Apologies to anyone who previously expected to see an exciting post about the social impact of the web and instead found a load of random characters! I was posting from the event on my phone and it seems there was a problem uploading it with Typepad.
GO outlined his vision for government that places value in three distinct areas:
- Access to information
- Social networks
- Open source
The main thrust of the seech looked at the way the internet is democratising information the access to information. Not much new here but it was good to hear a politician talking about it.
GO went on about how traditionally only a few people in power had access to info but now the public not only had access but knew how to find what they wanted.
The result being that tax-payers often knew more than civil servants and wanted to know where their money was going.
Under a Conservative Government, GO went on, there would be a shift from a Government-centric approach to a citizen-centri approach. This shift would not only be a technological one, but a cultural one - something the current Government have failed at. GO pointed to basic uses of technology making forms available online or for download but said these were merely new ways of doing the same thing.
On the subject of social networks, GO scored a few political points saying how great networks were but that most political ones at the moment were Tory ones. Ignorig the fact that it is easier to build them in opposition GO claimd that the bottom-up approach of networks would never be allowed under a New Labour Government.
Open source in GO dictionary more accurately represents open source information which brought us back to his 'access to info' argument from earlier. But interestingly GO talked about the financial benefits of o/s pointing out the ways in which businesses can leverage off shared wisdom. Not sure if this is a scoop or not but he annouced the Tories will be teaming up with a Cambridge University buisness school profesor who will be commissioned to look at the potential for o/s business in the UK.
GO also reckoned that moving to o/s platforms in the public sector could save £600m.
All sounds good, but the big test will be whether the Tories can turn great rhetoric into reality.