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When Everything Becomes Social Software

by Andrea Di Maio  |  April 25, 2009  |  Comments Off on When Everything Becomes Social Software

On April 23rd, the UK citizen portal Directgov launched moneyspeak, a simple interactive tool that allows people to search for several economic terms related to the current crisis and to find links to the web and to the UK portal that are relevant to that term. So for instance if you try to search for “bank” you get bank bailout, banking crisis or bank of England. If you look for “employment” you get employment and support allowance. If you look for “asset”… well you do not find anything, but if you look for “toxic” you’ll find toxic asset¬†. Of course the tool is not perfect (take a look at web references for “toxic asset”…) and one wonders whether a sort of “financial crisis wikipedia” would not be more helpful. However it can certainly help government communicate about complex issues that people hear about in the media.

What is really interesting¬† though is to read press titles on this. One in particular caught my eyes: Directgov launches ‘moneyspeak’ – a new social networking tool.¬† Wait a minute: what is that supposed to mean?

I went back to moneyspeak and found that you can put the tool in your Facebook or MySpace profile, tweet about it, bookmark it, put it on your blog, and so forth. Now, does this make it a social networking tool? I doubt it, but this just shows how the hype around government and social software is mounting on both sides of the Atlantic.

By the way, if you are looking for a simple explanation of the credit crisis, there is a great cartoon on YouTube (part 1 and part 2) that explains it in very simple terms. A pity I could not find it searching for “credit crisis” on moneyspeak.

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Category: social-networks-in-government  

Tags: directgov  economy  financial-crisis  hype  uk-government  

Andrea Di Maio
Managing VP
19 years at Gartner
33 years IT industry

Andrea Di Maio is a managing vice president for public sector in Gartner Research, covering government and education. His personal research focus is on digital government strategies, open government, the business value of IT, smart cities, and the impact of technology on the future of government Read Full Bio

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