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Re: Success Stories

From: Jose M. Alonso <josema@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2008 19:52:40 +0200
Cc: public-egov-ig@w3.org, StratML <STRATML@LISTSERV.AIIM.ORG>, Richard Heeks <richard.heeks@manchester.ac.uk>
Message-Id: <0E800B52-97E6-44A3-ACBC-502D25E56ED3@w3.org>
To: Owen Ambur <Owen.Ambur@verizon.net>

El 15/10/2008, a las 20:54, Owen Ambur escribió:
> On the eGov IG telecon this morning is was suggested that members  
> share success stories.

Owen, I don't think anybody said they should be success stories. In  
fact the charter says: "...drawn from the successes (and failures) of  
efforts at opening, sharing, and re-using knowledge..."

I'm copying Richard Heeks. I know he's very busy but I hope he could  
find a couple minutes to comment on this. I remember he wrote about  
this same topic and I believe his input could  be of great help:


>   I have my own personal views about the value of such stories,  
> because I believe:
> a) we often learn more from failure than from success,
> b) stories have inherent weaknesses that guarantee a less than a  
> full and accurate accounting, and
> c) we’ve grown much too used to being allowed to report (document)  
> only our successes and ignore our failures – meaning that we remain  
> more (blissfully) ignorant than necessary, both as individuals and  
> as societies.

I fully agree.

> ...
> Also, the CIOC’s strategic plan itself is a case study in what the  
> folks at Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy were  
> talking about when they said the next U.S. administration should  
> “reduce the federal role in presenting important government  
> information to citizens.”http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1138083 
>   Because the emphasis was on making the plan “look good,” the  
> graphics it included were so large that it could not be shared via E- 
> mail during the drafting/editing/review process.  Meanwhile, no  
> provisions were made for documenting progress or lack thereof  
> against the objectives it established.

Oh, well...

Yep, we briefly discussed that paper in the list. Although there some  
interesting things in there, I don't agree with it as a whole. Don't  
expect portals to disappear anytime soon, and I don't think I'd like  
them to disappear for now, but would like governments to re-think the  
portal strategy though.

The goal of having the government publishing information in open raw  
formats is something that I would really love to see. I would not  
expect anything fancy as a start. RSS, Atom, microformats, whatever,  
but *something*!
Fortunately, we know of several cases in which the governments are  
already doing it :)

As Dan Connolly said: "the bane of my existence is doing things that I  
know the computer could do for me."
(from The XML Revolution: http://www.nature.com/nature/webmatters/xml/xml.html)

>  Unfortunately, throughout human history, looking good has been more  
> important than performing well – much less reporting fully and  
> accurately to stakeholders on clearly documented objectives for  
> which they have been allowed to have input.  However, it would be  
> nice to think the eGov IG might be able to play some small role in  
> changing that dynamic going forward into the future.  I’m quite  
> hopeful that AIIM’s StratML Committee will make such a contribution.


I hope so, but this is a great challenge that could not be overcome  
without collaboration from the governments themselves. I really  
appreciate the ones that are doing so and enjoy the discussions we  
have and the things I'm learning. I hope our work could show others  
the way and they could join us and help us (and them!) in this endeavor.


> Owen Ambur
> Co-Chair Emeritus, xmlCoP
> Co-Chair, AIIM StratML Committee
> Member, AIIM iECM Committee
> Invited Expert, W3C eGov IG
> Membership Director, FIRM Board
> Former Project Manager, ET.gov
> Brief Bio
Received on Saturday, 18 October 2008 17:53:21 UTC

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