THE FUTURE OF CITIZEN/ENDUSER ENGAGEMENT AND EMPOWERMENT
Recently I was invited to speak at the Future Social Government Australia 2012 Conference with attendees, including senior government communicators, looking to explore emerging technologies and how they can take advantage of any opportunities inherent therein.
The nominal title of my presentation was, ‘Investigating the Internet’s Evolution & Impact on Social Strategy’ – to me, this boiled down to: The Future of Citizen/Enduser Engagement and Empowerment.
With that in mind, and due to popular request, here are the ABCs of citizen/enduser engagement and empowerment inherent in emerging social tech, which I mentioned in my talk:
A – AGILITY and ADAPTABILITY because its organizations with flexible processes, agile structures, and the right tools that will be able to adjust quickly and take advantages of the coming technological opportunities.
B – BORDERLESS and BOUNDLESS is what content is going to be expected to be (so beware the US-centric Hulu hype-types).
C – COOPERATION and COLLABORATION – Its only with them that cost effective departments and organizations are going to be created and maintained.
D – DON’T Automate – When you use auto responses, you turn off and so do citizen/users you want to engage.
E – ENGAGED, ENABLED and EMPOWERED -These words are going to describe your citizen/enduser more and more.
F – FLAT WORLD NAVIGATORS – The embodiment of an organizations honest avatar, they combine and leverage both traditional and internet based networks to reach out, communicate and collaborate on local, state, national, and global levels by engaging Data and Attention Economies.
G – GUTENBERG – The next ‘Gutenberg Revolution’ giving ‘power to the people’ is that of citizen/enduser enablement, engagement and empowerment.
H – HIGH Touch/Value networks will belong to citizen/endusers who will expect to be dealt with meaningfully via simple, mobility enabled applications.
I – INDIVIDUAL and INTERCONNECTED – because in the democratized online communities and networks of the near future, data privacy is going be a commoditized marketplace in which citizen/endusers will expect to be a profiting participant demand more and more control over their data.
J – JARGON – Communicating means speaking with an authentic voice – not in jargon and not with spin.
K – KEY Enablers – of the Arab Spring was social media empowering the population to organize, articulate and act at a speed that left the powers that were, powerless to act.
L – LEVERAGING – and encouraging Flat World Navigating skills within departments will be essential.
M – MICRO- pitches – which are personalized, customized and relevant to the individual wants and needs of citizen/endusers will soon be demanded.
N – NEVER – The Semantic Web and Web 3.0, by themselves, never engender empowerment and enablement, but they can help.
O – OPEX – Avoid Capex cycles with your CIOs and leverage as many new technologies as possible on a pay-as-you-go / Opex type arrangement.
P – PERSONALIZED – because the days of a one-size-fits- all strategy are disappearing fast.
Q – QUESTION (Everything!) – That’s what citizen/endusers will be doing as technology makes poor service, high prices and unpopular practices more and more visible.
R – RISK – The biggest risk you have is succumbing to the belief that doing nothing to engage and empower your citizen/endusers is an option. It’s not.
S – STAR TREK- i.e. leave Enterprise for Star Trek and look for solutions that are simple, secure, scalable, inexpensive and vendor neutral.
T – TRAIN – Consistently review social media and ethics policy and train all staff (including elected officials) early and often.
U – UNCOORDINATED is UNACCEPTABLE – cross-competing departments trying to access the same citizen with disparate policies, products or services will not be viable.
V – VALUE – Citizen/endusers will soon come to realize that they own their data, that their data has value, and that they’ll soon be able to control who, when and where their data is provided to other parties.
W – WORLDWIDE Initiatives of Interest – (which I mentioned in my presentation) Start-Up Chile, HowTo.gov, Govloop, OZloop, OpenGovernment.org the SAVE Award, the US State Dept. Office of eDiplomacy, sf311, Texas Red Tape Challenge, Govtogether, Data.gov (.au) and visual.ly.
X – eXtreme Opportunity – for those who grasp that the world has changed and know how to exploit the potential therein.
Y – YOU – are a Flat World Navigator, YOU are a citizen/enduser, YOU can own and control your data.
Z – ZUCKERBERG (HQ) – though unlikely to start sending out residual cheques, in the future Facebook and its ilk may be mandated to deposit a percentage of profits back into the public domain and pay for things like free broadband connectivity for all.
The framework for a Flat World or New World solution with tools that are rapidly changing our ability to speak, influence and choose is of paramount importance to consider. Kim, your list is a thoughtful representation of such a construct that envisions optimization of empowerment in today’s world. For innovators it is vital for us to consider the history of communication and the unforeseen impact on society and project our goals and intentions with a clear mind of its potential. The greater good is a lofty ideal, but each footprint of innovation can enable a very personal advance with global reach. I applaud the voice and enjoyed the nuggets of truth in your A to Z guidelines. “C,P & S” are key favorites of mine!
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