Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Measuring Gov 2.0...But First, Web 1.0 Analysis

In delivering workshops on Web 2.0 for government agencies and other key stakeholders, I ask audiences to imagine themselves walking up to a dazzling storefront. I ask them to envision peering through clear panes of glass to marvel at the merchandise – watches and widgets and watchamacallits galore. They turn their attention to the door, eager to enter the venue and explore the possibility of purchasing something they see…or just to engage the shop owner. However, they reach for the knob to find themselves locked out. The owner is standing inside, but he is not allowing anyone to enter. “But the sign says ‘open’,” the shopper protests. “Sorry,” the shopkeeper motions. “You can look, but…” We know how the interaction ends…or fails to begin. That’s Web 1.0.

Now imagine an African marketplace or a flea market not far from your home. People from all over have brought the things they’ve made in order to allow their customers to touch and trade and buy. Prices are negotiable and products are hand-crafted. That scene is more akin to Web 2.0, where the currency is content and the wares are ideas and information.

Many organizations have attempted to analyze the Web's storefront model and, specifically, the websites of government agencies. Over the next few posts, I will summarize a few of the key studies and surveys in order to set the stage for a conversation that I and Ari Herzog will facilitate regarding Web 2.0 metrics at the Social Media for Government Conference in Washington, DC, on March 26. The four studies I will examine are:

Brookings Institution (Darrel M. West): “State and Federal Electronic Government in the United States 2008"

Foresee: E-Government Satisfaction Index

Forrester's Benchmark Studies

OMB E-Government Initiative

When viewed collectively, the studies and surveys offer a sobering perspective and serve as a foundation for developing the metrics that will drive the implementation and evaluation of Gov 2.0. Let’s see what we can learn from them and move toward a methodology for measuring a more collaborative, interactive Internet.

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