Whenever I see a new addition on the Government 2.0 Best Practices Wiki, I immediately proceed to do a little investigative research to find out if it’s legit. The other day I stumbled upon this press release (via the CRA RSS feed) announcing the launch of The Canada Revenue Agency’s new “Underground Economy – Not your Problem?” YouTube video contest.
Essentially,Â the CRA is inviting Canadians to tell how the underground economy is affecting them and their communities. The contest details are brilliantly laid out in this surprisingly “non-government like” YouTube video (that’s a good thing by the way…):
Here are some things I like about this initiative:
- It takes the existing “one-way” CRA YouTube channel to a “two-way” engagement state, calling on Canadians to submit their thoughts in the form of a video using aÂ medium accessed by over 336 million people each day.
- It shows that the CRA, an organization that is easy to pick on and “hate”, is ready to engage in dialogue and perhaps vocal negative feedback (this form of openness will surely make it succeed in the long run).
- It is “an idea worth spreading”. These kind of “memes” are worthy of a quick “tweet” and/or even a blog post like this one. The easy “embedability” of a YouTube video allows buzz to spread exponentially.
- It puts other departments that still don’t know what “web 2.0″Â is to shame. If the CRA can engage in social media, why can’t department X?
Things I don’t like, or do I?:
- I noticed the comments on YouTube for this video are blocked. On the other hand, comments are not the main objective of this initiative. Besides, they would surely be filled with brainless absurdities from active tax evaders. If someone has something intelligent to say, it’s easy to find other places to do so that are tied in to this initiative. Therefore, while I am usually in avid support of comments, not including them in this case could be justified. Hopefully the contest information website is sufficient for people that have actual questions. Otherwise the only option is to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There have been numerous entries already, which is a good sign for initiatives of this nature. I’m looking forward to seeing the winning video.
What are your thoughts?