Gov 2.0: Now the Real Work Begins

From Federal Computer Week | January 23, 2012

The go-go days of “Gov 2.0” social media and mobile applications likely are over. That’s not to say that Gov 2.0 is passé. It’s just that we are in transition from a period of rapid adoption and experimentation into a time of more discerning judgments about value and efficiency. That applies to familiar social formats and also the newer formats including Google Plus and Facebook Timeline.

Just as Facebook grew quickly to about 150 million U.S. members and then stabilized, the growth rate for Gov 2.0 is slowing down. As of mid-2011, nearly all major federal agencies already had a presence on Facebook, Twitter or both, according to the Government Accountability Office. Many agencies also host mobile websites or applications. The get-your-feet-wet phase is over.

After three years of forays into Web 2.0, most federal agencies have picked the low-hanging fruit. In the next phase, they are becoming more discerning about what they do, whom they target, and how they engage citizens and get valuable feedback. They are focusing on the tools that really work.

“Instead of everyone jumping on the bandwagon, we will see agencies leverage how and where social media is used,” said Lisa Dezzutti, president of research firm Market Connections. “They will build a presence in a few key areas and execute well.”

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