So I’ve been sitting on Dr. Mark Drapeau’s (with Linton Wells) paper entitled Social Software and National Security (download here) for a few weeks.
I took a quick peruse the other day and was digging what I was reading but thought I’d take a deeper dive on a Sunday morning.
Here are my thoughts:
1) Interesting title. I’ve noticed people don’t use the term “social software” very often. It seems like we are still battling terms that actually mean something but also excite the common purpose. Thus the battle between Gov 2.0 and other terms like open government. I read a blog by Forrester the other day trying to stop the use of the term “social media”
2) This is so true and the problem is technology/web 2.0 sites move so fast that they are always late. I loved it at my old job when they blocked Myspace but not Facebook. Ha….”There is no coordinated, department-wide policy for DOD (or, insofar as we are aware, any other USG agency) or set of guidelines for using the universe of social software tools internally, between agencies or other entities, or with the public. It is unclear in many cases who, what, when, where, why, and how such tools should be used while at work, and while not at work. This leads to confusion and inconsistencies. One USG agency blocks a certain Web 2.0 site, and another down the street allows it.”
3) While not incredibly catchy (we got to create some better buzzword framework around this), I like the framework used in this paper: inward sharing, outward sharing, inbound sharing, and outbound sharing. I haven’t seen such a specific framework but I think it is useful. Reading the paper the differences became evident and useful. My first take though is the names of the terms are too similar and bleed together.
4) Love Company Command (ex. 2.1.1) – Those guys rock. Google the story if you can. It’s Gov 2.0 started 10 years ago.
5) I’ve heard about that GovLoop thing (ex. 2.2.1) – I’m skeptical but it sounds cool……ha…..
6) This paper does a good overview of the four types of social software uses and a couple good examples. Pretty basic stuff if you’ve been in the space. But also very clear, brief, with nice examples to pitch the new boss.
7) I like this recommendation – “Analyze the Balance b/w Sharing and Security” – People always forget we always take risks with our employees – we allow them to go home where they can leak info to friends/family, we give them email where they can attach files and sent to reporters, etc. – “This does not only apply to the battlefield. In one anecdotal example, a public affairs group is charged with promoting military videos online using YouTube, but simultaneously cannot access YouTube from their work computers. ”
8) Prepare to Discard Some Legacy Systems and Processes – Another recommendation I like. Essentially, social software is not just an add-on to existing systems and processes. To truly be revolutionary, it needs to replace existing actions so it’s not just more work. For example, a move to a robust wiki/collaboration system should lead to reduce email not both.
In general, I think it is a good overview for anyone trying to understand the changes and possibilities when Web 2.0 and Government meet. Insiders should send the paper to their boss as a good overview – bosses always like to hear the same ideas from another trusted source (and DOD, NDU is a good one – it’s not the young, hip, free-spirit agency that one would expect to pushing this message). People new to the space should read this paper as a good intro.
My only downside of the paper is I think we can snazz it up a little. The title and terms in framework make it seem a little drier and more DOD specific than it really is. This is really the fun 101 (or 201) intro to Gov 2.0 you always wanted.
Keep up the good work Drapeau. You’ve written the paper the community has needed….