Government 2.0 Club is an informal organization focused on convening the tribe of technologists and thinkers focused on applying social technologies to the governments worldwide.
Roadblocks and Web 2.0
June 7, 2009 at 12:32 pm #73499
The below link also includes an MP3 file of this interview of Cheryl McKinnon
Records management roadblocks and Web 2.0 initiatives
By Dorothy Ramienski
Federal agencies are running into roadblocks with records management requirements as they begin to focus more and more on Web 2.0 initiatives.
Cheryl McKinnon is director of the enterprise 2.0 program management team for Open Text.
On Wednesday's Daily Debrief, she gave hosts Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris an explanation of why problems are happening, as well as what can be done to solve them.
McKinnon says Web 2.0 usage has become more popular lately, but everyone needs to remember exactly what that means.
"It's almost like we need to take a step back and remember that the kinds of content that we're capturing and creating with a lot of these new, more user-generated or collaborative content tools. . . . These are the records, the artifacts of the business decisions and of the policies . . . of our time and so it was a bit of a call to action that some of our customers asked us to look into. What are the implications, if I am a records manager, to get to know what's going on in this new world of electronic content?"
She says one of the issues involves the fact that many office managers first begin to use Web 2.0 tools for personal reasons.
This means they might not understand, at first, how such technology can be translated into the working world.
"It is a bit of a perfect storm because people are now becoming used to these tools, they're very simple to use [and are] easy to access over the Web, and now they're trying to bring these more into work activities beyond just personal or consumer activities."
McKinnon says this is much like what happened about 15 years ago, when e-mail first came on the scene.
"It was initially percieved as a bit of a casual communication tool. Nobody took it very seriously, and [almost] overnight it became the dominant form of business communication once the cost of network bandwidth and desktop Pc's started to drop in the 1990's."
While some learned how to effectively use the new form of electronic communication rather quickly, many didn't and created a conundrum that's still being dealt with today.
"My fear is that if records managers and knowledge managers and information management professionals today aren't trying to explore and understand what some of these new Web 2.0 influcence tools are . . . we could end up in the same kind of problem area that we did with email. Right now email has become a real challenge for agencies because of the sheer volume."
Her call to action, therefore, is awareness.
McKinnon says the best way to do this is to actively get involved with a social network tool or other Web 2.0 technology that really allows one to understand how the new version of the Web works.
"Even if these kinds of tools and practices haven't yet entered your specific agency or line of work, maybe start dabbling in it in a professional capacity. Join an industry association that maybe contributes to a wiki. Perhaps start blogging on trends that you see within your particular area of profession or expertise. Just start to understand what these tools are about, the kind of implications they have, and start to realize first-hand the rewards, but also the risks, of these kinds of tools and be prepared for when they actually come into your workplace."
A good way to get to know what types of tools might benefit you is to look at the appropriate-use policies for some of the existing technologies already in use in your office.
In addition, McKinnon says it's important to understand other office policies, such as those having to do with disclosure, before moving forward.
Another important aspect of this emerging technology, she adds, has to do with the old axiom, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."
"A lot of the same practices around records management shouldn't necessarily change just because a technology tool has changed."
June 8, 2009 at 4:22 am #73501
I'm going in to a series of workshops at my work focusing on Microsoft Sharepoint. The only good I see coming from that is some more people have experience with web-based collaboration tools. Meanwhile, the focus of our Information Mgmt folk is on tools behind the agency firewall, due to perceived security concerns. There is a long way to go...
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