Archive for February 11th, 2009
Take that recession — Operation Jump Start 2009 was a remarkable success!
I’ve mentioned several times — both on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris and here on the DorobekInsider — about Operation Jump Start. This is a simply remarkable program that helps warfighters returning from Iraq and Afghanistan ‘jump start’ their civilian careers. And there are all kinds of ways that people can help. The big way that people help is by bringing clothes — and you did. A whole lot of ‘em. This photo captures only part of the Jump Start collection.
But the nearly 500 people who came tonight brought all sorts of other stuff too — so much that they weren’t able to finish up the tally last night.
But what is heartening are the military personnel themsleves. There was one young man who was proudly trying on a suit at the end of the event — he has an interview Thursday, so the timing couldn’t be better. And then there was a military couple. The wife, who walked with a limp and a cane, was very nervous around crowds, yet somehow this crowd seemed safe.
A particular thanks to the Federal CIO Council, 1105 Media and ITAA, AT&T, GTSI, ITAA, Nortel, SRA, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center — and our amazing military personnel.
On Thursday on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we’ll hear from SRA’s Ed Meagher to get his recollections about the event — and a rough tally.
Federal Computer Week has notified winners of the prestigious Federal 100 awards (here is the 2008 list of winners) and, I’m told that the list will be posted by early next week at the latest for all of us to review.
I have been able to determine that at least two of the people I nominated for Fed 100 awards have been selected: Navy CIO Robert Carey, and Frank DiGiamarino, vice president of strategic initiatives at the National Academy of Public Administration. We won’t know the judges reasoning behind the decisions until the Fed 100 issue of Federal Computer Week is published in March, but… both are deserving.
I look forward to seeing the full list when it gets posted.
The annual Federal 100 Awards Gala — the 20th anniversary of that event — will take place March 25.
When the new WhiteHouse.gov launched on inauguration day, Jan. 20, there were very divergent reactions — in a way, the site is almost a litmus test to how well people view change in government — is Government 2.0 an evolution or a revolution. In many ways, a persons view of the WhiteHouse.gov Web site will tell you how they view that issue. For example, on Jan. 20, the Obama White House Web site added a “blog.” That spurred a lot of conversation. And there was an interestingdicotomy between the government people interested in Web 2.0 who were thrilled, and the Web 2.0 people interested in government, who derided the blog as a blog-in-name-only because it doesn’t even accept comments.
My suspicious is that we will continue to see the evolution of how this White House uses these technologies — and pushes agencies to use these technologies. And we’re seeing a team that understands how they work — and is interested in empowering agencies. Specifically, I’d point to the fact that there is a White House director of new media, I’d point to Vivek Kundra, and the still yet to be formally announced White House director of citizen participation Katie Jacobs Stanton.
There was yet another development on Tuesday when the White House, traveling in Florida in support of its economic package, live-blogged the speech that the president gave. Live blogging is where somebody actually blogs as an event is going on. You can see the text of the White House live-blog from Ft. Myers, Florida here.
This from Steve Rubel of the MicroPersuasion blog:
This isn’t your father’s White House. The Obama administration’s communication team – as I write this post – is live-blogging a speech the President is giving in Florida today on the economy.
This is a big deal. The new administration, unsurprisingly given its history, is slowly opening up the White House to the new world of media. It’s not that they don’t get it. They do. It’s just hard to turn around a giant institution like the government. But slowly, it’s happening. Posting the weekly addresses and more on YouTube, inviting The Huffington Post to ask a press conference question (a first, which Obama did last night) and now live-blogging are all baby steps in the right direction.
I wonder if the White House will revive Obama’s old Twitter account next.
My sense is that live blogging has been surpassed by Twitter, but… I agree with Rubel — this is a big step. Can you imagine an agency live blogging?
That being said, I also hear my friends at the National Academy of Public Administration’s Collaboration Project saying, ‘What is the business problem you are trying to solve?’ In the end, what does live-blogging do for you? Don’t get me wrong — I understand the power of information and I’m fascinated by the power of making information widely available. And for those that scoff about blogs, I’ll just point to the conversation spurred by that NASA “government innovation oxymoron” post and video. Information is power — and information is much more powerful when it is shared. It lets you tap into the wisdom of us.
I am also torn that some of these things just need to be done because, in the end, they lead to other things. They are all baby steps. Pretty soon, we’re walking. We’re sharing information. We’re collaborating. It’s one of the remarkable things about these tools — they don’t cost much. So you can see what works. After all, what is the real expense of live blogging? The time of a communications person who was probably already going to be there anyway?
So… in the end, I think it is a big baby step.
Finally, I’d point to one of this comment on Rubel’s blog post from Robert Worstell:
We may be opening up a sizable can of worms here. While we can be assured that security issues will be covered, fact-checking bloggers will start immediately dissecting the speech even as it is delivered. Given the bias of some bloggers out there, this could go both good and bad. Both sides are entrenched in safeguarding what they consider to be “truth”. And, if not speedily moderated, we either risk wading through voluminous trolling or complaints of free-speech suppression…
So do we then risk being elitist or “discriminatory” by opening up comments to a vocal minority? Or do we shut out all comments and let other blogs take up this slack?…
Further, outside of last national election, the average is less than 50% voting – will this be the case in online activity as well: will the connected few have more sway over government policy and the off-grid/disconnected?
Much of this is the scare of the future. After all, is our big fear that people will blog facts? If that is the worst thing that happens — and it spurs a discussion on issues — I would actually chalk that up in the “benefit” category.
The later point — the digital have-nots — that, however, is fascinating and deserves more discussion at some point.
For now, I’m excited to the the WhiteHouse.gov taking those baby steps.