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Posts tagged ‘Govloop’


Taking the “2.0” Out of Technology

This topic has been coming up a lot lately. I wrote about it a few weeks back: Social Tools Do Not a Process Make. A lot of people are overly focused on technology as a solution rather than a tool that can be used to re-enforce good policy, procedures, etc. (Read=Process) Fellow GovLoop-er, and communications consultant, Steve Radick has mentioned this a few times in his blogs as of late as well.

One can argue that “2.0 technology” is so “large” or “innovative” that it’s a game changer, but this is a standard technology argument that is as old as the world it’s self. One must recall the definition of technology to understand my point: (According to Merriam-Webster) Technology=”a manner of accomplishing a task especially using technical processes, methods, or knowledge.” By this definition technology isn’t a “thing” it’s a how and this is important to understand in discussion. Changing how we do something requires good process, methods, and/or knowledge. Lacking any of these things technology typically serves to only make things more complicated instead of easier. (As stated, how many projects can one point to that has suffered this reality?) Thus, we suffer from the reality that technology can be a double edged sword if not applied correctly to resolve a problem and in fact can end up causing more problems than it was implemented to resolve. (If this is the case, then by technical definition you have already failed.) This is the root problem in technology innovation: We can be motivated to change process due to some shiny new object that promises world peace, when all we really needed was a tool/technology that makes our processes better.

So, I leave you with this: 1.) Innovation for the sake of innovation is typically doomed to fail as it doesn’t have a problem to solve. 2.) If lacking solid process, methodology, and/or knowledge technology will typically lead to frustration rather than solutions. and 3.) Tools/Technology: no matter how shiny and awesome they are, should never be the independent solution, they are only a means to accomplishing the mission/goal.

Technology does make our lives easier, but only appropriately applied technology to existing (and solid) processes change the world we live in for the better.  What we need is a “Process 2.0” driven work place, that uses the right techonlogy for the job and appropriately engages people while solving problems.


Open Data For Government Goes Coast to Coast (Are you Ready?)

A natural leader in the open data movement, Adriel Hampton is on a mission and that mission is to get you (yes you) involved.

“On December 10-11, at the winter CityCampSF Hackathon, Gov 2.0 advocates will publicly launch an advocacy campaign to institute an open data standard in San Francisco municipal and California state law.”

If open data standards is something you believe in, as most of us in the business do, Adriel is really working on a major movement here.  Sure it may be focused on San Fran right now, but nothing stays in the bounds of a single city and/or state when the answer is one that actually applies coast to coast.  And the best way to get from one city to across the nation is to have help from everyone from all over.

So what does “open data” mean to you?  Does it mean enough that you’ll jump on board and help out a movement?

Look over the materials Adriel has put together, throw some help his way, and be a part of the future.  It’s happening now..

[Source: Adriel Nation]


Budget Hero 2.0 (Get Your Game on and Save the Republic!)

Many news agencies are reporting that everyone’s favorite flashbased game has recently been upgraded and just in time.  Budget Hero 2.0 is now live! (Budget Hero 2.0)  Back in 2008 the first version of Budget Hero hit the interwebs as a device to help educate individuals on just how complicated our Nation’s budget is.  The good people of American Public Media have truly found a gem in this use of media, and more to the point casual gaming, as a way to educate people on the difficulties of a balanced budget.

So what do you think? Can YOU balance the budget and save the Republic from almost certain economic doom?

..public engagement over issues that truly matter..epic win.


What is Govloop to YOU?

With so many different types of social networks now present in today’s society and Google adding yet another one to the mix, I have often wondered if it is truly fair to reference Govloop as the, “Facebook for Government.” Sure, at the time, the reference was the most clear picture that could be provided to get even the most non-tech oriented people tuned in to just what this Govloop thingy was.

Though, I present for consideration that things have changed over the years and consideration of just what Facebook, Google+, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc are is modeled not just on their name and branding, but rather what the communities do for their members. The same thing directly applies to Govloop and the massive community of government employees and contractors it has become today.

Take this into consideration:
1.) Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.
2.) LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network.
3.) MySpace is social entertainment.

Is Govloop still the “Facebook for Government” or even, “The Social Network for Government,” or is it now, “The Network for Government Innovation and Collaboration?

So, I ask fellow Govloop Rockstars, what is Govloop to YOU?


For Your Consideration: Facebook More “Private” Than Google+? A Closer Look Down the Rabbit Hole..

I have seen a lot of discussion on the privacy of Facebook vs. Google+ and have felt the need to really dive into this topic as it seems most are unaware of the functionality and/or actual usage of information we as end users provide to Facebook and Google.

Unlike facebook, which allows access controls at a very macro level (e.g., at the account level), Google actually allows access controlls now via multiple catagories on who and how people view your information they have linked across all of their acess points. You do point out the simple fact that Google has a LOT of our data, however you incorrectly correlate that Google is “evil” and that they are out to make all of said data available to anyone who comes across it in a search. This is simply not the case, and trust me I’ve been looking it over ALL weekend, as probably the BEST feature of Google+ is now that it allows you to choose your level of access control for EVERY component you are linking and/or sharing via Google. Now granted this means a user needs to go in and set every stinking piece of information Google can share, let us at least be glad they have given us the ability to do so.

So, let’s revisit the Facebook issue of being “less evil”: As mentioned previously, Facebook has decided to allow access control at the macro (read=Account level). To an extent this is good control as it requires individuals to request access to your entire existance. However, I think Google correctly makes the correct decision to allow the user to decide what information is discoverable and sharable at a very specific level of control. This means that information you CHOOSE to share can be shared openly or information can be controlled that you wish to keep only between friends and family. Furthermore, Google+ also provides you the ability to set up notifications for just about every account level interaction. (Annoying to most, interesting to a few, and useful probably just to one or two of us.) Now, all that being said, let us also remember that Facebook has branched well outside of just profile based sharing and is now used across the board as a form of “authentication” for third party websites. (e.g., flash games, news media websites, blogs, etc.) To assume this information is protected at the same level by your account privacy protections may be a tad on the assumption side. (Note that each time a website asks to use Facebook for authentication most are informing you that the same privacy controls DO NOT APPLY.) As proven by past articles and even law suits, we know Facebook collects all of these interactions and information just as Google does. My argument, for consideration here, is that, at least with Goolge the control of your information is transparent, where the jury is still out with Facebook.

..buyer beware..things are not as they seem..

Least we forget that BOTH organizations are out to gain market share, increase advertising dollars, AND make money. When these things combined we must remain well educated end users to ensure we know exactly what is taking place with our information.  Like most things in life, nothing is easy, but always worth a closer look.  Take the time and understand what privacy controls BOTH Facebook and Google+ have to offer and control your information as YOU see fit.  You may be surprised to find out just how much control you really have, or don’t have as the case may be.