Web Directions Conferences for web and digital professionals

Sebastian Chan – Social media and Government 2.0

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 27 2007.

Presentation slides

Session description

More than ever before there is an enormous amount of publicly held data about our community, our culture, and citizens. How can government respond to the opportunities of Web 2.0? How can government websites and databases become more citizen-centric, and more responsive by leveraging social media?

In 2006 the Powerhouse Musuem, a NSW State Government institiution, opened its core information asset – its collection and research database – to public tagging, and dynamic user-driven recommendations. In the same year the Museum launched a range of public-facing blogs, inviting comment from visitors and audiences. Sebastian Chan will discuss why the museum has made these very successful forays into social media, and how a small in-house web development unit was able to push through and launch a project which is counted among Australia’s top web 2.0 applications. If you work in a large organisation and have dreams of social media, do not miss this session.

About Sebastian Chan


Sebastian Chan PortraitSebastian Chan is currently the Manager of the Web Services Unit at the Powerhouse Museum. Coming from a background in social policy, journalism and media criticism as well as information technology, he has been building and producing websites and interactive media since the mid 1990s. At the Powerhouse he has been responsible for driving a strong user focus in design, usability and content, as well as expanding the scope and reach of the museum’s suite of online projects. In the last financial year his team was responsible for tripling visitation to the Museum’s online resources and a large suite of innovative experimental projects. He is known as a cultural sector specialist in social media and Web 2.0 applications, as well as web analytics.

A regular speaker in Australia who has also delivered workshops and presentations in the USA, Canada and UK, Sebastian’s other interests include electronic music and digital art. He has directed and curated large scale national and international events and festivals, and also produces related media from radio broadcasts to print. At the Powerhouse he runs the internationally popular Fresh + New blog covering issues and new ideas around digital media and museums.

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