I talked to the CIOs today at another agency. Very good discussion.
They asked some intelligent questions and seemed genuinely interested. It helped that the new White House website has a blog (albeit without commenting) and talks about communications, transparency, and participation. Presidential interest can’t be the only driver, but it can show where the gov’t will be going. And, of course, the new president is right in emphasizing those things.
I also discussed that it’s a matter of using all the tools available to us to achieve our goals. We don’t do Web 2.0 just to do it, but rather because it’s often a part of the best mix for the job.
And I mentioned how EPA is writing guidelines for how to represent the agency online. Current thinking is that they’ll only be about a page long and focus on facts, citations, and clearly labeling yourself as an EPA employee when you’re doing it on work time. Oh, and your manager has to approve what you’re doing (spending the time and the content of what you’re writing as a blog comment, editing in a wikipedia article, etc.).
The CIOs also raised a couple of interesting issues.
First, if you do use gov’t time and identify yourself as a gov’t employee in a comment on someone else’s blog, how does records retention come into play? It would seem reasonable to think your comment, and the thing you’re commenting on, are valid federal records (your writing, anyway, but it’ll lack context without the original article).
Second, someone mentioned security threats from viruses embedded in videos. That’s the second time I’ve heard this claim, but I’ve never heard any more detail. Can anyone shed light on this question?
Some really good news is that no one thought wasting time on social media sites was a security issue; they recognized it’s a management problem. So they’re now working on opening up access to these sites.
All in all, I’m quite happy with how it went, and I think we now have some interested folks who’ll be doing their own research and starting some social media projects.
I did whip up a few PowerPoint slides, although as usual, the discussion was more detailed than the slides alone. But if you’re curious, I posted the file on slideshare, and you’re welcome to look, download, and use. Many thanks to Jeremy Caplan at the Dept. of Commerce for the big circle image on the second-to-last slide.