July 24, 2007 By Wayne Hanson
Art: Rendering of Sweden's Second Life Embassy
Last May, as Internet users were discovering Second Life -- described on the site as a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its more than 8 million residents -- the government of Sweden announced it was putting a Swedish embassy there in the online world.
Boston is also ramping up a Second Life online presence, according to a recent story in the
Boston Globe, and the city hopes to present concerts, hold virtual office hours by city officials, and help residents engage in many of the types of civic participation currently conducted through e-mail or on the city's Web site, but with the added novelty of a virtual world.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.