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Where does government social media stand in 2014? – Plus the 7 DorobekINSIDER Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • The federal government shed 79,000 positions in 2013. Personnel is shrinking but demand for government services is on the rise. So what can leaders do to ease the stress on their employees? Can you really do more with less? Insights from Tom Fox at the Partnership for Public Service.

You can find all of our programs online: DorobekINSIDER.com and GovLoop Insights at http://insights.govloop.com.

But up front: Where does government social media stand in 2014? Seeking your insights

We have been talking about “social media” — or Gov 2.0 — whatever your term of choice… We’ve been talking (and doing) this stuff for awhile now. And in so many ways, we’ve come a long way. But how has the world changed? And how is social media helping government accomplish it’s mission?

I will be moderating a panel on January 22 at the AFCEA Bethesda breakfast with an great group of feds who have been out there working on these challenges for awhile now:

  • Tammi Marcoullier, Program Manager, Challenge.gov at GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovation Technologies;
  • Amanda Nguyen (formerly Eamich), Director of Digital, USDA;
  • Eric Nelson, Director, Office of eDiplomacy, Bureau of Information Resource Management, Department of State;
  • Scott Horvath, Director, Web and Social Media Communications, US Geological Service

During a pre-call this week, we discussed our top level question — how have things changed? What are agencies doing now to use these tools? Do they still matter? If so, how? And while these tools have been focused on outbound communication, how are agencies leveraging these tools focusing on their mission?

And, given that the audience will be many government contractors, I’m always curious about what this will mean to how they do their work. (I noted in FCW that GSA’s OASIS contract has created its own social network — called Interact and found at https://interact.gsa.gov )

Some of the other questions:

  • Privacy and security — how to they apply these days?
  • Mobile — I hear it is changing everything. How?

Some pre-reading that I’m doing:

What else should we discuss?

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Federal News Radio: Post conference scandals, agencies struggle to find balance: “Senate lawmakers are concerned with how to ensure agencies don’t slide back into old habits of lavish spending on conferences.”
    1. Read testimony or see the hearing from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
  2. Politico: Jim Moran, who has been a force on government issues, to announce retirement. “Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran will retire after 23 years in the House, according to multiple Democratic sources.”
  3. WSJ: GAO Report: DOE Misclassified Supercomputer Investments. “The Department of Energy said the $368 million it spent on supercomputers isn’t really an IT investment and removed them from the Federal IT Dashboard, a website designed to improve transparency of government IT investments.”
  4. DefenseOne: Cyber Command Budget More Than Doubles: “The House approved a fiscal 2014 spending package that includes $447 million for U.S. Cyber Command — more than double last year’s budget.”
  5. Federal Times: GSA launches social network for GWACs: “Tired of Facebook and Twitter? Ready for a new player on the social media scene? The General Services Administration is creating a social network centered on two of its governmentwide acquisition contracts.”
  6. Federal Times: White House to Detail Security Reforms. “On Friday, President Barack Obama is expected to detail plans for reforming the National Security Agency. The announcement comes nearly a month after a review panel recommended overhauling NSA’s data collection program and enforcing better defenses against insider attacks.”
  7. Federal News Radio: The House has dealt a victory to the Office of Personnel Management’s watchdog. It has passed a bill letting the inspector general access more money for investigations and audits, particularly of the services that OPM provides to other agencies.”

A few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder… yes, we’re trying to help you make your water-cooler time better too

  • The Wall Street Journal: Gartner: CIOs Deprioritize Security: CIOs around the world are becoming less concerned with cybersecurity as other issues take precedence, according to a Gartner Inc. survey. Security ranks No. 8 on the list; 10 years ago it ranked as the top priority, Gartner analyst David Aron told CIO Journal. “It’s the dog in the night that hasn’t barked,” he said. The result may seem surprising, given the spate of breaches that have become public over the past few years – the Target and Neiman Marcus breaches occurred well after the survey was conducted. But the result can be explained in part by the rise of the chief information security officer role, which relieves CIOs of much of the responsibility for cybersecurity, Mr. Aron says. It is also explained by an increased interest by CIOs in driving revenue and, more generally, with developing the capabilities needed to help their organizations manage “a torrent of digital opportunities” — and digital threats. CIOs ranked analytics, mobile and cloud ahead of security in terms of their priorities.
  • The Washington Post: As federal government evolves, its clerical workers edge toward extinction: Ginger Davis is a survivor, one of barely five dozen clerical workers left at the Government Printing Office. Even as her agency has been redefining its mission in an electronic age, Davis has remade herself after 26 years with the federal government, rising from the secretarial ranks to become an executive assistant. When she was offered a job in the human resources office two years ago, she was initially daunted and read every book on executive assistants she could find. “This is my time to shine,” Davis told herself. Across the federal government, the broad rows of desks where secretaries and clerks once typed at least 40 words a minute have vanished. While automation has been transforming the federal workforce for two generations, that change has now accelerated because of budget cuts, with the government under pressure to keep only the clerical staff it needs. Those who remain have often had to revamp the role they play in this new-look workforce.
  • Government Computer News: Smithsonian builds Internet of connected exhibits, specimens, research apps: The Smithsonian Institution is undergoing a massive digital transformation to make the 137 million objects, artworks and specimens in its collection more accessible to museum visitors and researchers around the world. The federally managed research and education institution has 400 terabytes of data related to its exhibits to share with the world and is using a broad range of technologies – including big data analytics and the evolving Internet of Things – to change how the organization interacts with its users, according to Deron Burba, the Smithsonian’s CIO.

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David B. Grinberg

Chris, I think more agencies need to be more proactive in embracing and leveraging social media on a diverse range of platforms — based on their mission and other communications factors. This will help gov be more transparent and build public trust.

FYI, just in case you missed it, I recently penned a blog post on this important topic:

  • Maximizing Social Media: #3 New Year’s Resolution for Uncle Sam

Good luck with the panel, which sounds great.