Andrea DiMaio writes — Why Do Governments Separate Open Data and Social Media Strategies? — about the need to merge open data strategies and social media strategies. He there complains about open data and social media strategies being treated as independent ones, which he believes to be actually related one to the other one.
I not only believe they should go altogether and hand in hand, but that their interaction defines different ways of understanding government or education. It always helps me to draw things and see what see what comes out of it:
|Traditional communication||Social Media|
|Open data||Transparency, Accountability
4th Estate, Aristocracy, Goverati
Case I is definitely what we do have nowadays in most modern democracies: a democracy based on 4- (or 5-) years time span between elections, increasingly ruled by plutocracies bound to the economic powers.
Case II is common in plutocracies willing to be seen as cool. They “engage in the conversation” but, without the required information to feed a true democracy, it finally becomes a dialogue of the deaf. The governments perform populist acts and the masses believe they will be heard by shouting out the louder.
Case III is a genuine approach to openness, transparency and accountability. Nevertheless, without the proper communication channels, data can only be used (then exploited) by the “best” (in an elitist sense of the word), hence the ones that can interpret them and make their feedback get to the governments (the Goverati in its worst meaning).
Last, Case IV, is what we should we be aiming to. I definitely avoided labelling it Government 2.0 because it is surely not the “2.0” what matters, but its components: participation, engagement, collaboration, cooperation… all in all, democracy in its purest sense.
In fact, it is just another way to thoroughly look at e-Government, which means Government enhanced by means of Information and Communication Technologies. Or, if you prefer it, enhanced by means of Information (data, open data) and Communication (Social Media) Technologies.
If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:
Peña-López, I. (2010) “Open Data and Social Media Government” In ICTlogy,
#78, March 2010. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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