I was “Tweeted” with the following from a fellow Web-2.0-engaged Public Servant:

My Canada, My Public Service video http://tinyurl.com/d3q29y what do you think #cpsr

The video you can see on the PCO website about Your Canada and Your Public Service

The video you can see on the PCO website about Your Canada and Your Public Service

Please watch it.  That link again is:

http://www.pco-bcp.gc.ca/index.asp?lang=eng&page=clerk-greffier⊂=speeches-discours&doc=docs/20090205/video/index-eng.htm

Watched it yet? Come on. Please do. I’ll wait.

Ah, still watching it? At least watch the first minute or so, and you’ll get the idea.

Super.

Now, I won’t comment on the content there – there are other GC-related blogs to do that (Hi Étienne! Nick!) who can treat it better. But also, well, frankly I’d be way too sarcastic about how I would love to know who those employers are and if they’re accepting applications, and how I’m not surprised I didn’t see a single computer (UPDATE: this antagonising phrase removed for embarrassing reasons).

The content of the video is just not within the scope of this blog, which, of course, is about the Government of Canada and Web 2.0 – which, this video could have demonstrated, but…doesn’t.

I’m wrong.
There was a computer in the video. I digress, and can confirm that the Government of Canada indeed does use that computer.

Back to the topic.

Yeah, so it’s been a recurring theme of mine to repeat my repeated impassioned appeals for the head of the Public Service to demonstrate Web 2.0 leadership by launching a blogI am now on day 57 and counting. I mentioned I would settle at least for RSS feeds so I didn’t need to keep checking the PCO site for updates. Now I find that the Clerk of the Privy Council has a video about, apparently, “My Canada, My Public Service” published 48 days ago (on Feb. 5). How was I supposed to know? No RSS feed could inform me. And no, I don’t check the PCO site every day. Or even every week for that matter. I guess I’m much too pre-occupied with other things like looking for interesting updates on Twitter or something.

About the video

Alright, it’s an interesting video. I’ve got questions: What’s it for? There’s no information there. How can I share it? I can’t embed it anywhere (otherwise I would obviously embed it here instead of showing an embarrassing screen capture up there in the corner).

How this video could be web 2.0-engaging:

  1. Allow the video to be embedded on other sites. Maybe have the video on YouTube instead (in both languages of course) and embed it on the PCO webpage. There’s also the added benefit where users can share it more easily on Social networking sites like Facebook.
  2. RSS feeds. Please! Subscribed users could have loved to know about this and other videos! I know I would have. Maybe other videos exist and we don’t know it. I just don’t know.
  3. Of course; context. Even if it’s not meant for viewing by others, indicate this. Invite feedback – follow-up asking users how they found it.
  4. Wild idea section, if they make another video: Circulate the video first within the public service and get feedback on it, before publishing it publicly. The Government of Canada wiki GCPEDIA would be a great tool to allow public servants to view the video without making it public, and get comments. In fact other developments

Despite not having any context, there’s just not much I can do with it.

I also may be barking up the wrong tree here. Perhaps there’s no purpose to it – maybe it’s for largely internal use and not meant for sharing, but someone came across it and started sharing it. Just as I found out about it via Twitter, and how I’m sharing it with you via this blog.  And that’s the lesson about this Web 2.0 world:

On the Internet you can involve Web 2.0, or Web 2.0 can involve you. Involve Web 2.0 and you can be effective with your message. Don’t involve Web 2.0 and others dominate your message.

Whether PCO wants it or not, or despite their best efforts, the video is being shared. Maybe not efficiently, but they’re missing out on an opportunity to add value to the connections being made, to the social discussion being had.

Back to my repeated requests for PCO to demonstrate Web 2.0 leadership. Again.

As mentioned, it’s now day 57 since publicly stating my first request for the head of the Public Service to demonstrate Web 2.0 leadership. I’ve repeated it afterwards, and still consider it crucial for Web 2.0 to progress in government.

Judging by how I haven’t been blocked from the PCO building, there are two likely possibilities:

  • I haven’t fallen out of favor with my top boss PCO Clerk Kevin Lynch; or
  • The PCO Clerk or his office are not aware of my request.

I’m joking about being blocked from the PCO building. Kevin wouldn’t do that even if he were upset. He’s actually a really nice and happy guy, I hear.

Follow-up action

Some time following this post, I will send an email directly to top GC Public Servant Kevin Lynch, and post it here. I will ask:

  • How does PCO support Web 2.0 development in the Government of Canada?
  • Do you  they plan to implement any Web 2.0 tools or functionality (like a blog, RSS) to any PCO websites or engagement within the public service?
  • What’s the deal anyway with the My Canada, My Public Service video?

The email will also have a link to this blog and the blog posting I published, that I have kept up unmodified. Perhaps they’d like to comment.

What do you think of this idea?

I do expect a response from the PCO, which I’ll post here.  I’ll indicate in my email I plan to share the response.

Now, a question: would this be instigating PCO? I don’t think so. Maybe it is, as I am stating publicly I would do this, however the underlying message here is that if the PCO Clerk is more communicative and “current”, they can communicate more broadly and relevantly instead of exclusively communicating through narrow channels, often to PCO’s own internal network of personnel, or to media outside of the public service. Perhaps PCO just needs to know what I think, and I can’t expect them to be checking my website every week either (however, I do have an RSS feed for my blog. Zing!). I have informally informed PCO about my blog posting about Kevin Lynch, and know that projects are underway reporting to PCO of the ongoing research about Web 2.0. Maybe PCO just needs (even) more feedback about the importance of the role of Web 2.0 in the Government of Canada, and the importance of support and leadership from PCO.  Maybe my email can help. And it wouldn’t be very Web 2.0-like of me not to mention this intent on my blog (email is sooo Web 1.0, didn’t you know?).

Closing zinger

I just recently got an email about the Top Public Servant’s latest report (sweet #16). It just just got published – go check it out!

I consider myself lucky to get an email about it because I may not have known otherwise until I did my usual non-weekly perusal of the PCO site, or read about it in some newspaper with a writer who does the same.  I’m not cynical. No. Now…on to the report!

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