Friday, 24 April 2009

A thousand small hurdles to Web 2.0

Tim Davies asks "What’s the big challenge to using new technology for mobilisation / communication around social issues, where government or large existing organisations are to be players in creating change?" His theses is

  • The big challenges are not about technology - they are about the content and the process of mobilisation and communication.
  • When it comes to technology we’ve not got one big challenge we’ve got 100s of small challenges - and we’ve got no systematic way of dealing with them.

He lists 50 of these these challenges, as found in local government, under the headings
Internet access
Office technology
Systems and procedures
Policy and guidance
Organisational culture
Basic technical skills
Leadership and management

To take some at random

33 Senior managers see Web 2.0 and the Social Web as something to be scared of;
34 Senior managers see Web 2.0 as a passing fad, or at best a persistent distraction and minority interest;
35 Staff see Web 2.0 as an extra burden to add to already busy and pressured days;
36 Ideas from outside the organisations are treated with suspicion;
37 The organisation wants to be in control of any discussions that take place about it online;

I recognise most of the challenges Tim mentions either in my own organisation or in others - including CILIP. As Tim points out, it should not be difficult to remove these barriers, once we have identified them, if the desire to remove them is there. if we are to achieve Open Government and Open organisations at all levels, we need to start!

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