Going critical!

It’s just out, and despite its few pages and quite large download size (>1Mb) I haven’t read the final version yet.

Yes its: “insight: understanding your citizens, customers and communities” – the report from RSe commissioned by the IDeA, that incorporates the ‘wholesome’  bits from IDeA Community of Practice online conference in the summer, plus added feedback and examples from those who had anything to provide.

The picture of “babushka” on the cover coincides nicely with the other document I was linking it to: “Critically Classifying: UK E-Government Website Benchmarking and the Recasting of the Citizen as Customer” by Benjamin Mosse and Edgar A. Whitley of the Information Systems Group at LSE. The version I’ve just read is from the latest “Info Systems Journal” but I’ve since found a working paper on the LSE web site and a conference paper from 2004 or thereabouts. Not easy reading, even for me with a first degree in philosophy, along with many hours working on Heidegger and his continental brothers and sisters, but inline with the “babushka”, Mosse & Whitley use the onion skin analogy to describe Heidegger’s Ge-stell theory , the selective or uncritcal representation of the real world and how web site benchmarking can become caught up in this!  They have also picked up on the danger of using the citizen as customer metaphor, which was a bee in my metaphorical bonnet throughout the IDeA online conference, although I was deriving my argument from older philosophers, the Greeks, but I have also employed Hirschman’s theory of exit, voice and loyalty and other sources! They also pointed me to a lot more reading on the customer versus citizen debate.

I do hope the IDeA report is easier going…


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