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, […]
Post Tagged with: "web 2.0"
Random Government Takedown Demands Point to Need for Policy
The policy document encourages officials to use the sites “as an efficient and effective additional channel to interact with the public”, noting that the Internet offers opportunities for public consultation, recruitment, collaboration, and the provision of government services.
The government acknowledges that there are risks, however. These include potential misuse of government content or the possibility of negative perceptions associated with official use. While the document establishes a myriad of rules and guidelines for use of these services, it surprisingly does not consider how to respond to the negative risks.
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the absence of policy direction may be partially to blame for recent revelations of government department demands to Google to remove certain content from its search database or websites. The haphazard manner in which these demands have occurred demonstrate the dangers of proceeding in an ad hoc manner in which officials race to demand the removal of lawful content without uniform policies or guidelines.
Canada’s Top 20 Web 2.0 Companies
Backbone Magazine names its second annual PICK 20 list of Canadian Web 2. 0 companies. I was pleased to serve on the judging panel.
Canadian Political Parties Practice Politics 1.0 in a Web 2.0 World
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, Ottawa Citizen version, homepage version) assess the use of the Internet in the last election. Business increasingly recognizes the need for an Internet strategy that engages current and prospective customers. In the just-concluded national election, many analysts anticipated an "Internet election" with sophisticated websites, active blogging, YouTube videos, Facebook groups, and rapid-fire Twitter postings.
While the public and activist groups used the Internet to promote their candidates (partisan bloggers for each party provided a near-continuous echo chamber of commentary), issues (the Culture in Peril YouTube video had a marked impact the Quebec electorate) or to encourage strategic voting patterns (Voteforenvironment.ca received considerable attention), the political parties themselves seemed stuck with Web 1.0 strategies in a Web 2. 0 world. Each party had the requisite websites, yet their most innovative initiatives – the Conservatives' Notaleader.ca and the Liberals' Scandalpedia.ca to name two – were quickly dismissed as juvenile sites that did more harm than good (the New Democrats' Orange Room is a notable exception).
With months of advance preparation, why did the parties perform so poorly?