Government 2.0

Do You Love to use Social Media to create Social Impact – Planning Commission of India Wants You

social media staff in plg comm
Do you that the Planning Commision of India is very active on social media. They started with a facebook page for the 12th Five Year Plan . You can be a Young Professional in the Planning Commission and use Social Media for Social Impact. Now thats an awesome statement to add in your resume. See the job description below and apply in the format provided in the notification. Ofcourse you can apply through Email. Goodluck.

The One Virtue that Every Officer should Develop or Risk becoming Irrelevant


At first there was those Officer-like-Qualities (OLQs) that were the golden standard to recruit/judge an officer. Then came the Emotional Intelligence era spearheaded by Daniel Goleman et al. It meant relating with people and providing people-centric leadership. A combination of high-task, high-people style of leadership was considered the most effective. The emergence of the connected world changed the way we work, live, socialize and build relationships in that order.

The web is changing the world beneath your feet. This has led to the emergence new relationship titles like facebook friend, twitter friend, linkedin contact, farmville neighbour (though there is no real farm nor villa). The networked individual’s actions and interactions led to the emergence of the collective -Networked Intelligence. The self organizing capability of the social networks looks like a beehive.

The web is clumping into hives of experts who are organized by the problems themselves instead of company silos, national boundaries, or political appointment.

This self organizing provides a chance to connect these hives and enable exchange of ideas,sharing of knowledge and combining passion to solve issues of common concern. This network provides next chance create a better world where everyone is a partner.

Innovation, education, solutions for urban decay, international diplomacy, health issues, cracking highly complex technical problems — almost every significant human problem is being debated and, and I believe, will eventually be solved by passionate experts wherever they live.

And Collaboration is the one virtue that a Public Servant needs to create value and succeed in the era of networked intelligence. This is how he can tap the power of networks to solve larger issues. And for collaboration has a pre-requisite called “the culture of sharing”, which is neither institutionally supported nor passionately created. The Public servants are late in joining the new future and their last bus is about to leave. Once again its either collaborate or perish. Listen up Officer.

Photo credit and inspiration from

Social Media tips for Government Employees [Video]

Social Media in Government is no longer a fashion statement in Government. It is getting integrated into the Government process and is transforming the Citizen Government Interface. The Government of India has come out with guidelines for use of Social Media. Some departments like the Delhi Traffic Police have used facebook to provide updates and interact with citizens and has lead to improvement in quality of governance and created a positive perception of Government. Very soon if not already your office will be using Social Media  like facebook, twitter, blogs to help achieve organizational efforts. Here is a video to quickly grasp the dos and donts of Government employees on social media. The video pertains to Canada but the pointers apply universally.

Social Media tips for Government Employees (Video link)

The Clothesline Paradox

Tim O’Reilly is the founder of O’Reilly Media and an open source advocate since 1997. His delivered a talk at Picnic festival in Amsterdam. It started with a paradox, as a metaphor to understand what might have gone wrong with our economy.

When we quantify the energy consumption of a tumble drier, compared to hanging clothes out to dry, we consider the latter option as a zero energy one, as if the human energy needed would suddenly disappear from the system. What really happens is that we don’t monetize it and therefore we don’t consider it a cost. Something similar happens with innovation: real innovators start by doing things that matter to them, investing endless energy and time, but without monetizing. That is how great businesses like Apple or Twitter started: the monetization came afterwards.

What happened in the last decade is that producing monetary value became a primary goal, rather than a means to proceed or a side effect, but in these circumstances innovation is very rarely happening. “An economy is an ecosystem,” continues O’Reilly, “if you take more out than you put in, the ecosystem eventually fails”. He ultimately suggested that the only way to create innovation and keep the system healthy and sustainable is “sharing and creating value for others”.

New Ownership – The Shift from Top Down to Bottom-Up

Picnic is a leading European platform for innovation and creativity that functions as an incubator and accelerator. Every year a group of people including technologists, artists, politicians and economists are called to take on a new challenge during two days of lectures, workshops, labs and more.

This year’s festival happened 17 and 18 September in Amsterdam, with the theme New Ownership: The Shift from Top Down to Bottom-Up. Picnic welcomed more than 3,000 visitors, illuminating how new technologies and connectivity are empowering common people, spreading knowledge and increasing civic engagement. This trend is gaining strength at a time when the loss of trust in traditional top down institutions is increasing, resulting in local and global communities with higher social awareness, engaging in bottom-up strategies.

No matter where you are in the world, you can become an expert on your own, accessing videos of MIT lectures through their website, watching tutorials on or diving in the TED-ED educational library. This openness and democratized spreading of knowledge has created alternatives to mainstream education, hopefully presenting a opportunity for it to improve.

All we need now is a will to do. Everything else is there already.

Sharing and creating value for others is important. As described by Tim O’Reilley in the Clothesline Paradox.

Online services and social networks have increased people’s civic engagement, making them feel connected and heard.

This has ramifications for Citizen-Government Interaction in India.


Ideas distilled from

New President of India gets his Official Website redesigned

president website home


The President of India is the highest office in India. As the head of the state the President is the first citizen. As an observer of the online trends once can see that the new website of His Excellency has some adopted some modern design trends. The new President Dr. Pranab Mukherjee assumed office on July 25th 2012 and it seems the first thing he did was to order a series of online initiatives. Apart from the redesigned website a new Youtube channel and a fresh facebook page (2361 likes within ten days, accessed on 05 Aug 2012) have been created on July 26.

Though there was a previous facebook page for President of India with 11993 likes (accessed on 05th August 2012) our new President seems to have preffered to start on a fresh slate.The entire excercise may have just been incidental too. Some interesting UI factors in the new webdesign are stylish image sliders showcasing latest photos, some new fonts like Alex, Myriad Pro which looks better than the plain official looking verdana like stock fonts. The new website even uses jQuery which is highly unlikely for a National Informatics Center (NIC) developed site.

The site also has a crisp layout with Events,Press releases and Speeches section on the home page. There is also a social networking box with icons for youtube and facebook page. Twitter is conspicuous by its absence. One can hope that it will soon be included in the Presidents social media gameplan.

However i was left wondering where all the old website contents have gone. There is no link for any archives or old site links. It is not possible to access speeches and other documents of earlier presidents.For nostalgia’s sake i ended up searching for the old looks at Internet Archives and here is what i got.

First capture available during Dr.K.R.Narayanan’s period (circa 2002).


Then the same design was retained during Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam’s tenure till early 2004.


By mid of 2004 the previous design was introduced and was in use upto mid 2007.


By mid of 2007 when Dr.Pratibha Patils tenure began a newer design was adopted and in use till the latest change.


One can see that whenever a new President assumes office there is a change in the webdesign and approach to suit the preferences of the incumbent. The latest change incorporates some newer and citizen friendly elements which is a welcome change.