It’s the big FOSE trade show next week. Despite a rough year and questions about how many people will be there, FOSE still is the only place where the government IT community comes together as a community — and that’s important. I’ll be interested to see how crowded it is. (One vendor told me thatFOSE would not release the number of people registered.)
Regardless, I’ll be there.
Three events worth attending… Rock star Mike Causey’s benefits forum… AFFIRM’s session on Web 2.0 and intel… and my panel, Government 2.0: Evolution or Revolution.
* Web 2.0 and intel, sponsored by AFFIRM (03.10.2009; 11:30a-1:30p; Room unknown)
This panel, sponsored by AFFIRM , is being moderated by Tom Temin, co-anchor of Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Jane Norris … Among the speakers: – Michael Kennedy, director, Enterprise Solutions, Intelligence Community Enterprise Solutions; Associate Director of National Intelligence & CIO – Alex Voultepsis, Chief of Enterprise Services Division, Intelligence Community Enterprise Solutions, Office of the Director of National Intelligence – John Hale, Chief of Service Delivery, Director of National Intelligence, Chief Information Officer, Intelligence Community Enterprise Solutions (ICES)
The intel community deserves a lot of credit for Intellipedia, a suite of social networking tools anchored by a Wikipedia-like wiki where people in the intelligence community can post information. And it has blazed the trail in so many ways that one has to imagine we will look back on it with, as one person said on Twitter, “the reverence it deserves.”
And there is a bit of debate about whether the intel leadership is fostering its growth. This is the headline from a recent piece in Government Computer News: Intellipedia suffers midlife crisis. And the piece quotes Chris Rasmussen, who works for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and a member of the team that created Intellipedia:
“We are struggling to take it to the next level,” said Chris Rasmussen, a social-software knowledge manager and trainer at the NationalGeospatial Intelligence Agency, speaking by phone to the Semantic Community–Semantic Exchange Workshop held yesterday in Falls Church, Va. “Grass roots will only get you so far. [Intellipedia] is going well. But we’re not replacing the big-agency systems,” he added.
The problem? The growth of the collective intelligence site so far largely has been fueled by early adopters and enthusiasts, according to Rasmussen. About all those who would have joined and shared their knowledge on the social networking site have already done so. If the intelligence agencies want to get further gains from the site, they need to incorporate it into their own formal decision making process, he contended. Until that happens, the social networking aspect ofIntellipedia is “just a marginal revolution,” he said.
It will be fascinating to see what the intel leadership says… and it leads right in my panel on Wednesday…
* Government 2.0: Evolution or revolution (Wednesday 03.11.2009; 10-11:30a; at last report room 146 B/C)
I will be moderating this panel, which is sponsored by ACT/IAC. If you have not registered, follow this link and you get into the session — and FOSE — for free. (How’s that for a deal?)
And we have a fantastic group… – The previously mentioned Rasmussen – Martha Dorris, the acting associate administrator of the General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications, which leads USA.gov – Mark Drapeau of the National Defense University – And Steve Ressler, the founder of GovLoop, the social network for feds (I’ve heard from numerous people that Ressler really wowed people at last week’s IPIC 2009 conference.)
We’re having a call on Monday to go over what we will cover, but… my sense is we’ll touch on Rasmussen’s comments… amplified here inDrapeau’s column, Government 2.0: The midlife crisis.
Government 2.0 has reached its midlife crisis. Despite some leadership from influential individuals on using social software in government, there is still in many cases a disconnect between authorities issuing directives and ground troops carrying them out. In some corridors of Washington, this impervious middle section of government is jokingly referred to as “the clay layer,” the layer through which no light shall pass. Resistant to change and adhering strictly to doctrine even when nonsensical, people in the clay layer can halt progress. Despite their intentions and being in a strategic position, they often stop the progress being called for.
This midlife crisis was pointed out by one of Government 2.0’s most outspoken evangelists, Chris Rasmussen, of the U.S. intelligence community, at a well-attended event held recently in the Washington area. As covered in a widely read trade press article, Rasmussen lamented the impossibly high standards that social tools are held to, even within government firewalls. Furthermore, many tools, such asIntellipedia, are used as supplements to (rather than substitutes for) legacy systems. As Clay Shirky once quipped, this is like putting an engine on a rowboat to make the oars go faster.
Frankly, the concept of government 2.0 being in “mid-life” to me is just preposterous. We’re so far from mid-life, I’m not sure this baby is even walking yet. But… there definitely is this varied views that we’ve been talking about here on the DorobekInsider too, so… let’s talk about it.
And, by the way, while we do have a panel, this will be a discussion, so… I hope you’ll join in the discussion — I think it is an important one — and a relevant one to the challenges agencies are facing right now.