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Archive for February 2009

The Government 2.0 Club and government 2.0 camp — collaborators collaborating around collaboration

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Collaborators collaborating around collaboration — what a concept. That is essentially what the newly created Government 2.0 Club is — and the Government 2.0 Club is holding an event — the Government 2.0 Camp. The marvelous thing about the event is that it is being created by people who care about this stuff — by the attendees. People refer to it as an un-conference.

The remarkable thing is that the event — held Friday and Saturday, March 27-28, 2009 in Washington, DC — is sold out. All 500 slots are filled. The price is right — free. People can still be added to the waiting list by clicking here.

Today on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke to Peter Corbett, the CEO of iStrategy Labs, talking about the club… the event… and how it all works. Hear our conversation here.

You can get more information about how all of this works from this video.

And much more information about the Government 2.0 Club can be found at … You can also get more information about how to follow the Government 2.0 Camp here … and after the break.
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Written by cdorobek

February 25, 2009 at 1:21 PM

The vexing agency recovery issue — and remember, the transparency has never been done

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There is all sorts of consternation right now about the stimulus bill. There is all sorts of concern about the money flow itself, which is more like a fire hose. Many agency executives are concerned that agencies simply do not have the resources to deal with it — and that it will end up being a field day for auditors. That could be balanced out by the transparency, yet most agency executives I’ve spoken to simply don’t believe that the transparency will end up being a reality in the short term.

We’ve had a number of interviews on Federal News Radio 1500 AM about the stimulus package. Find a number of them here… and Monday on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke to Washington Management Group’s Bill Gormley … and even SRA International President and CEO Stanton Sloane… and earlier we spoke to Robert Burton, the former deputy administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy who is now a partner with the Venable law firm. If you listen to those conversations carefully, you can hear a good deal of nervousness — concern about the amount of money that is going to be poured through the system with simply inadequate number of people to deal with all of thefacets of it.

The WP had a story today — Government Gets Chance To Prove It Can Work: Stimulus Act Will Test Civil Servants’ Abilities [WP, 02.23.2009] Here is’s Today’s Paper’s synopsis:

The Washington Post leads with a look at how the success of the stimulus package will be determined by whether officials in all levels of government can disburse the money quickly and efficiently. Many agencies and offices will have more money than ever before to carry out their missions and are trying to figure out the best way to distribute the cash. The package is “the ultimate test of government’s ability to deliver,” declares the Post.

The concern, of course, is that this simply isn’t a fair test. Remember that there has already been a enormous increase in contractingdollars in recent years, starting under President Clinton. Yet the Clinton administration liked to boast that it actually cut the size of the federal workforce — remember the era of big government being over? There are many feds who are deeply concerned that agencies are simply going to beoverwhelmed.

Furthermore, the transparency is going to be difficult at best. Example A is the 60-plus page memo from OMB. But beyond that, the simple fact is that was developed over more than a year — and it still doesn’t have the kind of near real-time functionality that the Obama administration is looking to get out of

Nobody disagrees with the goals. The question is whether it is possible in such a short period of time.

Many of the people I have spoken to recommend that the Obama administration step up hiring of procurement personnel. And then the recommend giving agencies some leeway on the transparency — make it a goal to have the fully functional site running within 6- or 12-months.

Finally, on a lighter note… talk about being at the right URL at the right time — or buying the right URL at the right time. Vice President JoeBiden last week missed it by a dot com.

This from the WP over the weekend:

For nearly two years, the Obama team made successfully using cutting-edge new media look deceptively simple. Since entering the White House, though, the truth has been laid bare: running a successful Web operation using new technologies is an exercise in successful glitch management. From e-mail outages to not posting promised information online, there have been glitches aplenty as the new administration has settled into its government quarters.

Today, a new glitch — in the form of a misstatement by Vice President Biden — arose to direct 80 mayors visiting the White House to a private-sector Web site instead of the government’s own stimulus-bill spending tracking site.

“We’ve already set up a Web site,, which will show where and how the money is being spent,” the vice president told the leaders of the United States Conference of Mayors during a speech in the East Room of the White House. “The public can actually go on a Web site and see how we’re spending this money.”

But the stimulus site is not — it’s and earlier today both redirected to the commercial Web research company Onvia, a NASDAQ-traded $20 million business that’s been tracking government spending for a decade and that’s now also in the business of helping businesses secure government contracts being doled out under the stimulus bill.

The glitch was short-lived; informed of the vice president’s statement, Onvia quickly implemented redirects on and — sites purchased by the company around the time the first House version of the stimulus bill was made public, according toOnvia senior vice president Eric Gillespie, with the goal of ultimately building them out as information sources providing even more granular documentation of how stimulus monies are being allocated than the government’s site.

Read the full story here .

Ah, what a difference a .gov makes.

Written by cdorobek

February 24, 2009 at 6:50 AM

Worth watching: PBS’s Charlie Rose interivew with Mark Andreessen

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I missed it late last week but it is definitely worth watching — PBS’s Charlie Rose conversation with Marc Andreessen , co-founder and chairman of Ning and an investor in several start-ups including Digg, Plazes, and Twitter.

Andreessen, of course, is best known for creating Netscape, but he has had a storied career and is simply a remarkable thinker.

PBS posts a 7-minute highlight … or the full 57-minute interview.


Written by cdorobek

February 24, 2009 at 12:48 AM

Posted in innovation, Technology

Meet the (government) press Tuesday morning

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If you want to meet the press in the government market, you have an opportunity Tuesday morning at the Tower Club in Tysons Corner, VA.

Welz & Weisel Communications is sponsoring a government media networking reception Feb. 24 — and there will be all sorts of people there. You can get the complete rundown after the break… but I’ll be there along with John Meyer, Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s manager of sales and operations. But there will also be folks there from the 1105 Government Information GroupGovernment Executive and NextGov … AFCEA’s Signal magazine

You can pre-register here… and there is much more information after the break…

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Written by cdorobek

February 23, 2009 at 1:19 PM

Posted in Events, press

DorobekInsider’s most read items for third week of February

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Most read items items for the third week of February 2009:

  1. FCW’s 2009 Federal 100 Awards
  2. begins testing out comments
  3. 02.12.2009 Obama CTO reader: Will we ever see appointments?
  4. Tracking — many questions from agencies … and Virginia’s stimulus Web portal garners 1,861 suggestions
  5. GSA administrator — a nominee just around the corner? Or will Prouty stay around?
  6. Lessons learned from the National Academy’s National Dialogue — a way to tap into the power of us? ( I should note that you can hear Lena Trudeau of the National Academy of Public Administration talk about the report from Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris . Hear that conversation here .)
  7. HHS’s Asking for help
  8. HHS’s asks for help — and gets more than 100 responses
  9. Learning about more the 2009 Fed 100 winners: EPA’s O’Neill and McCaffery win
  10. Another White House score: GSA’s Bev Godwin… and insights on why there is an announcement backlog
  11. FCW’s Fed 100 Awards: Recognizing the good work done by people… nominations open for the annual award program
  12. Another Fed 100 name: Microsoft Federal’s Teresa Carlson
  13. The Kundra appointment: What does it mean
  14. Welcome to 44 — President Barack Obama… and a new White House blog!
  15. HUD CIO Lisa Schlosser to join to EPA
  16. Fed 100 winners are notified, list posted soon
  17. DorobekInsider’s Public CIO magazine column: Obama Administration May Speed Up Federal Use of Web 2.0
  18. CQ for sale… if the price is right
  19. Fed 100 winner: Scott Burns
  20. VA brings transparency to stimulus requests — and we hear from a Obama CTO candidate?
  21. More changes at 1105 GovInfo — Group publisher Evillee Ebb exits
  22. More buzz around the new acting GSA administrator
  23. litmus test… and the White House tries out live blogging
  24. EPA’s remarkable Marcus Peacock “On Change”
  25. Godspeed John Gioia Nov. 11, 1932-Dec. 26, 2008
  26. Hear the Navy CIO talk about the Navy’s 2.0 policy
  27. Happy birthday to… Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Amy Morris
  28. The next Federal News Radio Book Club selection: What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis
  29. ConnellyWorks’ A.J. Guenther scores AFCEA recognition
  30. NAPA’s Collaboration Project helps with government 2.0 policy and legal issues — highlighting the problems and starting the work on solutions
  31. Most read items for t
  32. No CTO, but Team Obama a ‘director of citizen participation’
  33. Navy out with one of the first Web 2.0 policy memos

Written by cdorobek

February 23, 2009 at 8:39 AM

Posted in DorobekInsider

HHS’s asks for help — and gets more than 100 responses

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We told you earlier that the Department of Health and Human Service’s Web site posted a very simple question on its Web site — HHS is looking to rework the site and asked for help. And so HHS asked the simple question: “Tell Us What You Think: We are reviewing this site. What would you most like to change or fix?”

A very simple — but very powerful way of tapping into the wisdom of us.

HHS has received more than 100 responses. But HHS has even taken it to the next step — posting the suggestions online so people can see the questions that have been asked. I’ve always thought that is a very powerful step because it spurs other people — it gets other people thinking about areas that they may not have noticed or may not have paid attention to. Again, this is a demonstration of Web 2.0 — these tools that tap into the theory that all of us are smarter then each of us individually. And they allow agencies to collaborate — they tap into the concept that information is power, but, more importantly, information is more powerful when it is shared.

You can see see the list of suggestions here… and they are wide ranging.

Here is one example:

Don’t sugar coat the stats. Tell it like it is, currently 68% mortality rate. The American people are tired of being lied to and just want the truth. Get the word out with radio/TV spots. Get ALL the medical community on board. Streamline the layout of this page and update the information to tell people to stock up with several weeks of food/water at a minimum in case our wonderful “Just in time” systems crash (which you know they will). We have several states that really have no clue whats going on. If this event happens and is half as bad as what I expect, lots of our local and state .gov people wont have a clue and guess who pays for this situation, we the local people. Secretary Leavitt is correct in that this would be like 10000 Katrina’s happening at the same time all over the US, Don’t expect help your on your own.

The only think that I might add is some feature where people could suggest how valuable other people think they are, but… it takes a certain element humility to put people’s critiques out there for everybody to see, but it seems that it is a simple and powerful step to sharing information.

Written by cdorobek

February 20, 2009 at 6:34 PM

GSA administrator — a nominee just around the corner? Or will Prouty stay around?

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gsa-logoThere are very contradictory buzz around the General Services Administration about the administrator job. Of course, it was just a few weeks ago that the Obama administration named Paul Prouty as GSA’s acting administrator.

Most people believed that Prouty, who most recently was the assistant regional administration for GSA’s Public Building Service’s Rocky Mountain Region, could be around for a year or more. But we’re now hearing that there could be a GSA administrator nominee in the coming weeks — maybe even days.

The name that continues to come up is Martha Johnson, who, as we told you earlier, was the GSA chief of staff under the wildly popular — and wildly successful — GSA Administrator David Baram, who served during the Clinton administration. Johnson was on the Obama transition “parachute” team for GSA. I’ve reposted some Johnson bio details from her LinkedIn profile… after the break.
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Written by cdorobek

February 20, 2009 at 6:19 AM

Posted in GSA, Transition, White House


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