eGov Interest Group

03 Sep 2012


See also: IRC log


PhilA, Laurence, niggreenaway, Tomasz, HadleyBeeman, Noor Ali Al-hinai (Information Technology Authority, Oman), agipap, Jared Gulian (Office of the Government CIO, New Zealand), Lei Zheng (Fudan University, China)


Tomasz gets the meeting set up

Jared introduces himself - Dept of Internal Affairs in NZ

HadleyBeeman: From Linked Gov and UK Gov Tech Strategy Board

Nig Greenway, work with Fujitsu in various capacities, including through OASIS

Jared Gulian, Office of the Government CIO, New Zealand

Slides at http://www.w3.org/egov/wiki/images/7/7f/W3C_-_NZ_Govt_Social_Media_Guidance.pdf

Jared: Our guidelines on use of social media have been well received
... slide 2 - We deal with all the usual things - standards, gov Web sites etc.
... we deal with all NZ gov guidance

<HadleyBeeman> which guidance from the UK?

Jared: asked to look at social media. Created high level and detailed versions. Built on UK advice

<HadleyBeeman> (or which version?)

Jared: Situation in NZ is similar to other countries. Lots of people dealing with companies etc. via SM so expectations on gov increasing
... Slide 5 - view is that SM is like a new puppy. Great on day 1 but a puppy is for life, not just for Christmas
... We looked elsewhere for guidance - we had to have guidance in place within a month - so that was tight

HadleyBeeman: Which version of the guidance from the UK you used?

Jared: I'll get to that. It was from the Cabinet Office and COI, Engaging through Social Media. But that had come out of a larger document (mentions some names)

HadleyBeeman: When?

Jared: 12 months ago

HadleyBeeman: We have an entirely new version now :-)

Jared: Slide 7
... Different uses of SM
... Slide 8 - impressed by UK work

<HadleyBeeman> :)

Jared: we spoke to the authors and used that as a first draft (Ross fergusion: Rip it as you wish :-) )
... We made changes (it was then 2 years old)
... we had a lot of folk look at it from different perspectives...
... slide 10 - we did 2 consultations
... first was gov Web community
... second was with Comms Teams
... slide 11 - we had a lot of feedback from lots of agencies
... slide 13 Gartner were very complimentary (we pointed to UK origins)
... We split it in 2 as the UK doc was one big one. We found that useful
... slide 14 Trade me is NZ's eBay - incredibly popular
... Slide 15, National Library has popular Twitter stream. They tweet links to interesting stuff in the archive. Lots of retweets

<agipap> yes problem with mic

<agipap> so i mute it!

Jared: Slide 16 - the issue here was that no one knew what they did. Their FB presence was the (typical) brand promotion etc.

<agipap> nope - i'm ok with my mic muted

Jared: Slide 17, the historic places group couldn't get images of all their places. It's less busy now but was able to crowd source images without funding
... Slide 19 - lessons. We started with something good from UK, and used that as the basis of a conversation that helped us create something that worked even better for NZ
... planning is important before jumping into social media
... comms and web teams equally important
... comme teams are used to broadcast media and so may not be familiar, tend to hold back. Web team tend to jump straight in. Need to be quick and well crafted messages => need both teams
... Slide 20 we did a study on the Ministry of Health FB page - gone very well
... ABle to look to Quantas to see what do do when SM goes wrong

Laurence: Did you say it was on the guides page? Can't find it?

<agipap> very nice presentation - quite clear - no questions :-)

Laurence: Ah, got it, under strategy and operation
... Was the info about how to handle a mishap reassuring or did it scare people off?

Jared: The #qantasluxury hashtag backfired as it was happening just as they had planes on the grounded
... people knew about that and so it was good that the risks were recognised and can be mitigated
... It hasn't made everyone join SM, but it has made them think about it

Tomasz: Do you have any stats about adoption across government?

Jared: We can't keep up with demand for answers to questions. We've been going out to speak to other agencies about it

<HadleyBeeman> I guess that's a happy problem. (A good sign)

Tomasz: Do you incorporate feedback from non-gov?

Jared: Yes, all sorts of people
... from private sector etc.

Tomasz: Are the guidelines in step with legal aspects of disseminating government info online?

Jared: We had a legal team give us a good bit of feedback (in the hands on toolbox) and there's quite a big section on things like copyright, legal party mentions etc., public records atc etc. Quite a bit of that

Tomasz: Thanks Jared

Noor: Are you there?

Government Use of Media in China: Incentives, Enablers and Barriers, Lei Zheng, Fudan University, China

Slides http://www.w3.org/egov/wiki/images/7/7e/Government_use_of_social_media_in_China(1).pdf

lei: Slide 2, some background on how ZN gov is using social media
... not on Twitter and Facebook as these are blocked in China
... so we use Weibo
... 300,000,000 accounts - pretty popular :-)
... by end of 2011 (not 2012) 50K gov agencies (nat and regional) using microblogging
... Slide 3. Want to use it as a way to release gov info. Before that they had government portals but these were not very effective

<Tomasz> Noor, are you there?

lei: also using microblogging to disseminate info in emergencies. Shanghai metro problem, get info out on SM - many people got that info quckly
... Also use that system to receive info, understanding what citizens think about gov policy
... The people's congress doesn't always reflect what people think. Emergence of Weibo challenges government
... Slide 4
... There are advantages to the CN government. They think the Eibo platform is mature and functions well
... smartphones important channel
... every 6 months, gov info shows that mobile usage of internet now greater than desktop
... i.e. that milestone was reached during 2012
... in the last 5 years, citizens' interest in politics has increased
... and this is attributed to SM
... So pressure from citizens has come through SM
... Central gov pushing regional and local gov to use SM to engage with citizens
... Central gov has power to require lower level governments to take this on
... Slide 5 - external barriers
... even though we have 300M users, that's only 30% of the population. 70% aren't using it (and many of those are not online at all)
... so SM only reaches some people - the richer sections
... there were some hack attempts too
... lots of scandals happen in local government so trust is quite low. Many citizens are challenging and the gov is finding this hard to deal with
... SM is still very new of course so there is a lack of policies/guidelines for how to handle it. Still exploring
... Some gov officials worry that tech will be replaced. If we invest time and effort into SM, what happens if something new comes along, won't we have wasted our time and effort (tech changes fast)
... Slide 6
... There are lots of advantages. Gov owns a lot of society information (gov is very powerful)
... owns most info
... they have lots of info resources that they can draw on for SM
... gov is quite rich. Revenue is going up 20 - 30% per year
... so as long as we want to do it, we can

PhilA2: (other gov look on in envy of course)

lei: Gov has lots of employees - can easily hire more people to take on the tasks
... Over the recent decades, CN gov has been working on eGov. When SM came along, they already had a lot of infrastructure in place
... Slide 7
... First internal barrier - closed internal culture
... as gov isn't elected, they make decisions and then can enforce it. So being open is a challenge
... closed culture is therefore a barrier
... There's a diplomatic wall between gov and people
... 2nd barrier - heirarchy/review
... culture of checking with managers and their managers to get approval
... can go through 3 or 4 levels of checking before they can respond to a citizen's request
... Prob also is lack of experience, lack if guidelines
... lots of leaders don't see importance/relevance of SM. If they don't pay attention then the agency won't get the resources
... lack of cross-agency cooperation
... Wrapping up on page 8, there is a tension
... gov is a bureaucracy, vs. society which is moving towards a P2P network
... many citizens not satisfied with gov use of SM
... Slide 9 Gov trying to slow down SM
... Everything is controlled/censored. Comments can be removed easily
... Citizens are changing the government
... lots of push for gov to change

PhilA2: I heard this morning that 10% of all Weibo messages are censored

Laurence: RenRen is equiv of FB, Weibo is equiv of Twitter

lei: If I post sometehing against the gov, I see it dispappear very quickly
... Some people van get around the great firewall of China but it's hard
... you need to keep ahead of the censors if you want to do that

Tomasz: You mentioned there is a lack of institutionalisation - so the guidelines of the type presented by Jared are not available?

lei: I haven't seen any proper guidelines.

Tomasz: Which agency would be in charge of standardisation?

lei: They don't have one responsible for SM. Some agencies use the admin office to run the SM which reports to the Mayor etc. Others use the PR office, some the eGov office
... there is no fixed arrangement

Tomasz: Thanks Lei

Omani Government Experience with Social Media, Noor Ali Al-hinai, Information Technology Authority, Oman

Slides http://www.w3.org/egov/wiki/images/b/bb/Social_Media_Presentation.pdf

Noor: Slide 3 shows Omani view of SM
... Directive says that social media should be included as a comm channel
... Slide 4 shows importance of SM for citizen engagement
... Describes an important/successful forum in which policies etc. are discussed
... It's a private forum but has good interaction and is well known in Arabic region
... So we feel citizens are engaged with the gov
... We ran many workshops, training etc. Got very good response from gov entities
... Slide 7 - direct 1-1 communication
... slide 8 - problems include how to let citizens know about the channel? And to let them know that it's open 24/7?
... We need a common policy for all government departments
... We need to be aware of how to deal with different age respondents etc.
... how can we follow/keep up with tech developments?
... this is challenge
... as is security
... Slide 9 - self explanatory
... slide 10 - self-explanatory
... Slide 11 suggests more male than female users of SM. That's likely to be partly cultural but it's hard to get info
... Slide 13, users unware that FB/Twitter can convey real info as well as entertainment
... lack of trust in tech. Much more trust in trad media
... Slides 14 & 15 self explanatory

Tomasz: Thanks Noor for the comprehensive presentation
... ICA is in charge of national ICT strategy, does that include SM?

Noor: Actually King is setting up new department (scribe - not sure I got that right)

<Tomasz> close to finish

Noor: Aim is to improve communication with citizens

Tomasz: Anything like the guidelines that Jared presented?

Noor: We're going to work on that, yes
... we don't have a national one yet

Tomasz: Any more questions from anyone for anyone?

Jared: A comment to Noor - our gov social media guidelines are free to use under a CC licence so feel free to take a look at them and, as we did, rip it as you wish

Noor: Thank you

Tomasz: Happy to see gov - gov coopoeration
... Thanks everyone - Jared, Noo, and Lei
... we'll have an open call for future topics

<agipap> bye everybody - nice conference, nice presentations - thanks a lot!

[End of minutes]