Paul Taylor on Moving eGovernment from Commodity to Community


Paul Taylor, Chief Strategy Officer from the Center for Digital government is the raconteur for this afternoon's first session. He offers the following table: 

  Citizen as... Season of Gov IT POV
Pre-Y2K Customer Expanding Legacy
Dot GOV Owner/Shareholder Efficient Extend Value
Post Citizen Effective Transform

Paul calls the Pre-Y2K and Dot GOV eras "Digital Government 1.0" and says they are mostly about moving routine stuff to the web.  The citizen is sold on DG1.0 by choice and government was sold on cost (i.e. "efficient").  He views this era as being defined by the term "commodity."  The Digital Government 2.0 era, called "Post" in the previous table, is sold to the citizen as a conversation (see Cluetrain Manifesto here) and government being sold on contribution.  In between DG1.0 and DG2.0 is a rocky road that is defined by the notion of capacity.  That is, how do we build the governance models, enterprise architectures, and systems that will enable DG2.0 to work? 

This notion of eGovernment being about conversation as opposed to commodity experiences is an interesting one.  Paul makes the point that a system in Tucson that helped citizens report road damage so that pot holes could be repaired turned into policy discussions about infrastructure maintenance where the citizen is part of the governance process.  This ties into some of the discussion we had regarding Joel Kotkin's talk this morning.