Thursday, August 8, 2013

Implications of Platforming for Government

For government, the challenge of the trend toward branding the platform is the trust factor. According to 2013 research by Rasmussen, only 24% of Americans trust the federal government. That means 3 out of 4 people don't! Think about that for a second. The government is most importantly a platform upon which the rest of society functions. If trust is critical to a platform brands, and the federal government loses that trust beyond what Gladwell called "the tipping point," other platforms will arise to take its place. This is not an impossible scenario especially given all the divisive and sometimes extremist rhetoric we are seeing in public fora today.

If government does not regain the public's trust there is a significant risk from a business perspective that the brand will be discredited and the platform will be undermined and "disintermediated." Not only will people to go other platforms to get government information and services (which is already happening, and sometimes at an unnecessary cost), but they may also disregard accurate government information itself and trust only alternative sources. Far from the original data and the people generating it, biased with mistrust, those sources are inevitably going to be skewed.

All of this is why regaining the public trust is the #1 job of government right now.

* As always all opinions are my own.