Post Tagged with: "government"

Random Government Takedown Demands Point to Need for Policy

Appeared in the Toronto Star on October 6, 2012 as Ottawa’s Web 2.0 Policy Needs Tweaking Given the enormous popularity of social media, establishing a foothold on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other popular websites has become a top priority for most organizations.  The same is true for the federal government, […]

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October 9, 2012 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Court Orders Federal Government to Make Websites Accessible

A Federal court judge has ordered the government to ensure that its key websites are accessible to the blind and sight-impaired.  The ruling gives the government 15 months to make the necessary changes.

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November 30, 2010 Comments are Disabled News

Openness and Crowdsourcing Combine To Change Government

The August long weekend goes by many names in Canada – Simcoe Day in Toronto, Colonel By Day in Ottawa, and British Columbia Day in B.C. – but the most common is simply Civic Day.  On the week Canadians enjoyed Civic Day, my weekly technology column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes how our civic institutions are rapidly being transformed by open government mandates that leverage the power of the Internet to foster greater transparency and public engagement.   

The City of Vancouver has led the way with the adoption of a resolution in May that endorsed open and accessible data, open standards, and open source software.  The open data component states, "the City of Vancouver will freely share with citizens, businesses and other jurisdictions the greatest amount of data possible while respecting privacy and security concerns."

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August 4, 2009 Comments are Disabled Columns

Openness and Crowdsourcing Changing Government

Appeared in the Toronto Star on August 3, 2009 as 'Crowdsourcing' Puts Many Extra Hands to Work The August long weekend goes by many names in Canada – Simcoe Day in Toronto, Colonel By Day in Ottawa, and British Columbia Day in B.C. – but the most common is simply […]

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August 4, 2009 1 comment Columns Archive

Public Policy Consultations No Field of Dreams

My weekly technology law column  (Toronto Star version, homepage version) focuses on the release last week of the results of a CRTC public online consultation on new media that will feed into hearings on the issue early next year.  Given that it was a consultation on new media, the Commission established a special website last spring for the month-long consultation and commissioned noted pollster Nik Nanos to serve as moderator and report back on the results. The Nanos report does not cast judgment on the success of the consultation – it merely reports the factual results – but there is no hiding the fact that by Internet standards the consultation failed to attract a large audience. Over the course of an entire month, the website generated just over 2,500 unique visitors with an average of 84 visitors per day.  Only 284 Canadians registered with site, posting a total of 278 comments.

I argue that while the Commission should be commended for trying, it is clear that public consultations are no field of dreams – it takes more than a "if you build it, they will come" approach. With the increasing desire of governments and businesses to use the Internet as a tool for public feedback, it is worth examining why the consultation failed to spark significant interest.

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September 16, 2008 8 comments Columns