I’ve just had word that one of the SMF‘s conference fringe events will be streamed into Second Life on Monday morning. I know that politicians in the US have held events in Second Life, but we think this will be a first in the UK.
The event is titled Public Sector 2.0: How can emerging information technologies improve public service delivery? and will feature contributions from Tom Watson MP and Jerry Fishenden from Microsoft. Watson is the Cabinet Office Minister responsible for E-Government, and of course one of the first MPs to inaugurate his own blog.
It is an 8am breakfast meeting at Charter 4, Manchester Central. In Second Life it will be in the Manchester Central Hall on the Manchester ‘Island’.
The Government’s fairly poor use of the web is a particular bugbear of mine, so I am looking forward to attending the event (in the flesh) but also encouraging people to submit questions and comments via Second Life. Given that the event is inside the secure zone, opening it up online obviously increases access to the discussion. However, there is the perennial risk of disruption, but since the event is on a fairly specific subject matter I confidently hope this will not be an issue.
A wider point is that Web 2.0 technologies allowing better communication and broadcasting of ideas, at a lower cost. They are therefore inherently equalizing, and something that the Liberal Left should welcome in public service delivery. It would be great if some Liberal Conspiracy readers and writers could join in the discussion, although I appreciate 8am is a big ask. At least in Second Life you don’t need to shower and shave before joining in.
Cross-posted at the Liberal Conspiracy.