HHS’s Todd Park talks about the Community Health Data Initiative, the Department of Defense unveils the newly
improved Social Media Hub, Washington Technology highlights 10
government apps that get results, and the vast majority of Federal
agencies embrace social media while actively working to overcome the
challenges it brings, all in this week’s version of the Rock Creek
—Federal Computer Week’s Alice Lipowicz has an interesting interview with the new CTO for Department of Health and Human Services, Todd Park. In the interview, Park shares his vision for the recently introduced Community Health Data Initiative, saying “CHDI is a public/private collaboration. There is no
organization, no formal agreement, no official anything, just groups
getting together. We are going to continue to supply data to people who
want to build applications. We are not trying to choreograph or control
it. We are just brainstorming.” Well said! The interview is a quick read
and showcases the impact that an innovative thinker and change agent
can have on government.
—“We hope it will exist as more than just a website advertising DoD’s latest Facebook posts or Twitter feed.” That’s how Department of
Defense public affairs specialist Joelle Zarcone characterized DoD’s newly revamped Social Media Hub, released earlier this week. The revamped Social Media Hub
provides a centralized location where DoD employees can access social
media guidelines and training, register an official DoD social media
page, or ask questions and get clarification on social media issues. The
job that they did of revamping and streamlining this page is truly
impressive and does an excellent job of making information accessible in
an easy-to-understand yet attractive manner. Nice work!
—Expanding on their tradition of highlighting 10 great government websites, Washington Technology this week unveiled a new list—10 government apps that “get results.” Among those featured are the Twitter Earthquake Detector, developed by the US Geological Survey; the Environmental Protection Agency’s Puget Sound and watershed management wiki; and Pillbox, a creation of the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of
Medicine. Although Washington Technology classifies the entries as “not a
definitive list,” the featured apps provide great examples of
innovation and creative thinking within government.
—It wasn’t that long ago that a “tweet” was simply a sound made by a bird, not a 140-character microblog entry. That’s why it seems so
amazing that today, 22 of the nation’s 24 Federal agencies are now using social media,
according to the Government Accountability Office’s director of
information security issues Gregory Wilshusen. But, Wilshusen warns,
agencies still must develop ways to meet the challenges that social
media brings, mainly in the areas of privacy and records management.
It’s clear we have a way to go before all of the kinks are worked out,
but we should still take time to applaud how far we’ve come—and 22 out
of 24 is impressive no matter how you look at it!