I realize that the title of this blog post is something that one would probably not associate with a blog that purports to cover technology. Bear with me please and surf over to YouTube (or view below) to look at the video posted by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. I think you will agree that the video is very well done. Much like the partnership between Google and the Pennsylvania Tourism Office that I blogged about a couple of months back, this posting to YouTube represents some signs of forward thinking, Web-based focus, and creativity on the part of state government.
Granted, with tourism and fishing, we are looking at revenue generating sectors of state government. You don’t yet see this sort of thing from Welfare service divisions. How long will it be though until other sectors of state government start looking at public Internet services as an alternate channel for communications with their constituents? The economics of these services surely works in their favor (that is, they’re free). It then becomes a question of what the best channel is to reach one’s constituents.
Face-to-face interaction, snail mail, and government sponsored portals will be around for a while to come, I surmise. But as usage of cell phones, email, inexpensive audio devices and collaborative community-based Internet services like YouTube continue to permeate through the layers of citizenry, state governments will not be able to ignore these viable communication mediums. The one question that remains is whether state governments are prepared to engage in the two way dialog and deal with the power shift that these new communication vehicles will invariably bring.