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Does anyone outside D.C. really care about open government?

That buzz you’re hearing about open government? It’s more of whisper caught up in an echo chamber.

That’s the theory put forward by Harlan Wax at GovLoop. Wax was responding to a debate topic posted as part of the FCW Challenge, a joint FCW-GovLoop project to spark debate about key topics in the federal IT community.

Our thesis was that the Open Government plans recently released by the Obama administration are the policy-equivalent of Twinkies: You can put them on the shelf and they will last forever, but no one’s going to eat them.

Wax agreed wholeheartedly.

“How many months in and what have we seen?” he wrote. “The government behemoth continues to lumber forward without change in direction, speed, or response. Ninety percent of the American populace don't know what 2.0 is; of the remaining 10 percent, 50 percent are not engaged as it has no direct impact to them; of that remaining 5 percent, 50 percent are journalists, media and watchdog groups.

"So we are left with a knowledgable 2.5 percent as to what constitutes 2.0 and at that point we need to assess whether or not they have a dog in the fight, and which dog is it.”

What do you think? Check out the conversation here.

You can also read more about the FCW Challenge here.

Here are the other topics up for debate:

Government social networks are Towers of Babel, doomed to topple

Acquisition 2.0 will give ethics officers the heebie-jeebies

A mandate for the cloud is wishing for pie in the sky.

The federal workplace will never change. Telework? Fuggedaboudit!

Cybersecurity: This is a job for McGruff the Crime Dog.

Posted by John Stein Monroe on May 11, 2010 at 12:18 PM


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