Web 2.0 Strategy

This is my first post within this space and I need help. I just received a new task to develop a Web 2.0 strategy for the FAA. Has anyone in any agency gone down this road before? I’m looking for trail blazers who are willing to share their experience. I would like to attack this subject from the angles of “purpose” and “business case.”

IMHO, this is not about the technology, but about social interaction. If successful, we intend to implement this strategy starting in 2010. I’ve already found several relevant documents on the Web, and found a lot of relevant material on the Gartner Group site (I have an account). However, I would like to hear “lessons learned” and “proven practices” from others.

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Deb Lavoy

You should contact Jeffrey Levy, who is on this site, who runs social media for the EPA very successfully and is just a wonderful person. You should also look at what the CDC, FDA and TSA are doing. Gwynne Kostin at DHS may also be a help. Lastly, Michael Edson, director of web and new media strategy at the smithsonian is another person you would enjoy knowing and an absolute genius in this space.

Adam Arthur

I have also been put in charge of the same task for the CDC’s National Center for Health Informatics’ “Communities of Practice Program”. We are pretty far along now and have selected our tool. We looked at a ton of different options and considered many opinons, (many from here on GovLoop). These are the initial criteria we kept in mind:

1) The collaboration space must be something that everyone accepts. It is not in the spirit of collaboration to force a new tool on someone. Everyone must have a small say in picking it out.
2) It should be something that improves our current workflow. We are all using tools now that help us do our jobs, so the tool should either utilize compatibility of legacy systems or offer ease of migration.
3) It must be easy for anyone to immediately use. Old-timers and newbies alike must be able to pick it right up and get to work. The work must flow naturally.
4) It must be able to be supported by our current programming/IT staff. You shouldn’t pick a tool that is written in SOAP or Flash when you have a room full of Java and AJAX programmers.
5) It must be able to grow with our needs and have strong back-end support. It must be able to evolve and grow with the changes in technology and our needs. It has to be fully supported by a group that won’t be going under in two years.
6) It must meet our security requirements. It has to be behind our firewalls with bullet-proof access or it can reside behind one of our partners/grantees firewalls with bullet-proof access and admin rights.
7) It must be cheap to startup and operate. We chose to use a fully functional open source platform. The code is free and fully tested by a large programming network. This also better insures a growing, evolving product.

Whatever you choose, be sure it does what it’s suppose to do. Don’t get something just because it has Facebook connections for the sake of having Facebook connections. Every feature should have a real use. If it doesn’t have everything you want, make sure that it can be configured to add it.

If you would like a list of what we looked at and why we chose what we chose, I would be glad to chat with you in a private forum. 🙂

Giora Hadar

Thanks Adam. I would love to chat with you about your experience at CDC. Please email me your contact information and I’ll call you next week.


Happy to help as well. Feel free to send me a message. Depends on what you define as a web 2.0 strategy. Mark Drapeau’s paper from NDU does a good job breaking it into a few different places that I’d encourage to you. Are you looking for external facing solutions with the citizen? Internal collaboration?

Giora Hadar

Hi Steve. I would like to include both internal and citizen facing in my strategy.I intend to to break it into two phases – the first will deal with philosophy, culture, processes, procedures, and tool groups; the second will deal with specific vendors to choose from.

Deb Lavoy

btw – that’s not a solicitation for business – its just an offer for a conversation. I’m not currently consulting for hire.

Giora Hadar

Great Deb. I love this subject too as I’ve been in it for a couple of years. Call me at my office 202-267-9983 Tuesday and let’s talk about this.