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Gov 2.0 Roundup: Week of February 11, 2011

The General Services Administration unveils a sustainability tool, Seattle government makes interacting with the city easier with a single login, Jeff Pon gives tips on addressing the boss’s concerns about telework, and FEMA uses Twitter to talk and to listen, all in this week’s version of the Gov 2.0 Roundup.

–Earlier this week, the General Services Administration (GSA) unveiled an online tool that will help building managers identify “green” alternatives when considering renovation options for their building. The online tool, called the Sustainable Facilities Tool, offers a 3-D look at a virtual office building and points out areas and elements that can have more environmentally friendly alternatives. The tool will suggest materials and products that can help businesses save energy, and users are invited to upload their own finished project designs that showcase how they have been able to include sustainable elements in their workplace design.

–There are fewer things more frustrating than having to remember a login and password for one site and yet another login and password for another site—especially if the sites are related enough that one login should be sufficient. Government officials in Seattle recently launched a one-step solution to the multiple login issue through MySeattle.gov, a portal that allows citizens to log in once and then access their city services and customize their pages. The single login takes the place of more than 50 online registration pages that had been scattered through the city’s website. Officials believe the changes to the site will help not only residents but also vendors who do business with the city on a regular basis.

–For many federal employees, the only thing standing between them and telework is the boss. With the Administration embracing and even celebrating telework, the largest obstacle to telework seems to be the managers and directors who would be implementing the policies within their offices. In a great article over at Federal Computer Week, Jeff Pon of Booz Allen outlines the four factors that cause many federal managers to resist telework—including concerns about technology and security, fears of employees who are disengaged, challenges around the complexity of interaction, and concerns about trust—and provides insightful, actionable ways to address these concerns.

–With just under 30,000 followers on Twitter, the FEMA Twitter stream is certainly one of the most popular among federal government agencies. And according to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, the agency is ready to use the social networking tool before, during, and after a crisis situation. Rather than just using Twitter as a way to post information, however, Fugate also understands the benefit of monitoring Twitter to get a real-time view of a situation that “official” reports may not provide. For example, Fugate said that his agency monitors Twitter in weather-specific situations, like the recent snow storms, to anticipate what particular areas may need after the weather issues subside. This is a great example of a government agency really using social media tools to provide people with relevant, usable information—and a great example of an agency that understands how it can benefit from keeping an eye on what people are saying. Nice work!

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