Monday, July 10, 2006

Internet, constitutions and library policies

Thumbing through the July 10 issue of Fortune magazine, I came across an article by David Kirkpatrick called "Life in a Connected World". In it, he discusses the revolutionary changes to business and society occurring as a result of the 700 million users of the internet. Kirkpatrict includes politics as an area that has been profoundly changed by the internet and says that "...Some of the most cutting-edge uses of technology can be found in places like Tanzania, where activists are working on a new constitution - using a wiki". He continues by explaining that a wiki is online software on which anyone can add a contribution, with the idea being "that citizens can collectively create a compelling enough document to force the nation's political power".

Wow! Think of the opportunities for democracy if every citizen with internet access can help shape a country's constitution! And if Tanzanians can craft a constitution with a wiki, we can certainly craft strategic plans and library policies using the same vehicle. What an opportunity for input and consensus!

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