Wither #w2p?

An impromptu Twitter discussion about the past, present, and future of online networks and communities for public servants in Canada.


  1. #w2p - standing for Web 2.0 Practitioners - was one of the first widespread online communities of public servants in the social media era, first launching in 2009. It used the #w2p hashtag on Twitter combined with regular in-person happy hour type events to build a community of Canadian federal public servants (and some non-governmental folks as well) interested in online technology, innovation, and public sector reform. Unique for government, it was a completely grassroots and organic network. Members organized a number of Collaborative Culture Camp "un-conferences" starting in 2010 and the work of the #w2p network was featured in the Clerk of the Privy Council's 2012 report to the Prime Minister. However, in the past 18 months there has been a perceptible decline in the activity of the #w2p network. Has this been a result of the rise of other high-profile initiatives focused on similar issues such as Blueprint 2020 (#gc2020)? A sign of the mainstreaming of social media into the public service? Part of a natural cycle for communities, online or off? Inquiring minds want to know.
  2. The responses came in fast and furiously, providing some fascinating insights into what may be happening. First a broad agreement that #w2p is in fact in the decline as of late.
  3. The conversation then shifted to what was its purpose and if there are still vehicles for that purpose to be achieved in the future (or if it is still relevant).