This week’s High Five include a couple of stories about how technology is affecting governmental organizations. The last three stories all demonstrate the power and pervasiveness of social media on every aspect of our lives; whether we know it or not, and whether we want to admit it or not.
#5: Los Angeles adopts Google e-mail system for 30,000 city employees
Well, Google has bagged itself an elephant. In a unanimous vote, the Los Angeles city council became the largest city to move its entire email infrastructure to Gmail.
#4: Lobbyists beware: judge rules metadata is public record
This is an interesting legal development that will make it a little bit harder for politicians, lobbyists, or government officials to pull a fast one over us. Document metadata includes information such as the author, creation date, etc… In some cases, this information can be used to reveal details of a document’s true history.
#3: Mob rule! How Users Took Over Twitter
This is the sort of thing that one could write an entire book about. On the surface it sounds simple enough; a Web 2.0 technology comes out, users run with it and discover cool applications that the founders hadn’t intended or thought of, then rebel against changes that marginalize those applications. But if you’re listening carefully, there’s a lot there that can apply to institutions, businesses, consultants, etc…
#2: Google Social Search
This short video describes what I believe will turn out to be an important change in the way we find information. It warrants its own blog article (that will be upcoming), but in the mean time consider the following. Who do you trust more? A Microsoft commercial or your nephew-computer-whiz? A Wall Street Journal reporter or your accountant for the past 20 years? The point is that we trust the people we know, and social search is a way for Google to leverage your own network to provide “pre-qualified” search results from sources you typically trust more than most.
You can read the entire help article here:
#1: Clay Shirky: How social media can make history
This video is a TED presentation by Clay Shirky, who is my favorite speaker and author on the subject of social media. In this presentation, he makes a compelling case about how powerful and pervasive social media is in ways that are far more important than clever marketing techniques.
The other take away, for my money, is a lesson in innovation, which often occurs when common, boring technologies are used in unique, exciting ways.
Feel free to provide your thoughts and/or contributions…