Have you every wanted to find out information about developments at you local, state or federal Government? Wonder where your tax is going? Or are you supportive of a cause or alternatively, frustrated about something, or even wanting further information of government services? Well then, in any of the cases mentioned above and more, there is no need to waste your time making calls, leaving phone messages, or writing letters. Now with the advent of web 2.0 technologies your government is at your fingertips. Literally.
For example, the other day I was asked which hospital had the fastest treatment times during a conversation. As this person was not feeling too well, I immediately pointed to the places that were closest to the area where we were situated. They then went onto their mobile checked the places, locations and also found out the exact answer to their question even comparing the exact minutes each place takes. This incident alone had made me raise some questions on the creation of an open, available and transparent government.
I felt that on the one hand transparency in government creates accountability, but on the other hand the information can be misunderstood, creating further problems. In my example above, the individual could have simply gone to the closest hospital, without having wasted the 20 or so minutes attempting to access reception on their device, connect to the site and find out some statistical small differences between the facilities. Sure, I do understand the value of an interactive accessible government, but like Lessig Lawrence, the vast amount of data made available by governments on the net creates more problems than necessary. A better system would be less numbers and data but more information, specialists, investigations and inquiries.