Wow — Facebook hit 200 million users this week — that’s more people than were living in the U.S. when I was born! As an inside-the-beltway guy, I’ve had a lot of scary thoughts (scary for other people, not me) about the implications of social networking for government. Some pundits are predicting the fall of Rome scenario — not due to social networking, but rather due to economic, political and demographic challenges. But fall of Rome fears are always present when great powers face economic crises. So while others think about Rome falling — I’m thinking instead — is any government anywhere ready for a real Government 2.0?
The people who think scary Web 2.0 thoughts for a living — I’m just an advanced amateur — think about government surveillance of the Web and things like new location services in the your vehicles for things like road use taxes that also could allow government to track you no matter where you are. Scary stuff indeed — but obvious fears about government in western-style democracies are typically followed by some sorts of rules to balance civil protections against societal benefits.
However, I’m thinking the other way around — could large-scale social networking adoption replace government? How might this happen? Too much to answer for a blog posting — but I will say that governments just don’t seem to be jumping all over themselves to embrace a Gov2.0 strategy, are they? Have you wondered why?
So, while we ponder the long-term implications to governments of a borderless community of 200,000,000 — here’s another scary thought that is more immediate. How long do you think that Facebook community of 200,000,000 will remain un-taxed? I guarantee you there are a lot of people inside-the-beltway who saw this Facebook milestone and thought the same thing — and a lot of them are professional inside-the-beltway types — not just an advanced amateur like me!
Category: Uncategorized Tags: