Tuesday, August 22, 2006

YouTube and UK E-Government

From Information Policy

Public service videos not quite as funny as other content... By Will Sturgeon

The UK government - long accused of being backwards on understanding tech issues - has come careering into the 21st century with a strategy that will see it use video-sharing sensation YouTube to spread public service messages.

However, while the government appears to understand the potential of the YouTube medium, its first two video offerings suggest it still has a way to go to make the content appealing. We don't expect the videos to surge to the top of the popularity chart just yet.

But the fact the government is embracing such channels at all is a sign of great progress, according to a Cabinet Office statement, which hailed the move as evidence the government is keeping pace with current consumer trends and "always looking at new ways to reach people with the things that they need to know".

Ian Dunmore, director of independent e-government body Public Sector Forums, branded the scheme a world first and said: "It's a ground-breaking move and one other governments might well follow.

"However, we don't expect the videos to surge to the top of the popularity chart just yet."

And he'd be right to manage people's expectations in that way.

At the time of writing one of the videos, entitled 'Sharing the Leadership Channel', had been viewed just 98 times - possibly a reflection of what viewers may consider a rather dry and dull format.

A second, video on 'Transformational government' appears to have enjoyed greater success following efforts to engage the viewers with something a little lighter and more visually stimulating.



At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Ari-Veikko said...

This is interesting case, as it reflects an emerging trend. Comments of people who have checked the UK Government's YouTube video flatters neither UK Government nor the video itself, but this is a nice try anyway :-) I have a hunch that the features of Web 2.0 that revolve around openness, ubiquity, interactivity and reciprocity are likely to shape the future e-government.


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