More and more government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels are utilizing social media tools such as wikis and blogs.
A couple to note are intranet sites which, unfortunately, make them inaccessible to most of us. The first is Diplopedia billed as the Encyclopedia of the State Department. The second is Intellipedia which is a collaborative site for the intelligence community.
What I find interesting is that these sites were created because 1) agencies such as the State Department recognized the value of enabling individuals at all levels of the organization to easily contribute their expertise and knowledge and 2) it was felt that collaborative knowledge-capture tools like wikis could optimize timely reaction to security threats and terrorist activities on the part of agencies such as the CIA.
I've been asked to create website policies and guidelines ("Webguide") for the state agency that employs me. This work can certainly be done by me alone but I decided to invite others to contribute content.
The obvious goal is to produce the Webguide, but there are other concepts that I am prototyping with this project:
Web 2.0 Collaborative Authoring: We use MediaWiki to capture the content.
Note that the intent is not to implement a rigorous Agile development environment. Rather, it's to explore the concepts and understand how they might be applied to other production activities.
Multi-site Teams: There are currently five content authors in two sites. While the sites are within walking distance, I decided to try SameTime (YouTube video) chats for the stand-up meetings. An interesting side-effect of using SameTime is that the text of the meeting can be saved. So far, we've had one meeting and the chat transcript is stored on the wiki.
Is It Working?: It's a little early to tell. So far, I'd say the results are promising.
I'm on a list for government webmasters. There was a discussion about policies for personal blogging. One fellow, a blogger, mentioned his "personal credo" which included an admonishment to avoid snarkiness.
Am I too snarky?? Absolutely not. My snarkiness has been carefully and correctly right-sized. I'm quite sure of it.
Interesting article by Gerry McGovern. What caught my eye was this:
Some believe that the government should remove itself entirely from the website management process, and instead provide structured data to private businesses who would then create easy-to-use websites.
Making structured data available not to just private businesses but any and all citizens is, IMHO, a GREAT idea.
Governments getting entirely out of the business of website management...that's another story. Not all data, for example tax information, should be managed by the private industry.
Can someone PLEASE tell me...is this for real or...ah...um...well, or pretty much anything else. Just convince me Microsoft did this in the spirit of laughing at itself. PLEASE.
OK, here's my trumpet fix for the day (well sort of). I'm a bit concerned though...this is a video for kids and the title is "Never Go To Work". You be the judge:-)
So today, April 1st, Google announced Gmail Custom Time. What a great idea. Forget to send an email on time (and you know you did)? No problem, with Custom Time, you can pre-date up to ten emails a year!
But, I have a suggestion: Remember the saying "You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose."? (Although frankly, I've never understood why not.) I think Google should extend Custom Time so you can post-date your friends' email!
Think about it...not only are you guaranteed to be on time but your buddy's guaranteed to be late.
It's a great country (and April Fool to you;-)