Gov 2.0 Round Up May 28 Edition

The Gov 2.0 Expo comes to a close, GovLoop’s founder gives advice on government “awesomeness,” the city of Manor, TX, innovates again, and a public/private partnership will bring the mysterious planet of Mars much closer to home, all in this week’s pre-Memorial Day edition of the Rock Creek Roundup.

–I was fortunate enough to attend the Gov 2.0 Expo this past week, and was impressed by the presentations and discussions I took part in. I particularly enjoyed the session by people from the Smithsonian. They discussed their transparent web strategy development process. Check out their web strategy wiki. It’s a great resource. If you weren’t able to make it to the Expo, you can check out videos, speaker slides, and other information on the Expo website, and can also get a feel for the event by checking out the 33 top tweets for each conference day.

–GovLoop founder and Gov 2.0 luminary Steve Ressler is known for his insightful posts and comments, and his “5 Tips for Leveraging Social Networks for Government Awesomeness” is no exception. In this article, Ressler urges government employees to enlist, engage, empower, enforce, and enthuse their way to social networking success. Among Ressler’s specific tips is to identify and deputize those 1% of your social networking users who are wholeheartedly invested in your success, because when you give your rock stars “a microphone and let them sing, they’ll draw a crowd, too.” This one’s worth a bookmark.

–The small town of Manor, TX, is once again pushing the technology envelope. The city is now testing a two-way emergency communications platform. The purpose of the platform is to allow government officials to send location-specific alerts to citizens during emergency situations and let citizens provide information back to officials. The system, which makes use of smartphones and cloud computing, is being tested with a select group of citizens over the next six months. During times of crisis, knowing who needs help and where they are is just as important as providing directions and instructions. Kudos to Manor for continuing to take a leadership role in local government e-innovations.

–If you’ve always wanted a chance to see the red planet (relatively) up close and personal, your opportunity is coming soon. Thanks to a partnership between NASA and Microsoft, high-resolution images of Mars are almost ready for the public, via Microsoft’s Worldwide Telescope. Users will be able to virtually “fly” over the planet’s surface and will be able to focus in on specific areas. According to Chris Kemp, NASA’s CTO for IT, this is “the highest resolution data available.” I think we’ll continue to see these public/private partnerships continue to grow as government agencies focus on being more transparent and accessible.

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