Last week, Whitehall took its first step towards this vision by publishing, with ministerial blessing, a report calling on the UK government to engage with grassroots web activism. This means communicating with the public through user-generated communities rather than official websites and greatly freeing up access to, and controls on the re-use of, data held by the public sector. To enable this, it endorses the key proposals of Technology Guardian's Free Our Data campaign (see below).
The Power of Information is written by Ed Mayo, chief executive of the National Consumer Council, and Tom Steinberg, director of MySociety and creator of the 10 Downing Street e-petitions service.
It set out to examine the Web 2.0 phenomenon and determine what, if any, the government's response should be. The headline finding is that phenomena such as social networking, blogging and wikis add up to more than a passing craze; the report likens today's online communities to great 19th century movements such as friendly societies.
A step in the right direction....?