I was reading through the blogs on Gov Loop earlier today. A lot of what I saw was “Web 2.0 this” and “Web 2.0 that”. But when I read more, well, it all started to sound the same. We all want our government agencies to actively use it in some way, but there are some bumps in that road.
Yeah. Tell me about it. For the last seven or eight years I’ve chaired a web policy group for the Department of Commerce. The past year we have been hard at work on creating guidelines for our various agencies on the use of Web 2.0 services. Woof. Talk about a frustrating job. It would help if the industry would stop evolving. There’s nothing quite like developing policy for a moving target.
If anyone out there reads my blogs, you know that I don’t usually blog about work. Reading about other folks’ jobs doesn’t interest me, so I can’t imagine that blathering about my job could interest anyone else. But obviously I’ve made an exception here.
The biggest resistance to Web 2.0 technologies is the security risk. After the procession of incredibly careless people who let laptops containing personal data go missing, we have all had to clamp down to a nearly insane degree on security. Some SES folks have actually turned in their office provided laptops because working with the security safeguards is not worth their time or trouble.
I often wonder if half this nonsense isn’t caused by over-zealous security services vendors who paint the scenario from hell when chatting up agency CIOs. There has to a reason why that section of the Commerce Department that stamps the lids of tuna cans has better security than the CIA.
But I digress. The government is a leviathan-sized bureaucracy, through no fault of its own. All those checks and balances built into it to make it FAIR in reality make it unwieldy. Getting it to move quickly to embrace any new technology is an uphill battle. I mean it was just recently that the Vatican apologized about Galileo. We might have better luck over-hauling health care…