Blog: The Wisdom of All of Us

January 2, 2009
By H. Mosher

Chris Dorobek, writing in this month's Incoming column, notes several examples of successful Gov 2.0 implementation in various agencies. He writes that the impending change in Washington's scenery and political tides may not be as nebulous as the rhetorical cry for "change" might imply:

Each inauguration brings about change. But this year, there is an almost palpable feeling that it is a time of change. For more than a year, the mantra on the presidential campaign has been change.

This is probably a good thing. Everyone should be concerned when the approval percentages for the president-and Congress-wallow in the 20s. People feel detached, almost alienated, from their government. What has not been fully defined is what change will mean once it makes its way through the Washington bureaucracy.

There are several reasons for hope, and President-elect Obama comes to Washington at a time when there are many somewhat paradoxical factors. The fact is these are unique times. It is the age of sometimes ruthless competition. We are all hyper-connected. We all feel that we are working 24/7 but that we should be working 25/8.

Competition is pressing the government as well. Agencies are not compared to other agencies, but increasingly, their successes-or failures-are compared to everybody else's. Some real opportunities ahead can alter the way the government has done business-and for the better.

Dorobek's examples include the military's shift toward network centricity, the rise of the "born-digital" workforce, Virtual Alabama as a successful homeland security "mash-up," and the Apps for Democracy challenge out of Washington, D.C., in which developers were asked to submit their best ideas for making public information usable through various popular online platforms. You can read more about these platforms in his entire column, "Information Sharing Is Change We Can Really Believe In."

How about you? Where in our realm do you see change happening right before your eyes in a way that you find invigorating and exciting? What are your thoughts on the examples Dorobek mentions? Comment below!

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I really enjoyed Chris Dorobeck's column and your extract. These are very exciting times and the two use case examples Chris mentions are right on the mark. I'm also excited about the potential of dramatic improvements in functionality and security (both). These improvements can be made by smart design choices and configurations, I believe New technologies and new approaches like Cloud Computing will also help.

Thanks,
Bob

An application which has bubbled up from the ground up is Milspace. It is an Army application for platoon leaders and company commanders, and takes the conversations that would normally happen on the back porch and shares them for others to see and learn from. The team at West Point working on that application has grown a very large and vibrant community with relatively few resources assigned to it. How many conversations do soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and leaders have in non-government forums such as MySpace and Facebook that are not captured and not shared? Milspace is a good first step in addressing that problem.

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