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Archive for February 5th, 2009

Speaking to HHS about government 2.0: The liner notes

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I’ve been asked to speak this morning to the folks over at the Department of Health and Human Services about government 2.0.

I’m always thrilled to get out there and speak to people for several reasons. One, I get to find out what people really think. Two, particularly on government 2.0 topics, people are collaborative. And there is plenty to talk about.

In this case, HHS is doing exactly what I think they should be doing — they are following the Nike rule and doing it. And the latest example came just yesterday when we had Richard Stapelton, HHS’s national content management for HHS departmental Web sites, on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris talking about how HHS is using social media to get information out about the recent salmonella concerns. In fact, HHS has created a social media lab to look at how to use these tools to reach out to the public. They created a blog specifically about the peanut recall , for example. And the FDA has a feed on Twitter about food recalls. And HHS’s Centers for Disease Control has created widgets for people to put on their own Web sites that have information about health.

Hear Stapelton talk about these issues here — he offers some insights about what agencies can do and lessons they have learned.

Anyway, I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to say to them that they don’t already know.

And, frankly, I didn’t get much guidance.

We’re open on content, really looking for your take on what you see happening, what you expect to happen, pitfalls, possibilities, how this might change government and governance. Spectrum ranges from big to very small – cover what you will.

And it’s interesting because how I speak about this stuff really has evolved over time. And it depends on the audience. I used to always recommend people watch this video.

I think it does a good job of really demonstrating the power of information — but more importantly, the power of shared information. This group, I’m guessing, gets that. They have different challenges.

3125936268_d71b8a90a1_oSo… we’ll talk about opening up data as they are talking about doing in the UK government 2.0 report , which I would recommend… and as they are doing at DC with its Apps for Democracy. We’ll talk about the National Academy of Public Administration’s Collaboration Project, and specifically its guidance on legal and policy issues… and the Federal Web Managers Forum’s guidance as well… and I will undoubtedly talk about the CJDfav Virtual Alabama, which still is one of the most powerful examples out there because, in the end, the Alabama Department of Homeland Security created a platform that others are now using… I will also mention EPA’s wonderful radon video example… I mentioned Steve Ressler’s remarkable GovLoop social networking group… and Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Meet the Innovators series… and I spoke about Twitter, where you can follow me at

I will also talk about the new book that I’m just loving: What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis. I’ll finish it tonight and write more about it, but it really is a management book in the end — a management book for creating an innovative, collaborative and agile culture. Jarvis talks about looking at information in a very different way… he talks about being tolerant of mistakes… he talks about managing abundance, not scarcity and about giving up control (freeing up data) and getting out of the way. (We are going to have Jarvis on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris next week.)

So I’m looking forward to it. I’ll report back.

Written by cdorobek

February 5, 2009 at 8:15 AM