Lots to Learn

I’ve decided that its high time for me to get serious about finding ways to at least try and implement some Web 2.0 ideas at the Department of Treasury. I’m in the extremely formative stages (and have absolutely no power to implement them on my own) but I’m thinking that Treasury needs to become more active in the following technologies:

– Blogs: Such a great management tool and we don’t use it much.
– Twitter: Could be used to communicate with the public. (Transparency and TARP– yes this would be hugely controversial)
– Wiki: Again, a possible management tool. Also a possible way to interact with the public (blogs also)

With the new administration coming in, its such an exciting time and I hope we’ll see some direction/energy that will lead us to start moving in this direction. Anyone have any thoughts/best practices and/or just want to brainstorm on ways to implement? I”ll buy the first round of coffee….


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You can buy me a cup of coffee when I’m in town next week. But I might order a latte.

There are a number of best practices (many of which are members of GovLoop)
-State Department Briefing 2.0, Diplopedia
-EPA – Radon YouTube contest, EPA greenversations and twitter
-TSA Blog, TSA Idea Factory
-GSA CIO and NASA Goddard CIO blogs.

I think the key is to find the right leadership at the right time to green light a project. These projects should be cheap and quick with the right support.

The new administration just stated that an open gov’t memo will be created by the new CTO, GSA, and OMB and released in 120 days. I think that will really create a lot of magic.

Jeffrey Levy

Brent: have you seen the info on social media on webcontent.gov?

You seem to get the point it’s all about mission accomplishment, but also keep in mind it’s okay to experiment. Even if you don’t quite nail down every aspect of something, give it a shot. Here are some ideas:
– create an iframed widget that shows how much the debt is now (don’t know what “iframed widget” means? Go learn. Here are some examples from EPA.
– start an internal blog about your job. invite others (e.g., your managers) to write for it. Keep it internal by setting it up to be visible only to people you invite. For example, create a private group on GovLoop (I think).
– Figure out how to put Treasury’s news releases automatically on Twitter. One solution is twitterfeed, which EPA uses. We had no idea when we put our blog’s RSS feed on Twitter back in April whether anyone would care, but we passed 1000 followers today.
– Got any quirky money-related pics or videos? Share them here on GovLoop.

Basically, learn about the tools, find one that meshes with your mission somehow, and give it a shot.

Good luck!

Paulette Neal-Allen

I would second Jean-Paul’s statement that technology shouldn’t be implemented just for techology’s sake. That said, I believe that you stated that you can see uses that align with the department’s objectives, and I think that’s the way to go. A blog from the Dept of Treasury would by its very nature not be as “sexy” as, say, DipNote, but informative in and of itself.

I have to say, I would probably follow a blog or Twitter feed that was about TARP, at least initially, even though I would most likely have no clue what a lot of the details were about or really meant. Whether I kept following it or not would depend on whether I could figure out what it was talking about and whether or not it sounded like it was just a line of BS or not.

Ken Mac Garrigle

Government Blogs (at the moment) are basically rehashed press releases (See what a good job we’re doing!) and/or rehashed ‘Sig Events’ (We implented xxx…) Yawn.

Most gov execs are petrified by the word Blog. And if you *run it by the top executives* it will probably not get off the ground.

Suggest you get a GS-15 or SES forward-looking type to help champion your cause (you write the blog – not them) and then once you get the slightest whiff of approval, run with it! (Ask forgiveness later)

I can think there would be some interesting behind the scenes insight you can tell us about Treasury… I mean, what’s up with the black and white tiles, anyway? (-:


Brent Bushey

Haven’t commented on everyone’s thoughts… all really good stuff. I’m not getting much support here on the different ideas but I plan on continuing to bang my head against the desk. I do like the internal blog idea as well as the pics idea… gotta run with it.

Ken– no idea on the white and black tiles– I work in a satellite office but get to see them quite a bit in meetings– I think they’re pretty cool. More soon….