The real Gov 2.0 challenge? Listening

Had the good fortune to finally meet Expert Labs’ Anil Dash in person this week, as he was the latest “Sweets & Tweets” speaker brought in by Debbie Weil to chat about the changes new collaborative technologies are bringing to Washington.

Anil gave an overview of Expert Labs’ mission and first project (Think Tank), and in doing so hit on a theme that has been bubbling more and more to the surface of late: how do agencies go beyond using social channels to simply push information and instead actually engage and listen to citizens?

“So much of the attention with the traditional world of tech for government has been around getting data out.

I love, for example, what the Sunlight Foundation does. But with tremendous respect for what they have accomplished, they are swimming downstream. Politicians and elected officials already know you can use social media to talk to the people. What they don’t know is that you can use social media to listen to people. That inversion is our next phase. That is our next challenge.”

Here’s some highlights of his talk (and if you don’t like the robot bear version of Anil below, you can see the livestream recorded by Alex Howard).

Thanks to Microsoft for sponsoring the event. Good chat and nice to catch up with/meet folks like @cheeky_geeky, @wmburke, @corbinhood @tericee, @svenburg, @thorpus, @clearedjobsnet, @anniechae and of course, @anildash.

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  • Mark Drapeau

    Thanks for the great writeup, Steve!