Hybrid Networking Strategy to enable Government


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Written by: Gustav Plato

It seems inevitable that social networking and new media will permeate government.  None of us can predict how, but there is a way to speed this up.

In order to accellerate the process government departments and agencies should look to enabling a hybrid networking strategy.  A hybrid strategy is one where leadership sets the strategic intent and direction, top-down,  for the use of new media and support of social networking to enable the mission of the department.  This includes allowing for a groundswell of grassroots efforts by encouraging this.

The other part of the hybrid approach is for individuals to drive the participation (encouraged by the leadership) from a bottom-up perspective.  Hundreds or thousands of grass roots initiatives can be formed by individuals at all levels of government.  People who are interested in global warming, or health care, or technology can easily form social neworks on platforms such as Ning, Facebook, or LinkedIn.  These networks can use a variety of communications tools such as WIKIs, Blogs, instant messaging, etc. to enable and foster communications.  They already do and the numbers are growing.  Here a a few examples.

  • NAPA for example along with Mind and Media have created a site for collaboration (www.collaborationproject.org).
  • For example in the intelligence community, Intelink, includes document storage, bookmarking, photo sharing, instant messaging, video sharing, wiki (Intellipedia) and email all operating inside a secure fireweall.
  • LacCarling.ca is a social networking platform for government and industry to work together to communicate and advance the government’s service delivery. It has both a public and private view.

The point is that we do not need to micro-architect the outcomes, but allow for certain conditions and encourage certain behaviours.
Over the coming months, iiGrowth will look for examples of social networks and new media in government.  If you come across this blog, post what you have seen on the growth of collaborative government.


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