National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The web numbers behind NASA’s Pluto flyby

Pluto (Photo: NASA)

Pluto (Photo: NASA)

Flying by unchartered planetary territory is a good way to drive traffic to your website.

The General Services Administration’s Digital Analytics Program shared the numbers behind NASA’s web traffic during theJuly 14 New Horizons Pluto flyby and, according to DAP, nasa.gov received nearly 10 million page views and accounted for 42 percent of all government web traffic.

Other numbers:

  • 57 percent of traffic came from 231 countries/territories outside the U.S.
  • New visits accounted for 64 percent of traffic (up from an average of 56 percent)
  • Average session time was up to 4 minutes (from 2:25)

Full post

NASA re-launches open innovation efforts

Photo: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Photo: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

NASA Deputy Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer for Information Technology Deborah Diaz introduced a new open innovation team via a rebooted open.nasa.gov.

Diaz said NASA’s Innovation and Technology Division will focus on four areas: innovation and digital services; data management and services; enterprise architecture; and emerging technology.

The agency will release NASA’s Open Government Plan Version 3.0 “in the next few weeks,” Diaz said.

In February, former open innovation lead Nick Skytland penned what appeared to be the end of NASA’s efforts on this front, which began in 2007.

“The first chapter of this experiment concluded in 2013, but we hope that the principles of Open Government we held dear continue to live on at NASA and within the federal government for many more years to come,” wrote Skytland.

NASA Goddard seeks CIO

NASA

NASA Goddard is looking for a chief information officer.

Qualifications:

EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS:

1. Leading Change – Involves the ability to bring about strategic change, within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

2. Leading People – Involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organizations vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.

3. Results Driven – Involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

4. Business Acumen – Involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

5. Building Coalitions – Involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.

TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS:

1. Applicants must demonstrate significant experience and a proven track record of accomplishments in the direction, management, oversight and financial control of IT infrastructure and assets for an organization of comparable size and scope.

2. Applicants must demonstrate experience and accomplishments in developing both strategic and tactical linkages between mission, productivity, budget and implementation of IT policies, procedures, services, and compliance in a cost-effective manner.

3. Applicants must demonstrate state of the art working knowledge in areas such as modern IT systems, IT security procedures, local and wide-area networking architectures and quality of service standards. Operational experience with managing large scale security operations or consolidated services is desirable.

4. Applicants must demonstrate a working knowledge or experience in areas such as IT research, development and operational environments and strategies for leveraging and integration across these environments.

5. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major study in a related field, such as computer science, information systems, science, or engineering is desirable.

Salary is $119,554 to $165,300. Application deadline is November 29.

Apply here

Open source headlines from the Open Government plans

The Obama Administration’s Open Government Directive ordered Federal agencies to produce open government plans by April 7th, and while some advocates are disappointed, we have before us a bewildering number of initiatives to improve transparency, collaboration, and participation across the Government. It will not surprise you to learn that I spent some time looking for places where open source is being used in these plans.

I’m not sure I can recommend reading all of the plans cover to cover, but if you’re an advocate or have a vested interest in the future of a Federal agency, these plans are fascinating peek into each agency’s interior life. It’s not just the content of the plans, which run from exciting to comical to mundane. You can also learn a great deal about how agencies view themselves from the way these plans are presented and marketed. It will come as no surprise that the Department of Justice’s rather unlovely document spends a lot of time thinking about reducing its FOIA backlog. The Department of Energy clearly understands itself to be a first a research organization, based on its flagship data sets. The Department of Defense plan is crisp, to the point, and focuses on getting the behemoth to better collaborate and interact with other agencies, rather than the public.

The organizational psychology betrayed by these plans is for another post. My interest is in where agencies found open source. I’ve long advocated for open source as a concrete, tangible way to encourage collaboration between agencies and between the government and its citizens. I was pleasantly surprised, frankly, to see how many agencies agree. Here’s what I found, in no particular order.

US Agency for International Development

The USAID plan was a total surprise. I had no idea how many open source initiatives were being conducted by USAID. Page 30 contains this gem on their Global Development Commons work:

With over four billion subscribers in the world, the mobile phone is often the key to connecting and exchanging information with people in developing countries. The 2008 USAID Development 2.0 Challenge, implemented by the Global Development Commons, invited innovators and entrepreneurs from around the world to participate in a global competition to seek access to information and build new connections to the global community. Crowdsourcing and Open Innovation have become increasingly important engines of innovation globally, leveraged by the commercial, non-profit, academic and government sectors to identify opportunities and solve problems. USAID’s Development 2.0 Challenge yielded 115 submissions using high impact, low-cost, open source solutions.

The winner among the 115 submissions was the RapidSMS Child Malnutrition Surveillance system, which “enables health practitioners to share and track children’s nutritional information with the touch of a cell phone.”

The agency also operates the Intra-Health OPEN Initiative, which is “a suite of free open source solutions to supply health sector leaders and managers with a collection of new tools.”

Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration is another open source underdog. Imagine all the pent-up innovation they can unlock once this project is underway:

We are in the process of creating internal capacity to host websites and applications based on open-source software solutions and we look forward to a lively exchange of ideas and program code within the growing Federal open–source software development community;

As part of SSA’s fifth goal, “making government more sustainable”, they see open source software as an essential tool:

We are a Federal leader in the use of Health Information Technology. Our work with the private sector may yield transferable ideas and tools. We will share our results and products as appropriate. For example:

  • We look forward to sharing the products of our open–source platform efforts across the growing Federal open–source development community, as well as partnering with other agencies in future endeavors; and
  • We are in the process of designing and developing an Electronic Technology Repository for communities of innovation. We expect this repository to employ open–source social networking and other tools to permit users to better manage agency knowledge, avoid unproductive duplication of effort, and share experiences. The repository will support the storage of shared materials and project artifacts, discussion boards, wikis, blogs, subscription feeds, and other pertinent information. We envision sharing these resources with other Federal organizations as well.

Others have criticized open source as being irrelevant to the open government movement, but I think interagency collaboration doesn’t happen anywhere near as often as it should, it can be made easier with open source, and it’s outstanding that the SSA seems to agree.

Department of Defense

The DOD has been using open source software for years. Though I was a bit surprised that it wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the DOD’s open government plan, and even more surprised that the much-hyped forge.mil project isn’t referenced at all, the plan includes a number of initiatives that happen to take advantage of open source tools:

The Wikified Army Field Guide, based on Mediawiki, will allow warfighters to collaboratively edit the Army’s field manuals, allowing the documents to be more accurate and responsive:

…as the battlefield changes rapidly, field manuals must keep pace.  Under the traditional process – in which a select few were charged with drafting and updating field manuals –manuals often failed to reflect the latest knowledge of Soldiers on the ground.

Using the same free software behind Wikipedia, the Army’s “wikified” field manuals invite military personnel – from private to general – to collaboratively update the Army Tactics, Techniques and Procedures Manuals in real time.  In so doing, the Army provides a secure means for battle-tested Soldiers to share their experience and advice from the field.  Wikified Army Field Manuals ensure the men and women who serve our Nation have access to the best possible information when they need it.

This is a very exciting opportunity to capture all the innovation happening “at the edge” and quickly incorporate it into useful, official documentation. It makes so much sense, I’m surprised it hasn’t already been done.

The plan also highlights XMPP, which is a tremendously popular instant-messaging protocol that runs, among others, Google Talk. It may surprise you to learn just how much XMPP’s most popular implementation, Jabber, is already being used inside the DOD. The Defense Connect Online program uses Jabber to provide secure IMs inside the DOD, and they announced in November that this would be opened up to the outside world. Because they standardized on an open standard with robust open source implementations, literally dozens of different chat clients are now available to these non-DOD DCO users.

It’s interesting how both Jabber and the Wiki Field Manual projects aim to improve collaboration, and do so on highly collaborative open source platforms. I don’t think that’s an accident.

Department of Homeland Security

VirtualUSA is DHS’ flagship initiative, which couldn’t be more appropriate. From page 23 of the DHS Open Government plan:

On December 8, 2009, Secretary Janet Napolitano publicly launched Virtual USA (vUSA), an innovative information-sharing initiative that draws on practitioner input to help Federal, State, local and Tribal first responders collaborate to make fast, well-informed decisions. vUSA integrates existing frameworks and investments to provide real-time access to operational information—such as weather conditions; traffic; the location and operational status of critical infrastructure; fuel supplies; availability of emergency shelters and medical facilities; and other critical information—that allows users to improve situational awareness and to respond quickly in emergencies.

vUSA currently operates as two pilots – one in eight southeastern states: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Virginia and Tennessee; and the other in five states in the northwest: Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. In Virginia alone, vUSA reduced response times to incidents involving hazardous materials by 70 percent.

VirtualUSA is much more revolutionary than this lets on. It’s a very disruptive piece of software in its space. FCW has a succinct overview of the project’s history and what it means for first responders. DHS is funding this project, based on open source and open standards, in part because it wants to encourage collaborative toolbuilding and cooperation among the states, and also because this capability is too important to be in the hands of a single GIS provider, like Google or ESRI. Because it is an open source project, and uses open standards, VirtualUSA ensures that critical assets are not locked into a single vendor, and simultaneously lower the barrier to entry for new GIS vendors.

Department of Commerce

On page 18 of the Department of Commerce plan, under “Open Source Information Technology”, we find some familiar prose:

Also emerging from Commerce’s Open Government Ideascale community was a suggestion to “become more open through the increased use of open source software.” The Department has already begun using the open source tool, Drupal, for a number of its new websites and plans to increase this use in the future. Using open source technology will allow Commerce to develop new technologies and collaborate more readily with the public and other government agencies, and within the Department itself.

To make this happen, the Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Office of Acquisition Management will be consulted to ensure that open source offerings are fully considered during procurement processes. That consideration will include the value that the Department can receive through increased collaboration with the public and as a contributor to open source communities.

Nothing short of victory at Commerce for Open Source of America, whose suggestion this was. Congratulations!

Department of Labor

You’ll find open source in the strangest places. Until I read Labor’s plan, I didn’t appreciate how much data the Department of Labor is responsible for analyzing and disseminating. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense to find this initiative on page 29:

Create a “Developer’s Corner”

We plan to establish a “Developer Corner” on www.dol.gov/open that specifically targets and engages developers. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for developers to re-purpose our data, provide feedback, get technical help, bring developers with similar interests together and, ultimately inspire the best possible uses of our data for the benefit of the public. Ideas under consideration include a bug tracking system, RSS feeds for dataset changes, dataset versioning, public code competitions, data authentication, and an ideation platform to prioritize developer needs.

I think every department and agency that distributes data to the public (which is to say, all of them) should follow Labor’s lead and establish their own Developer sites. There’s no better way to stay engaged with this very powerful community.

Health and Human Services

The outstanding NHIN CONNECT project, which has a thriving open source community, got a mention on page 56 of HHS’s plan:

Nationwide Health Information Network – Direct

A key component of the Nation’s emerging health information technology infrastructure is the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) – a set of standards, policies, and services that enable the secure exchange of health information over the Internet. “NHIN Direct” is the latest development in the evolution of the NHIN. It’s an important effort to develop a “lightweight on-ramp” to the NHIN that will enable simple, direct exchanges of information between providers, labs, pharmacies, and consumers — and which will be easy to adopt and implement. In a process that launched on March 1, NHIN Direct is being designed in close collaboration with the community of potential users, with the entire process taking place in the open, in public, on a NHIN Direct wikispace. NHIN Direct will then be implemented in real-world tests and deployments by members of the community – with HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) playing a coordinating and convening role. The gist of the NHIN Direct strategy is to utilize a community-driven approach to ramp up and power NHIN Direct-powered health information exchange.

I should mention that my employer, Red Hat, is involved in this project.

National Science Foundation

There was nothing explicitly about open source in the NSF’s open government plan, but their plan is worth mentioning anyway, as the NSF already does a tremendous amount of work in the open source community. Here’s a search for “open source” on their web site, which yielded over 5,000 hits when I last tried it:

http://search.nsf.gov/search?access=p&output=xml_no_dtd&sort=date:D:L:d1&ie=UTF-8&btnG=Google+Search&client=NSF&oe=UTF-8&proxystylesheet=NSF2&site=NSF&q=open+source

NSF regularly awards grants under the condition that software developed under those grants is given an open source license. Some very progressive thinking, and shrewd IP stewardship from the NSF folks, so we’ll forgive them for not mentioning open source directly in their plan.

Department of the Treasury

Yet another revelation. Treasury plans to cultivate open source projects to facilitate collaboration between agencies and between Treasury and the public. I’ve written about exactly this kind of collaboration before, back in December, so I’m enormously pleased to see that Treasury agrees. I’ve emphasized my favorite passages here:

In the areas of transparency, participation, collaboration, and flagship initiative, Treasury strives to share its efforts across Government to avoid duplication across agencies and to improve value/outcome of efforts. Treasury seeks to manifest cross-agency transferability in at least two of the following ways:

  • Make training available to other agencies by opening up classes/webcasts to other agencies; providing slides, video and/or audio after the training; and posting on an e-learning platform.
  • Name an advocate who gets the word out about what the agency has to share and invites other agencies to contact that person to learn from him or her.
  • Design procurements for enterprise (where government is the enterprise) or in such a way that what is created can be shared across government at no cost.
  • Develop and post code so it can be shared with other agencies (open source or the contract written such that the government owns the code.)
  • Share platforms utilized by the agency with other agencies at no cost.
  • Create participatory events across agencies with related missions.
  • Collaborate on projects and challenges with the public and with the private sector in partnership with other federal agencies that have similar missions.
  • Share all materials, results, tools, and training that could be transferable to other agencies with the Interagency Working Group as an efficient central dissemination mechanism.

Veteran’s Administration

The VA is an enormous consumer of information technology, and gained early recognition from the open source community for its public domain VISTA electronic health record platform. On page 22 of the VA plan, it becomes clear that the VA is expanding its use of open source to lower the barrier to entry for developers who want to help the agency:

AViVA

A Virtual Installation of VistA Architecture (AViVA) is a recent innovation that we are using to support collaboration. AViVA creates a universal user interface for the electronic health record and includes prototyping of data connectors in order to securely link the AViVA platform to patient data from any source. The AViVA project incorporates HealtheVet as an update of the VistA legacy database system.

VA’s current electronic hospital management system uses a graphical user interface known as the Clinical Patient Record System (CPRS). CPRS data is stored in the legacy data system known as VistA. CPRS requires installation on each machine that operates the program rendering the program difficult to scale and expensive to maintain and update. AViVA’s implementation improves this model in two ways. First, AViVA creates a modular, web-enabled electronic health record system that can be easily and remotely maintained. Second, Medical Data Web Services (MDWS), which can be accessed by the Department of Defense, will allow the creation of applications for any data source to be plugged into the system.

AViVA is a very exciting program for the collaboration portion of our Open Government Plan and because we are committed to creating systems that allow health care providers to collaborate to provide the best care for Veterans. AViVA’s web based presentation layer will allow our doctors and nurses around the country to search patient records as simply and succinctly as you can search for pizza on Google Maps and as securely as the best retail financial service businesses. Additionally, AViVA creates collaboration between VA and DoD, our partner in caring for our nation’s heroes. Finally AViVA creates an open source platform that allows software to be shared with entities outside of VA, creating opportunities for further innovation and development beyond the agency.

National Aeronautic and Space Administration

“NASA is working to make open source software development more collaborative at NASA to benefit both the Agency and the public,” it says right on the first page of the NASA open government plan. Here’s an agency which has always relied on a vibrant research community, software developers, and a culture of innovation. I’m not surprised by their focus on open source, but I am delighted. Among other things, NASA will be sponsoring an open source code competition, has an entire section of their plan devoted to open source development, and will be developing their Nebula cloud computing system on open source software.

It’s fair to say that NASA’s plan is the strongest I’ve seen for the open source community.

Your Turn

Who did I miss? What other opportunities for open source have you found in the open government plans? Leave a comment and let us all know!

OpenNASA takes one giant leap for transparency

OpenNASA, an employee-established public blog, is a “collaborative experiment in open, transparent and direct communication about your space program.” Team openNASA shares lessons learned, and what others can learn from them.

openNASA

What is openNASA and why did you create it?

OpenNASA is a collaboratively written public blog by NASA employees with open comments. The authors blog on their own time and therefore do not represent NASA. The motivation for opening up this unique voice from NASA and allowing dialog to occur is something that was lacking within the internal NASA community (to communicate between ourselves) and between the public and NASA. While, again, the perspectives of the authors are theirs and not NASA’s, it does give non-NASA people a different insight and perspective into some of the activities, thinking, and desires of individuals within NASA. Over the years, we have added additional functionality to the community such as ideation, voting, sharing files, and feeds from other NASA social media communications.

We created openNASA in the beginning of social media adoption within large organizations and while NASA was still watching the trend and weary of this communication methodology, our goal was to help NASA become more transparent, authentic and direct with its communication to the public. While there are many interest groups in the space community, there wasn’t a culture which was overly positive and humble with exploring challenges and opportunities; we wanted a different dialog. We wanted this communication to be a “conversation” rather than a one way directed message. From the beginning, openNASA has been an “experiment” because we were not sure if the NASA culture was really ready for this shift in communication. But, it was clear that the public was ready for more engagement with it’s space program, so we took the initiative to bridge that gap. Our intention is to help create a participatory space agency – one that actively engaged people from all backgrounds and perspectives.

What culture issues did you face in executing this?

OpenNASA has been quite well received since its launch. It’s interesting to note that most of the challenges we have faced have been within the space community. For those in the space community who are still testing out social media, openNASA can seem a risky proposition. We also have others, who have been involved in the space community for quite some time, pushing for the very same openness, transparency and authenticity in government that we hope for. To them, openNASA can be seen as competition and threatening to niches they have carved out for themselves. Yet, these cases are very rare and, overall, we have enjoyed overwhelming support from the space community and the openNASA audience.

For the authors, the question of when to blog, how to make it clear posts are not written in any kind of official capacity, and how to walk the line of transparency without sharing inappropriate information or causing strife has at times been a delicate one. Sometimes colleagues might be uncomfortable with the ideas being discussed or questions raised. There are times when being a leader in the transparency realm makes one a target inside their own organization, more because people aren’t sure what to do with it than because they really have bad intentions.

However, these are all important questions for the transparency movement to be addressing, so it’s important to participate in initiatives where the kinks get to be worked out.

What has NASA learned and changed because of it?

We don’t think that it is fair to directly link something that NASA has learned and changed from the activities of openNASA. That being said, it is conceivable that openNASA has served as an example of exploring new methodologies for engagement and to highlight the utility of more of a dialog with the public, rather than a traditional one-to-many communications approach. NASA should be greatly commended for allowing its employees to self-regulate themselves with their personal tweets and blogs. NASA itself has surely adopted blogging and tweeting and has done so with cautious aggressiveness. As a result, the last couple years has added to the transparency and personality of NASA and helping to create a more human-side of the space program.

What would you recommend to other agencies thinking about starting an ‘open agency’ collaboration blog?

1. Be targeted – in our experience, one of the reasons openNASA has been successful is because we aren’t just talking about space in general. There are lots of great sites out there that do that. Ours has a focus on operational and personnel aspects that NASA employees are uniquely qualified to participate in. We think this makes NASA more real and tangible, and also gives NASA’s employees (us!) a place to have a say, share ideas, challenge on another, and get new inputs.

2. Start simple – this is probably true of everything in life, but start with a simple site, a few authors who are committed to posting, and let it evolve from there. Give the collective voice of the site a chance to evolve, and then invite new authors.

3. Make it easy for people to participate – The idea is about participation. Make sure it is easy for people to comment without too much work. Also encourage and support authors with differing viewpoints. Constraining authors too much will result in a homogeneous community that lacks the spirit and energy of constructive disagreement and brainstorming.

4. Have a rough posting schedule for authors, and have someone who’s role it is to gently enforce it by nudging and communicating to the authors themselves. Consistently posting new content creates a virtuous cycle of conversation.

5. Defend and protect the culture you create – Write terms and conditions on your blog reflecting the type of culture you want to create. Heated discussions are great, but disrespect, name-calling and personal attacks are something we have had to draw a line at, and we feel our community is stronger because we stood up for those values. The culture created in the beginning of a community ends up creating its norms and becomes its personality when thriving. Be prepared for Government Trolls, and know how to defend the terms and conditions you set out. These people are tax payers, and they may have personal relationships with high-level people in your agency, so be prepared to be direct but firm.

Gov 2.0 Hero: Beth Beck

Gov 2.0 Hero: Beth Beck

What was your path to Gov 2.0?

WIRED Magazine is my bell-weather for all things new. How does that apply to Gov 2.0? I find that we, the generic government, usually lag two years behind industry in our application of new products or processes. WIRED showcases all things trendy, giving me a jumpstart on ideas for cool new applications and products. I can try out new technology and software in prototype projects and once we’ve worked out the kinks in the system, others can follow.

Blazing trails and opening new pathways can be bloody business, but worth it if we can forge paths for others to follow. Those rushing in from behind may not notice the bloodstains under their feet, but who cares, as long as they’re stampeding through the opening we create.

What area of government offers the biggest opportunity for improvement via Web 2.0 tools?

Communication!

Social media arms us for the “palace coup” within our entrenched power structures. Let’s face it, bureaucracy is all about layers of process and people, encrusted like fossils under the weight of decades upon decades of past decisions. We’ve always done things a certain way, communicating through stovepipe-like organizations with positions carefully crafted and revealed only after dozens of signatures.

Enter social media, and our ordered world collapses into chaos.

Here’s one tool to contribute to the glorious chaos: Twitter. Yes, I hear your grumbles already. I read all the fuss over the tediousness of Twitter highlighting what someone had for breakfast. All I can say is, I follow Tweeters who add value, interest, humor, and perspective. I’m not interested whether or not someone’s clothes need dry-cleaning. But, I AM interested in tweets about a dry-cleaner’s solvent that might cause cancer.

For me, Twitter opens up avenues of communication with folks, both inside and outside NASA – those who congregate around the watering hole we call space. We share a common passion, and love sharing our passion with others. At NASA, I admit we’re embracing Twitter and other social media tools only in “pockets of enlightenment,” as I like to call them. The battle is pretty bloody in other parts of our organization. But, this is to be expected, isn’t it? Social media is the great unknown. And, after all, we are “the government.” Big Brother. Uncle Sam. I can’t think of any bureaucracy that values change? Can you? But we’ll get there. Maybe not as quickly as some would like. By the time we get there, the world will change again, and we’ll start this process over.

The government: a perpetual work-in-progress.

What’s the killer app that will make Gov 2.0 the norm instead of the exception?

iPhone!!!! Let me repeat: iPhone! I know this isn’t what your question is asking for, but I have to say the iPhone transformed world, my ability to communicate – which gets back to my answer in #2.

I’m part of a NASA Headquarters’ prototype project to test the iPhone over the Blackberry. OMGosh! I can’t rave about it enough. With the Blackberry, I always felt like I was talking on Maxwell Smart’s Shoe Phone. I read e-mail. That’s about it. I know, I know. Blackberry has other features, but that’s all that I really messed with.

My beloved iPhone allows me to select and download apps, like Tweetie, which I aDORE! Once I started using Tweetie, I could post pics to Twitter instantly. TOTally freed me from my laptop. Now I could take pics in the midst of NASA events and post them immediately. I can bring followers WITH me to experience what NASA has to offer. I post pics of our astronauts discussing their missions; pics of our live feed from space from Mission Control; pics of the nation’s Capitol; business travel; and much much more. The iPhone allows me to share the amazing things we do at NASA in a way not possible through a press release or web feature. My tweeps get to come with me to Shuttle launches and tours of our facilities. Really. How cool is that?

Yep, hands down. iPhone.

What part of Gov 2.0 most excites you?

I love the fact that technology available today removes the old barriers of organization, geography, and time. We can hold conversations across the universe (literally) without a “badge” or invitation to “the meeting” or physical journey.

This goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. All the tools we have within our reach must be approached with professional responsibility. We must measure what we communicate with reasoned good judgment and maturity. Some will abuse the freedom social media offers. But we can’t manage for the few. We can offer trust, and expect this trust to be honored.

I’m excited we can accomplish the “public good” in amazing new ways, totally unimaginable only a few years ago. We are poised at the edge of a new frontier. The bold will blaze the trail there. The others can follow.

On your mark! Get set! GO!!