Mark Drapeau

Crossing the Gov 2.0 Chasm

Geoffrey Moore’s classic Crossing the Chasm is Silicon Valley’s manual for getting a tech product to market. Its straightforward subtitle, ‘Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers,’ should compel every Gov 2.0 enthusiast to read it. The movement would be well-served to understand how to better pitch the effort, because it’s the only way the great work being done will resonate with average citizens.

According to Moore’s famous chart, the successful adoption rate of a tech product occurs when it moves from ‘Early adopters’ to include ‘Early majority pragmatists.’ The chasm bridges the ‘Customers want technology and performance’ phase and the ‘Customers want solutions and convenience’ phase. When that happens, the product has crossed the chasm and is on path to mass consumption.

At this weekend’s Gov 2.0 LA ‘unconference,’ the subject of messaging was discussed during a panel with Mad About You producer and writer Bill Grundfest. The gist: Citizens don’t care how tech-savvy government is. Citizens want solutions and convenience. Christina Gagnier‘s overview, Gov 2.0: A Message from Hollywood to the Beltway, touches on how we can begin crossing the Gov 2.0 chasm:

The most important lesson from Grundfest: those in “politech” need to use hearts to change minds, not “minds to change minds.” A compelling story, an interactive video or a personal conversation can go a long way in recruiting citizens to the cause. Even if the government cannot fix all our problems, it still can provide space for citizens to be heard. That really is the half the battle. There are many people who simply feel like they do not count, whether at the local level when that same pothole does not get fixed or at the federal level with a national debate like the one surrounding healthcare. Government 2.0 has to be about conversations and connections, not just open source code and policies.

Gagnier’s article compelled Gov 2.0 Expo co-chair Mark Drapeau to ask the question Does the Public Currently Need to Know What ‘Government 2.0′ Is? In his own post, Drapeau writes:

One, the current audience for Government 2.0 conversations is currently not the American people; it is the tech and government elite. For better or worse, that’s mainly who’s interested in contributing blogs, attending events, and so forth, and so that is what the conversation reflects. This might change in the future, but currently these are the people who care most about, who the next CTO will be, and so forth. Citizens are the intended recipients of Government 2.0, but not usually participants in how it should come about, what the policies governing it should be, which technologies should be utilized, and so forth.

Drapeau’s right about the role of jargon. Understandably, every industry has its own language. It helps insiders efficiently communicate with one another when talking shop.

However, it’s the movement’s job to figure out how best to convey the value of Gov 2.0 to citizens. It’s time to move beyond the inside baseball echo chamber.

Why? Two reasons. First, because government moves slow. Communicating the value to the masses sooner, rather than later, would go a long way in getting decision-makers and high-level government officials to move faster on open data and open government initiatives. Once citizens get the value or return on investment and demand action, you can bet officials will respond.

Second, there’s no reason not to.

Gov 2.0 has its fair share of CIOs and CTOs. Gov 2.0 now needs more CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers).

Whether you’re selling Gov 2.0 internally or externally, read Moore’s book. Maybe you’ll be the next Steve Govs, Seth Govin or Gov Kawasaki.

Microsoft gets cheeky

Gov 2.0 bon vivant Mark Drapeau (@cheeky_geeky) announced he will join Microsoft as Director of Innovative Social Engagement for its U.S. Public Sector division. Drapeau also serves as co-chair of Gov 2.0 Expo.

From Drapeau:

“More specifically, I’ll be doing at least seven things immediately: (1) Interacting with and socially empowering the other members of the seven-person Applied Innovations Team; (2) Discussing my opinions about science and technology in the public sector and continuing to be a thought leader there; (3) Experimenting with new pre-sale information and social technology, often beta or free products that potentially have a public sector role; (4) Showing the human side of MSPS and engaging audiences through multimedia channel content production and other online activities; (5) Participating actively in the public sector communities of government, education, and healthcare; (6) Measuring and understanding public sentiment about MSPS using innovative techniques; (7) Acting as a competent resource for senior Microsoft decision makers, corporate partners, and customers, and public sector decision makers.”

Full post from Drapeau here.

We’re hoping he opens up May’s Gov 2.0 Expo in the spirit of his new boss:

Best of GovFreshTV in 2009

GovFreshTV interviewed many of the leading figures in the open government, Gov 2.0 movement in 2009. It’s an incredible list of thinkers shaping the future of government.

I’m honored to have met and talked with each of them about the work they’re doing.

Here’s a review:

Craig Newmark

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark talks about Gov 2.0 and social media’s role in democracy.

Bill Eggers

Bill Eggers is the author of ‘Government 2.0’ and co-author of ‘If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government.’

Ellen Miller

Sunlight Foundation Co-founder and Executive Director Ellen Miller discusses open government, transparency and gov 2.0.

Clay Johnson

GovFreshTV talks with Sunlight Labs Director Clay Johnson.

Dmitry Kachaev

GovFreshTV talks with Dmitry Kachaev, Director of Research and Development, DC Government OCTO Labs.

Jake Brewer

Sunlight Foundation Engagement Director Jake Brewer discusses Gov 2.0, open government and transparency.

Mark Drapeau

Dr. Mark Drapeau (@cheek_geeky), co-chair of Gov 2.0 Expo, share his thoughts on Gov 2.0 in 2009, and what to expect in 2010.

Laurel Ruma

GovFreshTV talks with O’Reilly Media’s Laurel Ruma.

Silona Bonewald

GovFreshTV talks with Silona Bonewald of and League of Technical Voters.

Jim Gilliam

GovFreshTV interview with NationBuilder, and founder Jim Gilliam.