E-government as a word has been around since about 1996, but there's no universal agreement about what it means. That's not surprising, because concepts of e-government vary considerably according to each countryâ€™s political system and internet coverage, and they are changing as fast as you can blink.
The possibilities have multiplied with Web 2.0 technology, and the social and political reverberations are massive. At the very least, e-government includes putting most government-to-citizen services online, integrating government services, and improving efficiency and transparency. Some countriesâ€™ visions for e-government emphasise citizen involvement and satisfaction, others the potential of e-government to enable surveillance of corrupt public servants. Some countries see e-governance as a sub-set or consequence of IT development, the driving force behind a new prosperity.
In the west it's all about us us us. But Beijing city has different needs and therefore a different plan:
The vision of E-Government is to reduce the administrative hierarchies, reform the modes of government affairs, optimize the government business process, clarify the administrative work, improve the quality of government service and management, enhance the collaboration of the internal departments and the interactions between the government and the public, and finally to construct an honest, diligent, transparent and efficient government using technology as a means to the end.
I realise this quote is a few years old, and it's about a city, not the nation. What is China's vision for e-government now?
Interested in how Web 2.0 services persuade people and change their behaviours? Then this message from the renowned BJ Fogg, Director of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab is for you.
'My Stanford students have created short videos (averaging 2 minutes) that show how Web 2.0 services persuade people and change their behaviors. The videos are interesting -- and sometimes funny. I'm inviting you to help evaluate some of these videos before December 4th. You can rate one video or twenty. The choice is yours.
'The videos with the highest rating will be featured in the Captology Film Festival on December 7th at Stanford. You're invited to join us at that event. For more info, see http://tinyurl.com/yap7fe .
'To watch and rate the videos, go to: