better to aggregate ‘related inquiries’ into one domain, which is shared by moderators from different agencies.
Most inquiries have limited terms of reference, which restrict any innovation, primarily because innovation comes up from the space between subjects (or sciences). It also helps the silo bound learn from one another, share the load, and collaborate, which is fun & time saving. This IS the new culture.
I’ll make a point on this one as the change in principle, as the web evolves, is from publish to collaborate. In video this means from produce to capture. This seems to be maturing in the .edu space now. I will only suggest that when you have a meeting then stream and capture (record) it, while taking emailed suggestion, and don’t put it on another site like youtube. Stream and playback from the same point on the same page of this site. And the networks will change by default. The are a bunch of technical developments which are yet to take place which will mean the real time comms and info of a community will come togther.
If this means different communities prefer to use different tools, and combinations of, then yes. That’s whi I always suggest an inquiry puts lots of combinations up. You’ve got a blog, this comment press, goodoh!So far you’ve only got a few comments on this tool. But if you were to leave this comment press up and open all the time, then you’ll being to get into the ‘perpetual beta’ mode, and people could get into the new swing of things. And the ones that aren’t used get canned.
That’s true, primarily for older people. But for the younger people it’s a matter of giving them a space to play in, and sometimes go to lessons. I really had hoped me.edu.au might have been such a (log in ) to various .edu spaces (K to u3A) . But as you can see, it was reduced to being a silo for ‘professional educators’, in the same way govdex has turned into a playground for ‘professional public servants’.
But yes, it’s called outreach, and it lots of hard work.
I can honestly say, none exist yet, as far as i compare a wikimedia culture to three layers of remote government agencies in Australia.
It was nice to see wikimedians, particularly the ones from san fran and berlin, introduce themselves to people from GLAMs (galleries, libraries, Archive and museums) who mostly reside in the country town culture of Canberra, and their ideas ideas of their very different worlds.
Pia (sen lundy’s media person) is one who seems to strap together a few web 2.0 tools in a useful manner, on a shoestring. And she’s the only one in Canberra, after living in syd for 10 years. Apart from Rose, the englishwomen who heads up the National Libraries news digitisation site (that has attracted 5,000 volunteers).
I won’t be critical of this taskforce’s secretariat, as it’s no fair to ask people with no experience of a different culture to understand it. But i can say this; if the tools and new culture don’t make it MUCH easier and enjoyable for a bureaucrat to do their job, then forget it.
And if their leaders insist on using shoeleather instead of (in addition to) using the tools to be more inclusive, they aren’t giving a good example.
There’s no ‘improvement’ to be made here. Cultures can’t be improved. One can only attempt to be understand them. Any tool will do as long as there’s an interest in both directions.
“a much richer mix of spaces”. I guess this writer has been reading about “rich multimedia” so yes.
The hardest part is opening a forum, for people with a particular interest, outside an institutional space, and then getting moderators from different agencies to collaborate in it.
Sounds like it written to explain the writer’s prejudices and display their isolation. Obviously no one who has an understanding of community – online or off line – would write a phrase “identify themselves before engaging with collaborative technologies”. Technologies are just tools, so one doesn’t enagage with them. They just use them to ‘garner trust and confidence’. And if one can’t, or people aren’t interesting or interested, then one just ignores them.
Embedding good privacy practice is quite easy. “Go away”.
It’s called cultivating a community of practice, so that it might attract communities of interest, which is made impossible if ‘highly distributed networks of knowledge’ are conceptualized in terms of “benefits to gov”.
Government is just one ’sector’ of a nation. It’s preparation takes place in a sector called education, and in Australia this is packaged into products for consumption. This is great for well entrenched sciences. But considering one in three jobs that will exist in (say) 5 years time can’t be taught, it’s an antiquated model preparing people for factories, which have been exported. Education is the main driver (or not) of this change, and Australia hasn’t even a National Reseach and Education Network just yet. (outside 39 unis)
This question misses the point to web 2. It shows that the questioner doesn’t “get it”.
Their is no “best practice” on the web. The web is about diversity, and the practices are as varied as the apps available.
The question should read, “how, when an approach ‘works’ can we spread the word without interupting busy institutions?” How can we assist the stratagists in silos to share the development of their strategies?
Most of the open and global info initiatives = flickr, photobucket, wikipedia, as well as social sites like facebook and baidu have the same limitation of language. So “interoperability” (in the technical sense) doesn’t really have a great impact initially. Multilingualists are in huge demand as one can’t talk about inteoperability in different languages.
That’s why senior project oficers who run these kind of events have to speak at least 4 languages. I can’t imagine an Australian taskforce being up to the task.
This comes down to the idea of a SSO for every (Australian) citizen. Every access to .gov.au info by an Australian presence should be free.
If a development is hosted on an Australian network it should be cheaper cost (to the provider) than hosting on a foreign network.
The real impact here will tend to come ( I believe), not by the supply of info, but by the provision of inquiries which compare datasets, techniques, etc (in real time) between countries. In other words the real opportunity is in hosting the global communities which already attempt to help their state and nation bound bureaucrats stay abreast of the times.
You’ll find that this would work a treat, especially if you ran it in conjunction with agencies like the Empire of the Toilets.
All most of these conservatives appear to want is for someone to take the “risk” away.
Re, the last question.
You’ll find that this comes down to including agencies in this inquiry. While all the talk is about information, the real key is using web technology to share the ‘real time’ communication, and streaming and recording it, and drawing the responses to this domain.
It doesn’t seem to have occurred to anyone that (IP) voice (and IP videoconferencing, etc) is just data. What we are trying to do here is align IP information networks with IP communication networks on behalf of National and global communities.
Yep this is the obvious way. We had the same conclusions made at the GLAM conference.
It might be good to encourage agencies by keeping a totalling list of downloaded files. This would not only encourage a little competition, but also recognise that their is a cost invloved by being successful. And that will lead through to conversations about “mirroring” their sites in different parts of the world.
Sometype of CC license on every .gov.au database is the key, if only because it gets the hoarders to understand the new culture.
But perhaps some measure of how often their databases are accessed is important, not only to encourage a little competition, but also to recognise that there is a cost involved in providing for lots of downloads. It might even get them thinking that It might make sense to allow different providers to “mirror” their site. i.e. reduce this cost.
Amazing! The Empire of Toilets.
As Jose says, “they” should contribute to “our” search. I’m sure the National library would say the same to their empire.
We had the same discussion with many of the GLAMs at the conference about getting them to open up their empires.
Again; perpetual beta.
The point aim is to make a public servant (student) feel a part of the (National and Global) community of practice and to include a community of interest around the construction of a datset, and its linkages.
You know, like a wikipedia, or this inquiry.
It’s really impossible to define this reasonably; there being too many variables.
This rarely has a great deal to do with Information. It has to do with how students are educated, and how an (sometimes) older, and always conservative, generation finds it hard to adapt to a changing culture. It also has to do with what happens when public servants are separated from their community – they become functionaries who have no understanding of their actions. Making policy becomes their singular job.
The deaths from the victorian bushfires had little to do with ‘lack of, or imperfect, information’. It had to do with how poorly educated people were misled to believe that, because ‘their’ institutions provide professional sevices, their functioning management might have (the time to take) an interest in their personal welfare.
The problem here is lack of communication (infrastructure) between communities. That is never spoken about
This goes back to the idea of perpetual beta. In an industrial time, physical stuff was designed and manufactured. In the early stages one could have any colour of Ford = black. These days we have products with ‘value added’ elements, which are added to justify a research teams costs, and few understand what’s available.
In an information context we are all overloaded by connection, and governments produce referenced products (usaully based on other gov’s reports) which are revisions of what has already transpired. Although they are usually beautifully printed, or uploaded in a pre print format = an anachronism to behold.
The point here is that there is no ONE market. There are only progressives and conservatives who gather around (code and) information. The progressives trust no one and jump in. The conservatives buy ‘products’.
What he said
The hardest thing is that the content of domains constantly change. The idea of a persistant identifier seems to be constantly ignored.
With interactive stuff it’s about keeping things in the context in which they were created. That’s why it might more sense to reclassify inquiries under a bibliographic system (e.g. using the dewey code we might have a domain classified as 607.940.gov.au), which can be shared and reused for similar inquiries.
It’s amazing how fast these kinds of concerns evaporate when an edict goes out to “get it ALL out there”. The hoarders scream and cry, the perfectionists despair, and the community usually says, “hmm, there’s something to be improved here”, and gets to work.
Couldn’t you just get the National Archive to take a global snapshot ot the .gov.au domain once per month. a la Internet Archive. And build some tools to recognize non compliance.
Of course you’d also have to make sure the National achive site didn’t go down (globally) as it did last week.
Probably the easiest way is to take a snapshot on some agreed timely basis and back it into a national library or archive directory.
The aim is to make the escalation process transparent and trackable, and web is excellent for this.
It’s called evaluation by the world bank, and if the redress if hived of to a specialist department, it inflates into a report writer.
As long as it’s kept small. i.e. every domain has a redress, then it can work because the info issuer becomes aware of a problem, and can nip it in the bud.
The perpetual beta affect for government comes down to accepting a that the domain’s archive must be considered from the outset. Thousands of similar projects funded by .gov’s around the world (in both their edu and gov domains) get buried in some funding institution’s (SINGLE LANGUAGE) archiveS after their funding has run out. Many are buried in National libraries, in directories like Pandora.
This old habit of treating digital assets like physical ones, and moving them from a real time site to a dead one, is not perpetual beta. It’s reinventing the wheel, perpetually.
I’m not quite sure, by my interpretation of the network effect, and it’s change, could be illustrated by streaming the task force’s meeting to a “live” page on this domain. This changes the focus from individuals using a (videoconferencing) tool to a domain where the real action takes place. It also changes the focus of a community’s archive from some box = IP address = (usually) hidden inside an institution to the one (usually) used by communites which span institutions, and broadcasts.
True, But to work (easily), particularly for gov where records must be scrupulous, it needs a record of every re(mix) = the history tab on a Wikipedia article.
It also needs, particularly if one considers captures and mixes done in real time, an understanding of the quality of service between domains.
Collaborate, Cooperate. No real differences, apart from the access to an IP address, and who gets to do the tool configurtion, moderation and spring cleaning of course.
It’s not possible, on a wide ranging (across domains) and sytematic basis, unless the domains share a common sign in, preferably with two layers of authentication – one for everyone = an open ID, and one for trusted insiders (tool assemblers and moderators).
Wikipedia shows what happens with completely open global access (and a vision). And then you have the old network managers perspective.
This is definition gives the wrong impression. The semantic web is a vision of information that is understandable by computers, so that they can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, sharing, and combining information on the web”. It’s use has never been proved in a wide scale adoption. It may turn out to be a waste of time for government.
Metadata is simply a way to describe data and give it a context.
Ask the National library.
The challenge is not just to make information available but to make it useful, and that’s in th eye of the beholder/researcher. The easist way is just to put it up with the disclaimer that “should it infringe your copyright, please inform us so we can take it down”. Experience shows that’s rare.
Absolutely. Although there is one technical aspect which must be in place before the “service delivery” culture can change. An SSO, or unified ‘presence’, which is common to insiders and outsiders, and offers equal degrees (levels) of access (to .gov.au and .edu.au domains’ (tools and info) is the basis of ‘cloud’ network architcture. Without it, governments and their agencies, authorities, etc are reduced to being delivery men.
David makes the points, so I won’t repeat them. Policy can never effect change. It is an attempt to describe how it might be handled. “Words can never describe the speed in change of meaning that words describe”. E.g. Service to anyone under 30 means self service.
Leadership comes by helping to “educate our leaders”, which we can see as Pia assists Sen. Lundy. We need more Pia’s.
The main principle demanded these days is “Inclusive”, which the taskforce might attempt by always streaming their (cisco donated) conversations or making notes on this blog while they’re on the road. Blog rather than email.
The hardest part, particularly with the web, is to believe that there might be a person, with solution which can solve a problem, if only their secretariat would ask. And often they won’t charge anything. For governments like we have in this country, which have been reduced to being funding agents and accountants, it will take time.
1. New information/entertainment/education services will be built.
Another way of asking this (of people like Nick) might be. What information, if made freely available, would enable you to make (silos of) information more accessible/understandable = build new services?
Policy should apply to any publically funded organisation/authority. It might be useful to compare the education and government sectors here as both have the same ends in mind. Just as most uni insist that their authors must publish in an open access repository, so should PS. No policy will help their institutions catch up with their commnities new social habits of course. But it may enable them to be more relevant.
One aspect which is always left out of these inquiries is the (real time) Communication which must align with Information to make it clearer/understandable, and by which it is diseminated.
The World Bank makes this clear when they talk about their global Communities of Practice. “If I read something, i want to contact the writer”.
International access and use cannot occur untlil Information Networks revolve around National and Global Communities of Practice, and Communication networks are aligned with them. This is not a policy issue. it is an engineering issue.
This cultural change is being driven by modern education practices and networks. This taskforce, as it contains no professional educators or aarnet engineers, is hampered a bit.
The cutler report is a good example of an inquiry getting close to what is possible. A few shortcomings.
1. Yes, something like a creative commons license needs to be applied.
2. The domain for an inquiry MUST NOT be hosted on an agency web site. It must have it’s own. This because it becomes an archive which may be used as a reference for a similar inquiry by another government later, or may encourage their inclusion. The domain name should be classified by a librarian so it can be discovered readily.
3. All submissions and related materials need to be archived at the site in order to retain context.
Failing to understand how gov works is one problem . Failing to make policy makers understand that their policy making is not the end of the cycle is another.
Sorry about the above. What I mean is that bureaucrats, like teachers, will be criticized regardlss of what kind of tools are used, particularly at a time when the choice is often driven by fashion = twitter is the latest. The easiest thing to do is put as many possible tools on domain, and let people drive the preference. Its messy, but democratic.
One opportunity here is in introducing more linkages between “the box” and these kinds of online forums. Qanda & Insight type programmes are very popular. They fall down in that there is no systematic linkage between watching a TV/radio programme and being directed to the appropriate community’s online space.
But you’ll have to capture the imaginations of public servants to encourage participation. E.g. You know you can stream to the web live from Cisco’s teleprescence, when the taskforce is getting together, don’t you?
Perhaps the greatest barrier is the idea that any initiative should be “within (a particular department or agency of) government”. The problem is that few departments collaborate in running user forums, which defeats their purpose. Enid points out that the will is there, and that there is a need for moderators.
Each deprtment has plenty of media people/secretariats who at present snow their common communities with PR, brochures & reports which are rarely delivered, less read. (Policy suggestion; Every web engagement must include (say) three agency’s media people)
Cultural change happens when an older generation begins to understand how the education of their (grand) children works. It’s not like it used to be. Theirs is an education through collaborative enquiry, which includes other classes and schools (departments and agencies). Delivering a report or writing a policy no longer works when there are so many to compare, globally.
Belief is an impossible obstacle to overcome. All you can do is provide good examples. Of course getting every Canberra public servant to live in another town for a year would work just as well. Either that or stop demanding that people in federal public service should attend the office every day.
To a degree. It’s about rigour, and I don’t mean about “developing a policy”, which is about a useful as educators talking about “developing a curriculum” these days.
I mean de rigeur = “necessary according to etiquette, protocol or fashion.”
I’m not so sure. Progressives and conservatives lurk everywhere in a society.
The greatest change comes about through “education” and “governance” and how we conceptualize the terms. If, as we talk today, everything is a service, to be delivered, then you can’t blame a bureaucrat for performing their old routines.
If we couch the terms as an enquiry, which must be completed (before it’s taken up again), then they might feel a great burden taken off their shoulders.
I think it’s called leadership. One only has to look at this taskforce’s member’s blogs, or not. Give Kate Lundy (and Pia) a gold star.
The terminology which miight hep accelerate this is to begin to talk about Community Hubs (software producer’s speak) or Communities of Practice (world bank speak).
These will be the interfaces between institutions and their common publics. The only question is how long it might take for network managers and librarians to systemize their directory. (and put it at australia.gov.au)
Perhaps you could broaden this to include ‘communication’ (somewhere). ICT has been accepted for some years now, and the (real time) C is always ignored. If you listen to people from global orgs like the world bank (mike foley at that questnet uri) most knowledge is tacit = people need to speak after they’ve read something.
Sorry, this one didn’t seem to go through.
You will appreciate that your .gov.au enquiry is reflected in the .edu.au space (at digitaleducationrevolution.gov.au). This separation (limited terms of reference) leads community members to sectorized silos = govdex & edna.
Would you consider inviting Evan Arthur to join your motley crew (see his questnet presentation http://qn2009vc.usq.edu.au/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=118 ). so we might get a little understanding about how education has changed from “by deliver” to “by enquiry”
Would you also consider putting up a wiki. It might be useful, if we can attract some glamorous people (http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/GLAM), to show how a collaborative approach works, rather than trying to explain it.
Could you also put a “thanks for your comment” return on this form, so a writer knows something has happened.
You will appreciate that your enquiry is reflected in the .edu.au space. To compare govdex with edna is an education in how to create silos.
The common factor in both is the change from ‘education by delivery’ to ‘education by enquiry’, where the activity takes place in a community hub like this; that is, before the policy or curricula is decided upon and the members’ institutions get back to ‘delivering’.
Could I suggest that you invite Evan Arthur to join your motley crew. He needs some new playmates. (see his questnet presentation). Could I also suggest that you get an engineer from aarnet involved with this enquiry. It’s getting a bit tiring, watching people talking about web 2.0 and ignoring the three layers of the IP suite, which are the foundations of their isolated networks.