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Archive for June 2009 Building a better bus stop – with crowdsourcing

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Earlier, we told you about an initiative by Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) to crowdsource the redesign of his Web site. But could crowdsouring be used in other areas, like the design of a bus stop. The initiative is called Next Stop Design and it is being done with the help from a for Federal Transit Administration grant 2008-DOTFTAPTPP: Innovative Small Research Projects to Advance Public Participation Related to Public Transportation Planning. (Hat tip: I first read about this initiative in a White House blog post by Beth Noveck, the Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Open Government, and Michael Baldwin, an Office of Science & Technology Policy Student Volunteer from Harvard Business School.)

The goal is to see if there are other ways of reaching out to people and getting them involved in developing a bus stop — or other initiatives.

On Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke with Daren Brabham, the project lead for Next Stop Design and a PhD candidate and graduate teaching fellow at the University of Utah. Hear that conversation here:

You can see the ideas posted so far here


More information is available on the Next Stop Design FAQ page:

Next Stop Design is part of a research project by a team of researchers at the University of Utah, in cooperation with the Utah Transit Authority and funded by a grant from the U.S. Federal Transit Administration. The purpose of the project is to use the Web to bring in new voices and different ideas to the public participation process for transit planning. The site is designed to test the crowdsourcing model as a way to improve this public participation process.

The research team applied for Federal Transit Administration grant 2008-DOT-FTA-PTPP: Innovative Small Research Projects to Advance Public Participation Related to Public Transportation Planning and were awarded a grant. The first round of testing involves the design of a bus stop for the University of Utah campus’ “business loop,” a major transfer stop for the area.

The hope is that Next Stop Design will shed light on the ways people participate in government decision making and design activities—such as bus stop design—online, and that similar projects can be undertaken to solve other public problems and needs.

You can follow Next Stop Design on Twitter @nextstopdesign.

Written by cdorobek

June 22, 2009 at 6:39 AM The most read items for the third week of June 2009

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The most read items on the for the second week of June 2009

  1. Jerry Williams to take the HUD CIO helm
  2. Watching the Web 2.0 effect in Iran – and a real gov 2.0 hero
  3. DorobekInsider: Women In Technology – Government Leaders at the Helm: A New Era — the liner notes
  4. DorobekInsider named a GovFresh Gov 2.0 hero
  5. Ed DeSeve to join the Obama administration
  6. Congratulations on the wedding of Bob Suda and Joanne Connelly
  7. Most read items for the second week of June 2009
  8. DorobekInsider: The July Federal News Radio Book Club book: Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovati
  9. Rep. Honda’s tries crowdsourcing his Web redesign — a check-in
  10. Godspeed to Christine Burman
  11. Welcome Liam Patrick Young
  12. DorobekInsider: The benefits of the federal IT “dashboard” – and the liner notes for News Channel 8
  13. DorobekInsider: GSA names Danielle Germain as chief of staff
  14. Hear the July 2009 Federal News Radio Book Club meeting – Fired Up or Burned Out
  15. DorobekInsider: The new TSA CIO — Emma Garrison-Alexander
  16. DorobekInsider: 1105 Media cuts pay 20 percent — temporarily
  17. DorobekInsider: Dee Lee to join the Professional Services Council
  18. Friday’s Federal News Radio Book Club – Fired Up or Burned Out
  19. Breaking news: NAPA’s DiGiammarino to join the Obama administration
  20. The DorobekInsider reader: Obama cyber policy review
  21. DorobekInsider: Congratulations on the wedding of Bob Suda and Joanne Connelly
  22. DorobekInsider: Most read items for the first week of June
  23. DorobekInsider: GSA’s Dorris, Army’s Sorenson, HP’s Hempfield earn AFCEA Bethesda
  24. The DorobekInsider on DC’s NewsChannel 8 on dashboards — and the Kiviat graph
  25. Martha Johnson to be nominated as GSA administrator soon — maybe today
  26. The DorobekInsider transparency, openness and reader
  27. The Obama CTO reader
  28. DorobekInsider: Remembering Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns
  29. DorobekInsider: Former GSAer John C. Johnson wins ACT/IAC’s 2009 Franke award
  30. DorobekInsider: ConnellyWorks scores a coup hiring ACT/IAC’s Kelly Olson

The most read items from Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris

  1. TSP Roth 401(k) option now on the table
  2. Senior Correspondent Mike Causey talks about your TSP
  3. Women in Government: Brig. Gen. Paula G. Thornhill
  4. Daily Debrief EXTRA: “Special Agent” Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., honored by FBI
  5. No cure for FERS flu?
  6. Dashboard success at the Indianapolis Museum of Art
  7. Improving procurement and acquisition policies
  8. Congressman uses crowdsourcing to redesign Web site
  9. No COLA for federal retirees?
  10. AFGE pushes for changes in Bureau of Prisons
  11. Dashboards: coming soon to an agency near you?
  12. Same-sex benefits changes for federal employees
  13. Changes coming to REAL ID Act
  14. Analysis: The face of the new ‘cyber czar’
  15. What’s happening now in Iran
  16. Fedarra hopes to help agencies make sense of
  17. What’s going on at the GSA Expo?
  18. Women in Government: Casey Coleman
  19. Congresswoman: DHS’s NPPD deserves recognition
  20. Your TSP: Changes coming tomorrow?
  21. GPO’s Role in Transparency
  22. White House’s Melissa Hathaway outlines goals
  23. An explanation of those buzz words: ‘business intelligence’
  24. Meet the Innovators: Clay Shirky (Part 2)
  25. Partnership hopes conferences will attract more to federal service
  26. DoD ‘cybercommand’ developing
  27. Pushing ‘pay-go’ on Capitol Hill
  28. Opposition in Iran uses Twitter to organize
  29. GAO on VA’s ‘enhanced use leases’
  30. Federal agencies increasingly posting to Web in many languages
  31. Go to ‘Privacy Camp’ this weekend
  32. FAIR Institute releases report on insourcing

Written by cdorobek

June 22, 2009 at 5:42 AM

DorobekInsider: Women In Technology – Government Leaders at the Helm: A New Era — the liner notes

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For the past few days on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we have had an ongoing feature — Women In Government. It has been an opportunity to look at government in a different way. Those reports were leading up to an event tonight hosted by Women In Technology called Government Leaders at the Helm: A New Era. Qwest’s Deirdre K. Murray pulled together a stellar panel:

  • Linda Cureton, the NASA Goddard CIO
  • Cindy Moran, DISA’s Director of Network for Services
  • Lisa Schlosser, Director of EPA’s Office of Information Collection
  • Kathleen Turco, GSA’s chief financial officer
  • Kate Hudson Walker, President, Young Government Leaders and Senior Analyst for Strategic Issues, GAO
  • Molly Wilkinson, Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee, Minority Staff Director, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)

Lisa Wolfe, the program director for Federal News Radio 1500 AM, was slated to be the moderator, but literally hours before the event, she lost her voice — she got laryngitis. So Wolfe asked me if I could step in… and I was honored to be a part of the program.

We had a wide-ranging discussion — from cloud computing to leadership to the government hiring and workforce issues. Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller was there and he will be filing a report in the coming days.

A few quick observations:

Over all — Wow! What a remarkable group of people — each one of them with unique skills.

* Cloud computing: We had a good discussion about cloud computing and what it means for government. There still seems to be some question about what will be the ultimate driver of cloud computing. In general, most agencies are interested in the potential cost savings, but Moran noted that it also enables agencies to be much more agile There was a question from the audience about whether the government was going to set cloud standards so industry could know what to propose and build. Cureton pushed back suggesting that setting a cloud standard isn’t the point. The goal is to have a better tool that helps agencies carry out their missions, and that a federal standard — which would likely take… a long time — would delay that shift.

* Workforce: A lot of discussion about workforce issues, particularly younger people and how to attract them into government jobs. Kate Hudson Walker noted that, the federal government job posting site, is… not up to speed. And she said that OPM Director Barry has met with YGL and other groups to get their insights on what can — and needs — to be fixed. (This is the second event I have moderated where we have had a young government leader — the other was the AFFIRM emerging issues round-table that included PTO’s Jonathan Bennett — and in both cases, these young feds have added significantly to the discussion and added dimentions that would not have been discussed otherwise.)

There was much more, but… but I’ll have to see if there is time later.

One quick aside: Turco mentioned that her father, who lives in California, had sent her a note asking about the WIT conference. Turco asked how he knew about it. Apparently he follows me on Twitter… and I had posted about it.

Meanwhile, links of some of the items mentioned during the session:

If I promised other links, let me know and I’ll get them posted.

Written by cdorobek

June 18, 2009 at 11:36 PM Godspeed to Christine Burman

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We were saddened to learn of the sudden death of Christine A. Burman, the wife of Allan V. Burman, the president of Jefferson Solutions and the former administrator of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Christine Burman passed away last Thursday and I just found out about it this morning.

I have posted the notice below

Allan Burman and his friends and family are certainly in our thoughts and prayers.

Godspeed Christine Burman…

Christine A. Burman

CHRISTINE A. BURMAN (Age 65) Wife of Allan V. Burman, died Thursday, June 11, 2009 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA. Chris was born June 10, 1944 in Bristol, CT and was a daughter of Hedwig (Klimovitch) Anderson of Westport, CT and the late Arnold Anderson. A graduate of the University of Hartford, she was employed as an elementary school educator involved with community outreach with non-native English speakers. She was also an award winning photographer. In addition to her husband and mother, Chris is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Zoe (Burman) and Jeremy Sherlick of Westport, CT; a brother: Arnold “Andy” Anderson of Grantham, NH; a sister and brother-in-law, Elaine and William Greene of Westport, CT; and two grandchildren, Maya Luna Sherlick and Finn Sherlick. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 9 a.m. from Funk Funeral Home, 35 Bellevue Ave., Bristol, CT to St. Stanislaus Church, 510 West Street, Bristol, for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in Peacedale Cemetery, Bristol. Relatives and friends may call at the funeral home on Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. A memorial celebration of Chris”s life will be held at a future date in Arlington, VA. Memorial donations may be made to a charity of the donor”s choice. On line guestbook available at:

Written by cdorobek

June 17, 2009 at 3:50 PM Watching the Web 2.0 effect in Iran – and a real gov 2.0 hero

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It is just fascinating to watch what is happening in Iran. It is interesting with all the discussion about how the Obama campaign used so-called “new media,” but this is almost more… not real, but… more raw, maybe… it is fascinating to see how it is happening. And one of the remarkable examples is happening right before our eyes in Iran.’s Nancy Scola has an excellent round-up of what people are doing — fascinating ways of supporting eDemocracy or whatever this will end up being. “By just about any measure, we’re seeing just an overwhelming amount of online information, direction, and action around Iran. Making any sense of it is a real challenge,” she writes… and somehow, one just has a sense that whatever the outcome, this is going to have ramifications.

Jared Cohen

Jared Cohen

Meanwhile, while I somehow made a list of gov 2.0 heros, there is a real hero coming from this situation: 27-year-old Jared Cohen, a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, who, according to the NYT, placed the call to Twitter on Monday, inquiring about their plan to perform maintenance in what would be the middle of the day, Iran time. [Hat tip to the Bay Newser blog… and don’t miss the November 2007 profile of Cohen in the New Yorker, Condi’s Party Starter. The New Yorker notes, “Before his State Department days, while he was still a graduate student at Oxford, Cohen talked his way into a visa for Iran, where he hoped to interview members of the political resistance. Instead, he made friends his own age.”… And yes, I did type November 2007. Whew! I’m feeling like I live under a log or something.]

From the NYT story headlined U.S. Steps Gingerly Into Tumult in Iran:

The request, made to a Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, is yet another new-media milestone: the recognition by the United States government that an Internet blogging service that did not exist four years ago has the potential to change history in an ancient Islamic country.

“This was just a call to say: ‘It appears Twitter is playing an important role at a crucial time in Iran. Could you keep it going?’ ” said P.J. Crowley, the assistant secretary of state for public affairs.

Twitter complied with the request, saying in a blog post on Monday that it put off the upgrade until late Tuesday afternoon — 1:30 a.m. Wednesday in Tehran — because its partners recognized “the role Twitter is currently playing as an important communication tool in Iran.” The network was working normally again by Tuesday evening. The State Department said its request did not amount to meddling. Mr. Cohen, they noted, did not contact Twitter until three days after the vote was held and well after the protests had begun.

Meddling? To the contrary, it seems like very agile thinking on the part of Mr. Cohen.

But it does seem like we are seeing the early glimpses of what could be a watershed moment. Web 2.0 guru Clay Shirky has a fascinating Q&A on the TED Blog and he says, “This is the big one.”

Q: What do you make of what’s going on in Iran right now.
Shirky: I’m always a little reticent to draws lessons from things still unfolding, but it seems pretty clear that … this is it. The big one. This is the first revolution that has been catapulted onto a global stage and transformed by social media. I’ve been thinking a lot about the Chicago demonstrations of 1968 where they chanted “the whole world is watching.” Really, that wasn’t true then. But this time it’s true … and people throughout the world are not only listening but responding. They’re engaging with individual participants, they’re passing on their messages to their friends, and they’re even providing detailed instructions to enable web proxies allowing Internet access that the authorities can’t immediately censor. That kind of participation is really extraordinary.

Read the full conversation here. Of course — shameless plug — read Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Meet the Innovators conversation with Shirkypart one… and part two

Back to State Department’s Cohen for a moment… I noted the New Yorker about his getting into Iran. That spurred a book, Children of Jihad: A Young American’s Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East. The book’s self-description: “Defying foreign government orders and interviewing terrorists face to face, a young American tours hostile lands to learn about Middle Eastern youth—and uncovers a subculture that defies every stereotype.” And yes, I did just download it onto my Kindle. You can read an excerpt of the book here.

Meanwhile, we are working to get folks on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris this afternoon who can provide insight about what all of this means. It is still a work in progress, so… as we say in radio, stay tuned.

Written by cdorobek

June 17, 2009 at 7:57 AM

DorobekInsider named a GovFresh Gov 2.0 hero

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I’m not big into tooting my own horn — in general, do you really care — but… this one was nice. (That being said… the Bette Midler quote somehow is going through my head right how: Movie quote Enough about me what do you think about me?)

The Web site GovFresh, which provides “live feed of official news from U.S. Government Twitter, YouTube, RSS, Facebook, Flickr accounts and more, all in one place,” named me as a “Gov 2.0 hero.”

GovFresh asked me to answer three questions:

* What was your path to Gov 2.0?
* What area of government offers the biggest opportunity for improvement via Web 2.0 tools?
* What’s the killer app that will make Gov 2.0 the norm instead of the exception?
* What part of Gov 2.0 most excites you?

Read more here.

It is good company so far… including…
* Steve Radick, the social media lead for Booz Allen Hamilton
* Scott Horvath, a public affairs specialist/web developer with the U.S. Geological Survey
* Steve Ressler, the founder of GovLoop

Written by cdorobek

June 16, 2009 at 2:41 PM

DorobekInsider: The July Federal News Radio Book Club book: Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation

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Our next meeting of the Federal News Radio Book Club is what we call a “get” — we will be talking about a book selected by Aneesh Chopra, the first ever federal chief technology officer, and Chopra will be with us for the discussion.

The details:
When: Friday, July 31 at 2p ET July 17 at 2p ET TIME UPDATED
Where: On Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose program and on
The book: Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation by James P. Andrew, Harold L. Sirkin, and John Butman — and James Andrew, Global Leader
Senior Partner & Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group’s innovation group will be joining us… so not a bad line-up: Chopra, Andrews and then Rose and Dorobek.

Just a reminder in case you have not participated in a Federal News Radio Book Club “meeting” before: It is something akin to the Oprah book club except we talk about books that help feds do their jobs better. And perhaps unlike other book clubs, our “meetings” take place on the radio — specifically on on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose and online at And we’d love to hear your thoughts about these issues. Comments will soon be available here. I have also set up a Facebook event page for the book club.

How did this come about: Well, Obama CTO Aneesh Chopra, in his interview with Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller, mentioned the book. I have posted part one of the interview below:

You can hear part two here.

As soon as I heard the interview, I sent a note to Chopra and his team… and to Andrews… both were interested… and we worked out the details and…

I started reading the book over the weekend and it is definitely a fascinating read. The book was written for the private sector, but… there is plenty in there that is applicable to government… and I know that Chopra will bring the pieces today.

I’m a third of the way through the book. I’ll post some liner notes when I’m a bit further along.

In the meantime, mark your calendar… Friday, July 17 at 2p ET for the Federal News Radio Book Club discussing Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation by by James P. Andrew, Harold L. Sirkin, and John Butman.

Previous Federal News Radio Book Club “meetings”:

* The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
* What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
* Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.

* Fired Up or Burned Out: How to reignite your team’s passion, creativity, and productivity by Michael Lee Stallard. Read more and hear the book club meeting here.

Written by cdorobek

June 15, 2009 at 3:11 PM