How the Web Polarized Politics

By Debra D'Agostino  |  Posted 2006-11-06 Print this article Print

The Internet once promised a new era of communication and understanding. But Gerry McGovern, a Web content expert, says it's only served to deepen the divide. (

Gerry McGovern spends the majority of his time focused on what he calls "the impact of the content revolution." As one of the worlds leading thinkers on the development and management of web content, McGovern is the author of several books, including "The Caring Economy," "Content Critical," and "The Web Content Style Guide." But lately, hes narrowed his focus, looking at how the Internet shapes government interaction with its citizens—and vice versa.
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He has consulted many government agencies in the U.S. and abroad on how to improve digital communications, and his latest book, "Killer Web Content" (A&C Black), is due out this December. On the cusp of the mid-term elections, McGovern sat down with Online Editor Debra DAgostino about Web 2.0, government transparency and why the "Wisdom of Crowds" concept doesnt work in politics. What follows is an edited transcript of his remarks. CIO INSIGHT: With all this talk about Web 2.0 and shared, open networks, why isnt the government more transparent and open to opinions of its people? Shouldnt new technology make it easier to gauge overall consensus on important issues? Not necessarily. That is to say, it isnt automatic. Too many people assume that technology will naturally make things better. But technology is neutral. On one side it has the potential to create a better government, but twisted in another way, it can serve to threaten democracy. Read the full story on How the Web Polarized Politics Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis of technologys impact on government and politics.
Debra D'Agostino was part of the original team that launched CIO Insight in May 2001, and has held several positions during her tenure, serving first as copy chief, then senior reporter, and currently as online editor, overseeing content and strategy for Prior to joining Ziff Davis Media, her work focused largely on travel and leisure, and her articles have appeared in Consumer Reports' Travel Letter, The Elite Traveler, Agenda New York, Travel Agent, Westchester, Wine Enthusiast and USA Today, among others. At CIO Insight, she has twice been a finalist for American Business Media's Jesse H. Neal Award, and has received three national gold awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. She holds a bachelor of science in journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

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