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Archive for October 2008

ELC 2008 — the year without Marty… but, in the 10.28 update, real progress

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In many ways, Marty Wagner has been very present at ELC 2008 — in a way, because he is not here. Wagner, of course, had an accident in July and has been in the hospital since then. And this is probably the first ELC — maybe ever — that is Marty-less. While it has been a good conference, it is… Marty-less. It does not have those Wagner insights. And there has been rememberences of Marty… by IBM’s Anne Altman… by Cisco’s Allan Balutis…

Last week, we got word that Wagner has been showing progress… and then, tonight, word of real progress.

Martin has begun to actually repeat and say basic words. He has very distinctly been repeating numbers, the alphabet, names and other words with some of us. What a joy to hear him say family names, including his own! Staff tell us that he can count to ten by himself. He now answers with the word “yes” to questions, unfortunately even when the answer should be no. Regardless, we think it is very impressive since he was in a vegetative state just two weeks ago! The speech therapist has given us a number of tips to help him vocalize. We are very encouraged by this development since it is the first clear sign to us of his cognitive recovery potential.

It’s very good news.

Written by cdorobek

October 28, 2008 at 12:38 AM

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Navy out with one of the first Web 2.0 policy memos

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Robert Carey, the CIO of the Department of the Navy, was the first CIO with a public blog. Well, now the Department of Navy’s CIO’s office is out with what I believe is one of the first policy memo on the use of Web 2.0. We’re working to get Carey on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris soon to talk about it.

You can read the five page document for yourself here [PDF] and find it on the Navy’s CIO site here [link to a PDF].

The purpose of this memo is to provide initial guidance for all Navy and Marine Corps commands regarding the use of emerging web tools to facilitate collaboration and information sharing in the Department of the Navy. These tools, described in enclosure (I) include wikis, blogs, mash ups, web feeds (such as, Really Simple Syndication and Rich Site Summary (RSS) feeds), and forums, which are often referred to as components of “Web 2.0” and can significantly enhance mission effectiveness through collaboration. The Department endorses the secure use of Web 2.0 tools to enhance communication, collaboration and information exchange; streamline processes; and foster productivity improvements. However, their application must not compromise data confidentiality and integrity.

The Oct. 20, 2008 memo is not very specific — it is only five pages, and a lot of that is definitions. I think that is on purpose. Carey told me that they left it somewhat vague — this is a first go at a policy and I think there is an acknowledgment that this is going to have to evolve as the tools evolve. The policy is designed to guide and to ensure that people think — and address — all of the important issues, such as security, for example.

Two key quotes from the document:

  • Do it — safely: “The Department endorses the secure use of Web 2.0 tools to enhance communication, collaboration, and information exchange; streamline processes; and foster productivity improvements. Useof these tools supports Department of Defense (DoD) and DON goals of achieving an interoperable, net-centric environment by improving the warfighter’s effectiveness through seamless access to critical information. Web 2.0 tools are useful in a global enterprise, such as the DON,’ as they enable widely dispersed commands and personnel to more effectively collaborate and share information.”
  • Why it matters: “The gains in productivity, efficiency, and innovation can be significant. Commands are encouraged to use Web 2.0 tools, consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and policies.
  • Let’s be careful out there: “While these collaborative tools present many useful opportunities, their application must not compromise data confidentiality and integrity.”

The National Academy of Public Administration’s Collaboration Project is also working on a framework of a government Web 2.0 policy. They had initial meetings last week — no, they wouldn’t let me attend. They hope to have a framework out early next year.

EPA CIO Molly O’Neill put out a memo on Web 2.0 on Dec. 17, 2007. I’m not sure if that was technically a policy, but… The memo presented the “initial guidelines for the use of Web 2.0 at EPA, which presented some precursory guidelines for the use of Web 2.0 as we explore these technologies and put them to use at EPA.

Here are those principles:

Initial Guidelines for the use of Web 2.0 at EPA
    We are all beginning to consider how we can best use Web 2.0 at EPA. As we learn, we need to keep the following in mind:

  1. Normal product review processes apply to using Web 2.0 for public access. Please discuss any ideas you have with your content and infrastructure coordinators (see the list at Through the Web Council, they will coordinate with both OEI and the Office of Public Affairs.
  2. We will be seeking guidance from the Office of General Counsel on whether the use of the Web 2.0 technologies raises any new legal issues. In the interim, please refer to OEI’s existing information policies and guidance concerning the use of the Agency’s website and the Internet, which are available at; Web-specific policies, orders, and memoranda are at
  3. The Agency currently has only one external blog, “Flow of the River” (, written by Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock. We’re learning a lot, and it’s possible we will have more blogs, but it will probably be several months.
  4. Like all federal agencies, we are grappling with many technical and policy issues. Early adopters may need to adjust to emerging approaches.

I think these policies are important. I think it is also important that they focus on collaboration — what can be accomplished. Many organizations already have a ton of hurdles. They need to enable the testing of the water, not be yet another reason to be afraid of the Web 2.0 swimming pool.

Written by cdorobek

October 27, 2008 at 6:17 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

Most read DorobekInsider items for the past week

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Written by cdorobek

October 27, 2008 at 9:03 AM

Posted in DorobekInsider

The food of ELC 2008 — Sunday night, Oct. 26

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This is the first of regular posts “profiling” the food on the circuit.

This is from ACT/IAC’s ELC 2008 here at the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, VA.

Caramelized onion and cheese tart with mixed baby greens

Grilled chicken breast and stuffed shrimp, savory corn bread stuffing, roasted tomato coulis, and a lend of seasonal vegetables

Written by cdorobek

October 27, 2008 at 1:46 AM

Posted in Circuit, Food

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IAC’s ELC 2008 — Sunday night: political analyst Charlie Cook

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I have mentioned that I’m down at ACT/IAC’s Executive Leadership Conference 2008 through Tuesday. The lead-off speaker tonight was Charlie Cook, a political analyst and the name behind the Cook Political Report.

In general, Cook said that the election was close — until September’s financial crash. The October surprise ended up being a September surprise — and it completely altered the nature of the campaign. At this point, he said, the campaign is 100 percent about the economy.



Some interesting points and/or quotes.

  • The presidential race is over, save a huge event, Cook predicted. “Put a fork in it. This is done,” he said.
  • Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was having a difficult time anyway — an unpopular president, an almostunprecedented desire for change, an unpopular war, and then… the economy.
  • After September and the economy became the issue, national security — McCain’s cornerstone issue — almost evaporated.
  • Going in to September, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) had the lead, but there were still questions — was the lead enough. After the financial mess, that questions has been largely answered… it will be enough.
  • This will be a “train wreck” election for Republicans. That happens — to both parties. But this is the second train wreck election in a row for the Republican party. The GOP could lose anywhere from 7-10 Senate seats… and as high as 30 House seats.
  • Regarding Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, the nomination gave a “short of B-12 for the old guy,” but in the end, the question being asked is whether the section was a “stroke of genius, or just a stroke.” The Palin appointment also undercut McCain’s “experience” argument.
  • All of that being said, the two candidates face very difficult issues come Jan. 20. “Does the winner win? Or does the loser win?” Cook asked.

Cook had other good stories, including one about McCain’s mother, Roberta, who is well in her 90s. When she was 93, she traveled to Paris. Unfortunately they wouldn’t let her rent a car — so she bought a Mercedes so she could tour Europe. She eventually had it shipped to the United States and she picked it up on the East Coast and was driving back to Arizona and, on the trip back, she got a ticket for driving 100-miles-per-hour. That is a strong constitution.

More on the official ELC agenda tomorrow. In addition to sessions, there are keynotes from David Walker, the former comptroller general, and from CNN political analyst Amy Holmes.

I’ll live blog here… and try and post to my Twitter feed too. And I’ll be reporting what has been happening on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris on Monday afternoon. (I’m rushing to get back to be on Tuesday’s show.)

Written by cdorobek

October 27, 2008 at 1:12 AM

Posted in 2008 Vote, Circuit

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Happy birthday to… Bruce McConnell

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Bruce McConnell

A very happy birthday to Bruce McConnell, the former information technology chief at the Office of Management and Budget who went on to be the founder and head of McConnell International and Government Futures, which he recently sold.

Some of the events and birthdays on this date:

I’m watching NBC’s Meet the Press and Tom Brokaw, who is interviewing Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), just noted that this is the anniversary that McCain was shot down. He was flying his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam, when his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a missile over Hanoi. McCain fractured both arms and a leg, and nearly drowned when he parachuted into Truc Bach Lake.[33] Some North Vietnamese pulled him ashore, then others crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt and bayoneted him. McCain was then transported to Hanoi’s main Hoa Lo Prison, nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton.”

(A total aside, but… one of the analysts on Meet the Press this morning is Charlie Cook, who watches congressional races carefully in his Cook Political Report. Meet the Press is coming from Iowa today, but… he is going to be at IAC’s ELC 2008 tonight. Let’s hope there are no flight delays.)

On the other side, it’s the birthday of Sen. Hillary Clinton. (More over on the public radio’s Writer’s Almanac.)

It is the birthday of Mahalia Jackson, the American known as the queen of gospel singing, was born. Following her death on Jan. 27, 1972, her obituary appeared in The New York Times.

Big events on this date:

1774 The First Continental Congress adjourned in Philadelphia.

1825 The Erie Canal opened, connecting Lake Erie and the Hudson River in upstate New York. Again, from public radio’s Writer’s Almanac:

It’s the anniversary of the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. It was built to connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Great Lakes. The canal was 360 miles long, 40 feet wide, and four feet deep — just deep enough to float barges carrying 30 tons of freight. When the canal was finished, cannons were lined up along the towpath just barely in earshot of each other. They fired one after another from Lake Erie to New York City, finishing the relay in 81 minutes.

1881 The gunfight at the OK Corral took place in Tombstone, Ariz., as Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and “Doc” Holliday confronted Ike Clanton’s gang. Three members of Clanton’s gang were killed; Earp’s brothers were wounded.

More events and birthdays after the break, including one of Charlie’s Angles and a country music star.

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Written by cdorobek

October 26, 2008 at 11:22 AM

Posted in birthdays, Circuit, community

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Oprah thinks the Kindle is great too!

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Earlier this year, I told you about one of my favorite gadgets — the Amazon Kindle e-book — as well as my brush with Amazon greatness. (Read the full story here.)

Well, yesterday, my recommendation was joined by… well, by somebody whose recommendations mean a whole bunch… none other then Oprah when she classified the Kindle as her favorite gadget in the world.

Here is how the SJMN’s Good Morning Silicon Valley blog write about it:

In the world of product endorsements, there’s not much that can match a personal and public blessing by Oprah Winfrey. From books to diets to candidates, the woman has that rare power to move markets, and as evidenced by the long list of goods that have made her annual Favorite Things list, she’s not shy about exercising it. Today it was the tech world getting a little bit of that Oprah lovin’ as she declared the Amazon Kindle as “absolutely my new favorite thing in the world.” Seems somebody gave her one of the wireless electronic readers this summer and it has been nothing short of “life-changing.” So, just in time for holiday shopping, she brought Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos onto Friday’s show to savor her testimonial. And, as if Oprah Seal of Approval weren’t enough, her loyal followers can use the code OPRAHWINFREY at the Amazon site to get $50 off the $359 selling price. That may still be a bit steep in times when a lot less income is falling into the “disposable” category, and some folks, even if tempted, may want to hold out for the release of the next version, but with a big, wet kiss like this in front of massive, mainstream audience, a sales bump is virtually assured.

All Oprah audience members got one for free and, as GMSV mentions, you can get $50 off the $359 list price by using the code OPRAHWINFREY at check-out.

I have been a fan of my Kindle — it is largely how I read most books these days.

One of the other big advantages, which Oprah did not mention, is that you can send documents that you want to read to your Kindle. So… have a bunch of work documents that you have to read and you don’t want to carry them all around? Send them to your Kindle and you’ll have them with you.

There could be advantages for agencies that have standard operating procedures or piles of instructions that they keep in notebooks. Given that the Kindle is searchable in documents, couldn’t those be replace by a Kindle? Who knows, but…

Again, as the GMSV post says — and as I mentioned earlier this year — I keep hearing there is going to be a Kindle 2.0 coming out very soon — before Christmas, I would assume. (There is a photo of the redesigned Kindle here.) I was hoping that Bezos was going to announce it with Oprah, but…

Two updates: I mentioned the Kindle 2.0. There was a lot of Twittering about this topic. BusinessWeek reported in August that Kindle 2.0 could come this year. The NYT said — also in August — that we shouldn’t hold our breath — it will be next year. More recently, Publisher’s Weekly reported on Oct. 22 that there won’t be a new Kindle this year.

Written by cdorobek

October 25, 2008 at 8:55 PM

Posted in books, Technology

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Celebrating a happy new (fiscal) year with the next generation

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Last night, I spent some time with the AFCEA Bethesda’s Young AFCEANs at their third annual Fiscal New Year party — held this year at Current — a hip club on Connecticut Avenue in DC.

Some photos from the festivities, thanks to Tchad Moore of Blackstone Technology Group.

More after the break.

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Written by cdorobek

October 24, 2008 at 7:27 PM

Too much good stuff for a Friday radio show

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I don’t like to schedule too much good stuff for a Friday radio show because… well, let’s be honest, I think that we are all kind of tired on a Friday and do we really want tooooo much heavy lifting on the way home on a Friday afternoon?

That being said, it has been a big week and… we have lots of good stuff on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris this afternoon.

  • EPA’s Marcus Peacock: Peacock is a CJD-fav. A little known fact — Peacock was actually the first government official to host a public blog. But he is a political who has been in government for awhile. So this is going to be the first of our “exit interviews” — seeking to tap into some of the lessons learned from those who will be leaving office on Jan. 20. In particular, Peacock has led EPA into the government 2.0 rehlm. So… we’re going to talk to him about how difficult that change is… whehter it is all it is cracked up to be is it just a lot of hype… and the role of leadership. He is a very smart guy. One quick Peacock aside: When I was at Federal Computer Week, I ran the Government Leadership Summit, which is an intimate gathering of the best and the brightest to think about how they can do their jobs better. We did the first government 2.0 conference, thanks in large part to Paul McCloskey, the former FCW editor in chief who helped run the Summit. McCloskey, now editor of 1105 GovInfo’s Government Health IT magazine, has one of the keenest minds of anybody I know. It was at that Summit that I met the EPA CIO Molly O’Neill. She got a lot out of the Summit — and used what she had learned to push EPA to try out some of these Web 2.0 activities. At the next Summit, held earlier this year, Peacock attended. He didn’t come as a speaker. He came as an attendee because he wanted to learn even more. It still is just inspiring to me that the number two guy at EPA would take the time out to look at issues in a new way. It is why I am so impressed with EPA’s radon videos — they came from front line EPA members. It is a sign of transformation. So I’m excited to talk to Peacock today.
  • Microsoft’s Teresa Carlson: I told you earlier about the promotion for Microsoft’s Teresa Carlson to head up Microsoft Federal. We will have her first interview since that announcement this afternoon. We’ll ask her about her goals, what Microsoft can do for government, and how a company like Microsoft sees the government market these days.
  • OMB’s Karen Evans… I have been going on and on and on about the OMB CIO memo…. This afternoon, we’ll talk to Evans about the memo and why it matters.
  • SBA acting administrator… talking about how agencies are doing with small business requirements.

And, of course, you get to hear my Friday Fun Day Jazz Hands.

We just may have to come back and do a Saturday show! (KIDDING!)

Federal News Radio… 1500 AM and

Written by cdorobek

October 24, 2008 at 10:46 AM

Posted in CIOs, Federal News Radio, Industry, OMB, Policy

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Recommended read: 8 ways tech shaped the 2008 vote

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I mentioned that I’m going down to Williamsburg, VA on Sunday for the Industry Advisory Council’s 2008 Executive Leadership Conference — one of the big government IT conferences of the year… and that I’m going to be part of a panel that gets to question the representatives of the presidential campaigns. (I’ve had a few suggestions for questions sent to me, but… send ’em along or, even better, post them here.)

But I came across this story in Network World: 8 ways technology has shaped the ’08 elections.

Technology has played a particularly prominent role in the 2008 elections — and it isn’t just the typical silliness over whether a candidate really claimed to have invented a key piece of technology. Throughout the year we’ve seen technological advances used both for good, such as using Short Message Service to announce a vice presidential pick, and for bad, such as hacking into another vice presidential pick’s private e-mail account. In this story, we’ll take a look at the eight techiest moments of the 2008 presidential race, including YouTube debates, viral videos and e-voting controversies.

And they highlight the CNN/YouTube debates… tech luminaries making endorsements…

I think writer Brad Reed missed the biggest one, however — how technology has been ingrained into the presidential race. Check out the campaign Web sites — they are creating social networks around their campaigns and their issues. And I think that is really going to impact how this next administration will manage — and how agencies will have to work.

Yesterday, on Federal News Radio’s InDepth with Francis Rose mid-day show, Rose had two former CIOs on — Microsoft’s Kim Nelson, formerly the EPA CIO, and consultant John Gilligan, the former Air Force CIO. The program is definitely worth a listen. [MP3] They spend some time talking about the role of the CIO in light of the OMB CIO memo, but… at the end of the program, Nelson says what I say above — the new administration, regardless of which side comes in, is going to want to use these tools to help them get their jobs done. They used it to win an election, and they believe that they can use them to run agencies.

T-minus 11 days until election day… 88 days until the inauguration

Written by cdorobek

October 24, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Posted in 2008 Vote, EGov, Management, strategy

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