This is one of those posts that’s more of a mental note to myself than anything else. Don’t expect to learn anything new if you’re following these conversations already.

Over on GovLoop, the difference between Government 2.0 and Open Government is being discussed (probably not for the first, much less for the last time). I thought I’d pull together a few key points that outline the Gov 2.0 piece. Here’s my comment:

The idea of “Government 2.0” is pretty well defined:

According to Tim O’Reilly, Government 2.0 is the “idea of the government as platform: how can government design programs to be generative, […] building frameworks that enable people to build new services of their own?”)

In this Forbes column (August 2009), he phrase this as “the opportunities inherent in harnessing a highly motivated and diverse population not just to help [politicians] get elected, but to help them do a better job.”

And: “Citizens are connected like never before and have the skill sets and passion to solve problems affecting them locally as well as nationally. Government information and services can be provided to citizens where and when they need it. Citizens are empowered to spark the innovation that will result in an improved approach to governance.”

And: “In this model, government is a convener and an enabler–ultimately, it is a vehicle for coordinating the collective action of citizens.”

And: “This is the right way to frame the question of “Government 2.0.” How does government itself become an open platform that allows people inside and outside government to innovate? How do you design a system in which all of the outcomes aren’t specified beforehand, but instead evolve through interactions between the technology provider and its user community?”

That pretty much outlines the core concepts behind Government 2.0.

Gov 2.0 is by no means a prerequisite to achieving a government that is transparent, participatory and collaborative (though there is overlap, obviously). You can still achieve Open Government without buying into the idea of “government as platform”.

So there you have it. Another term neatly defined and added to the dictionary.