Craig Newmark on the challenges to transformational government

Craig Newmark, founder of the awesome Craigslist, was in London a recently as part of the Travelling Geeks visit to the UK. I was lucky enough to meet him (briefly) at Reboot Britain. Its not often you get to meet a god of the web…..(Incidentally, Craig gave an interesting talk at Reboot Britain on how the internet aids democracy. Worth checking out – its the sixth vid clip down).

On his blog, and back home in the US, he reflects on the challenges to transformational government in the UK and US (hint, its not rationalising websites). He says something that I am hearing (and agreeing with) increasingly often:

“the tech is the easy part, the real challenge involves professional and emotional buy-in and commitment…”

Though he refers to government tech workers, I think the challenge lies beyond them and points more towards the non-tech literates (or tech illiterates?). In particular, the senior decision makers who have the power to enable change.

If you hadn’t already seen his piece, its well worth a read.

    • alanm
    • July 21st, 2009

    it was never about rationalising websites

    see

    http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/cio/transformational_government/strategy.aspx

    or the varney report or any of the three or four e-gov/transformation strategies we wrote then

    rationalising websites was a visible manifestation of making the message to the citizen simpler – joining up government so that the citizen didn’t have to do it herself

  1. Sorry Alan, I was being sarcastic :)

  2. … and the challenge has always been hearts and minds – so glad you agree with me finally Gould :)

  3. Just making sure you are still paying attention :) A facetious comment but Alan is entirely right. I stand by website rationalisation but I just wish it hadn’t been such a resource hog.

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