A government of the people, by the people, for the people – a famous Abraham Lincoln saying that is used as a definition of 'democracy' around the world. I do not really know how valid it is considering today's political set-up, but I can safely say that the concept is re-emerging with the Web 2.0 revolution.
The huge digital campaign launched by President Obama during the American Presidential Election period is the proof of how democracy is being redefined. Blogging, online videos (YouTube), social networking websites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and even a full fledged interactive website dedicated to the campaign (my.barackobama.com) – absolutely everything that can be coined under the term Web 2.0 was used to connect to the public. And today I came across an interesting piece of information, the whitehouse.gov is launching an application for iPhones through which it will deliver dynamic content (right from the White House) to the users.
Politicians from all over the world are joining the Web 2.0 revolution and using numerous tools to communicate with their audience. The internet has become more participatory and democratic politics is all about participating and being heard – hence Web 2.0 and democracy is a neat fit.
Welcome to Democracy 2.0:
Of the people – The new Internet belongs to you (Share your opinions – network online)
By the people – The new Internet is built by you (AJAX, Mashups, PHP and much more)
For the people – The new Internet is for you (Listen and gather information)
Web 2.0 technologies can help citizens feel closer to their leaders through increasing transparency. Government contracts and programs, performance metrics of all sorts, government donations and basically anything the government is doing can be known to the public. On a similar line, the government can listen to what the public has to say about them.
Indeed this new wave of internet is changing politics and democracy forever and we are witnesses