The friendly response of the new UK chief construction adviser Paul Morrell to my recent posts generated a few comments, several encouraging him to embrace Web 2.0 to build a conversation with people in the rest of the industry. It seems there is an international trend towards adoption of such techniques.
Reading the Daily Telegraph technology RSS feed, I came across a report: Australian civil servants urged to tweet, blog and use Facebook. It immediately struck a chord with me, resurrecting past issues I’ve had with research suggesting that social networking tools are time-wasters (see Going to the toilet puts UK economy down the toilet and More cynical sniping at Twitter costs).
In Australia, a government-commissioned draft report on new media apparently calls for blogs to be used to allow the public to comment on policy proposals. I suggested that Paul Morrell might start a blog for exactly this purpose, and he is planning to do so. Will he take the next step, as our Antipodean friends are recommending: to engage “more energetically” with popular websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia and YouTube?
“Online engagement by public servants should be enabled and encouraged. … Robust professional discussion benefits their agencies, their professional development, and the Australian public. … Access to work tools like web-based email, collaborative work spaces and instant messaging create powerful new possibilities for collaboration particularly where collaborators are physically apart. … Likewise Twitter, Facebook and blogs provide access to professional information and conversation.”
And if he does, perhaps more importantly, will other industry figures and their respective organisations also engage with these conversation tools and techniques?