Government 2.0

September 6, 2011

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is joining other federal government agencies in expanding the use of Web 2.0 social networking techniques to promote innovation. The department has unveiled the Digital Transportation Exchange, in which citizens, industry, all levels of government, and other stakeholders are invited to design "a thriving online marketplace for the agile creation of transportation solutions," according to DOT Chief Information Officer Nitin Pradhan. The DOT is in the midst of a legally mandated public comment period on the DTE concept. On September 16, a stakeholder meeting is scheduled at DOT headquarters in Washington, D.C.

July 22, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

The U.S. Defense Department's hub for all things social media has undergone a serious facelift, complete with tips, tricks and lessons on how to share information responsibly and effectively.

The Social Media Hub was redesigned to help members of the Defense Department community understand what constitutes proper use of Internet-based capabilities. The new site contains learning resources, detailed department policies and procedures, and social media guides for each military service branch.

May 21, 2010
By Paul Strassmann

According to the National Security Agency, in 1928, Secretary of State Henry Stimson, closed down the Department's intelligence bureau. His rationale was that "Gentlemen do not read other gentlemen's mail."

We have now a comparable situation in the Department of Defense. New policies and guidance have been issued that declare, in effect, that well-behaved gentlemen and gentlewomen should abstain from reading potentially toxic attachments to social computing messages.

Such policies and guidance do not promote the security of defense networks and should be therefore modified.

April 13, 2010
By H. Mosher

Get your GovLoop fix on the go with its newly released iPhone app, which provides easy mobile access to a number of the community's features, including its job feed, several spotlighted blogs, an aggregated Twitter stream tracking mentions of Gov 2.0 related content, and its event calendar. Because the site's social networking engine, Ning, doesn't have app support, however, users can't log into their accounts or access their personalized content. GovLoop founder Steve Ressler wryly observes about lack of personalized access, "This is 1.0 awesomeness. This app is set up more to consume key government information on the run than control your GovLoop profile.

February 22, 2010
By Katie Packard

President Obama's Open Government Initiative is underway, and the government wants to hear from you. What are your ideas on open government? Help the government draft open government plans by sharing your thoughts on how each agency can be more open and transparent.

February 22, 2010

No, I'm not talking about the classic Marilyn Monroe film; I'm talking about AFCEA's Homeland Security Conference, going on this Wednesday and Thursday. The theme is "DHS: The 7-Year Itch-Renewing the Commitment." The event will cover such topics as cybersecurity, securing social media, transparency, identity management, information and intelligence sharing, and more. Speakers include Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and W. Ralph Basham.

February 16, 2010
By Katie Packard

Those of us on the East Coast are probably tired of looking at snow, but even if you're located elsewhere on the planet, you can download the NASA Images iPhone app for a variety of gorgeous sights. The free application gives the public access to NASA's audio, image and video collections in one searchable online resource. Users can search and browse images from, view images with an interactive zoom feature, watch NASA programs and mission footage, and more.

February 9, 2010
By Katie Packard

Keep up with our country's most important pile of bricks with the White House app, available for iPhones and iPod Touch. The free app lets government junkies have 24/7 access to dynamic content from Features include live video streaming, the White House blog and the Briefing Room. For more information, visit the Web site, or download the application on iTunes.

January 26, 2010
By Katie Packard

Are you a government news junkie? Do you need to know every move that Congress makes? Then stay current on the latest news happening in D.C. with Real Time Congress. The Real Time Congress app gives government fans access to the latest information about Congress on their iPhones. The tool lets users receive real-time updates from the House and Senate floors; critical reports and memos when they are published online by party policy committees, the Congressional Budget Office, the OMB and more; daily and weekly notices from the House Majority and Minority whips; and hearing schedules.

December 1, 2009
By Katie Packard

Does the term "social media" turn people off from the power of these collaborative tools? Christopher Dorobek suggests so in this month's Incoming column, "The War on Social Media." He argues that "social media" does not fairly represent the value and potential of these capabilities, which serve as important ways for organizations and people to collaborate, share information and solve problems.

October 9, 2009
By Beverly Schaeffer

The defense sector is all a-Twitter about this and other social media platforms, with many organizations restricting how and if their employees can access the tools during working hours. Authors Maj. Daniel Ward, USAF; Maj. Gabe Mounce, USAF; and Carol Scheina discuss the impact of these restrictions in their article "Twitter Is Mission Critical." The article generated a lot of conversation when it was presented in excerpted form last month, and you can read those comments here.

September 17, 2009
By H. Mosher

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA, chief information officer (CIO)/G-6 policy, and Maj. Gen. Nickolas Justice, USA, program executive officer, Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), had a lot to say about innovation in the U.S. Army at the Gov 2.0 Summit last week.

September 10, 2009
By H. Mosher

The ultimate goal of government 2.0 should be a user-friendly government, whether that user is the citizen availing him or herself of services or the user is the government agency using these tools to collaborate and share information, said panelists at a discussion after lunch on Thursday at the Gov 2.0 Summit. For the defense and intelligence sectors, those internal capabilities are most attractive, but even behind the secure networks, challenges of culture still exist.

September 10, 2009
By H. Mosher

When Price Floyd, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, came on board at the Defense Department a couple of months ago, he got the directive from Sec. Gates to use social media to engage-not just push out messages. But within days of starting, Floyd found that most of those social media channels had been shut down, he explained at the Gov 2.0 Summit Thursday afternoon.

September 9, 2009
By H. Mosher

From politics to national security to data transparency to important new public service applications, the Gov 2.0 Summit, co-produced by O'Reilly and TechWeb, covered a wide range of issues facing government as it tries to balance security, transparency and the new media environment.

July 13, 2009
By H. Mosher

The role for federal CIOs is changing, says Christopher Dorobek in Be a CIO, Not a CI-No, this month's Incoming column. He gives props to the current administration for not just supporting information technology and e-government initiatives, but insisting on them, as evidenced by the appointment of key people to important positions and Obama's own determination to not be PDA-less:

June 1, 2009
By H. Mosher

Christopher Dorobek waxes nostalgic about his first e-mail account and how he didn't get it at first in this month's Incoming column, "The First Step Toward Collaboration Is to Stop E-Mailing." And he wasn't the only one, he writes:

April 2, 2009
By H. Mosher

In Christopher Dorobek's latest Incoming column, he bids readers to have a look at What Would Google Do?, a book by Jeff Jarvis that examines how people can learn from the search engine giant. The lessons, he says, are particularly important for government managers to wrap their brains around:

The book taps into the idea that information is power, but that the real power of information comes in the sharing. Among the principles the book outlines are: give up control; get out of the way; and make mistakes well.

March 10, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Referring to the today's young adults as the "Google Generation," Chris Anderson, editor in chief, Wired magazine, opened the FOSE conference by telling an audience of government and industry representatives that it's time for the government to catch up. Citizens have come to expect not only information from government agencies but also the ability to interact quickly with government organizations via the Web. Agencies-as well as large companies-have been slow to respond to this demand, Anderson stated.