Focusing on six words: Helping government do its job better

Archive for February 16th, 2009 begins testing out comments

with 4 comments, which has been criticized for not jumping into the deep end of the government 2.0 pool, is taking its first steps to accepting comments — specifically in connection to the The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The White House posted the bill on But Personal Democracy Forum’s’s Micah L. Sifry noticed on Friday that the comment space originally gave people only 500 characters to make their comment. “That’s absurd,” Sifry said on Twitter. A few days later, the White House increased the comment count restrictions to 5,000 characters — “Much better,” Sifry said.

From Sifry’s post on

Though it’s still a far cry from a meaningful use of the web to engage the public in monitoring and improving the legislative process. But I guess you have to take baby steps before you can walk.

Now you can enter the full text of a Maureen Dowd column and still have 500 characters left over for a few Ana Marie Cox tweets…

From the White House page says, “Read [the bill ] by clicking on the links below — then use the form on the right to leave your comments, thoughts, and ideas.”

It’s a big step — and a signal that the White House new media team is working to come up with new ways of reaching out.

Written by cdorobek

February 16, 2009 at 11:25 PM

@MarsPhoenix gets a #shorty for its Twitter feeds

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Congratulations to NASA for getting a Shorty award — these are awards for the best producers of short content on Twitter during the past year.

This was the announcement from @NASA:

@MarsPhoenix gets a Shorty Award thanks to JPL and @VeronicaMcG!

From NASA’s release :

NASA’s activities in social networking media will be recognized Wednesday in New York, when the agency receives an award for its presence on the popular Web site Twitter.

Known as the Shorty Award, it was created to honor the best producers of short content on Twitter during 2008. Updates on NASA’s Mars Phoenix Lander mission received the most votes in the science category from users of the site.

The Mars Phoenix Twitter delivered more than 600 updates during the 152 days the lander was operating in the north polar region of Mars. By the end of the lander’s mission in early November, more than 38,000 people were following its reports, called “tweets.” The account is still used to provide updates on the mission’s science results and has more than 41,000 followers.

“We created the account, known as Mars Phoenix, last May with the goal of providing the public with near real-time updates on the mission,” said Veronica McGregor, manager of the news office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and originator of the updates. “The response was incredible. Very quickly it became a way not only to deliver news of the mission, but to interact with the public and respond to their questions about space exploration.”

You can follow McGregor on Twitter at @VeronicaMcG.

Hat tip to Federal Computer Week. We’re working to get McGregor on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris. As we say in radio… stay tuned.

Written by cdorobek

February 16, 2009 at 7:02 PM

Happy birthday to… Amy Morris

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Federal News Radio 1500 AM's Amy Morris

Federal News Radio 1500 AM's Amy Morris

A happy birthday to Amy Morris , my co-anchor on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris.

Some of the events on this date in history…

On this day in 1923, in Thebes, Egypt, English archaeologist Howard Carter enters the sealed burial chamber of the ancient Egyptian ruler King Tutankhamen. Get more from The History Channel .

* In 1859, the French Government passes a law to set the A-note above middle C to a frequency of 435 Hz, in an attempt to standardize the pitch
* 1948 NBC-TV aired its first nightly newscast, “The Camel Newsreel Theatre,” which consisted of Fox Movietone newsreels.
* 1959 – Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba after dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on January 1.
* 1961 – Explorer program: Explorer 9 (S-56a) is launched.
* 1968 – In Haleyville, Alabama, the first 9-1-1 emergency telephone system goes into service.
* 1978 – The first computer bulletin board system is created (CBBS in Chicago, Illinois).

Amy shares her birthday with John McEnroe (50), Patty Andrews (91) of the Andrews Sisters, actor LeVar Burton (52), “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” actor and rapper Ice-T (51), Duran Duran musician Andy Taylor (48).

And… Amy Morris. (No, I’m not listing her age — I spend four hours each day in a studio with Amy and hat is very enjoyable right now — and I want to keep it that way.)

Written by cdorobek

February 16, 2009 at 8:00 AM

Posted in birthdays, Circuit

Most read items for the second week of February 2009

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Most read items for the second week of February 2009

The most read items for the second week of February 2009:

  1. 02.12.2009 Obama CTO reader: Will we ever see appointments?
  2. A government innovation oxymoron?: How to quash innovation
  3. litmus test… and the White House tries out live blogging
  4. Fed 100 winners are notified, list posted soon [In fact, the full list was posted Friday. You can see it hereFCW has it posted here .]
  5. More changes at 1105 GovInfo — Group publisher Evillee Ebb exits
  6. The Kundra appointment: What does it mean?
  7. Learning about more the 2009 Fed 100 winners: EPA’s O’Neill and McCaffery win
  8. UK gov 2.0 lessons learned: Britian’s Po
  9. FCW’s 2009 Federal 100 Awards
  10. More on the government innovation oxymoron video
  11. Fed 100 winner: Scott Burns
  12. Good government group merger: Partnership swallows Council for Excellence in Government
  13. What’s up with the CTO? Also the DOD CIO and Roger Baker to VA?
  14. Another White House score: GSA’s Bev Godwin… and insights on why there is an announcement backlog
  15. FCW’s Fed 100 Awards: Recognizing the good work done by people… nominations open for the annual award program
  16. VA brings transparency to stimulus requests — and we hear from a Obama CTO candidate?
  17. Operation Jump Start 2009: Simply amazing! [You can hear Ed Meagher talk about Operation Jump Start on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris . You can hear that conversation here .]
  18. The 02.03.2008 CTO update: Buzz about appointments
  19. Another Fed 100 name: Microsoft Federal’s Teresa Carlson
  20. Speaking to HHS about government 2.0: The liner notes
  21. The next Federal News Radio Book Club selection: What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis
  22. Worth reading: NAPA’s Enabling Collaboration: Three Priorities for New Administration
  23. Hear the Navy CIO talk about the Navy’s Web 2.0 policy
  24. HUD CIO Lisa Schlosser to join to EPA
  25. Another coup for Cisco: Paul Brubaker?
  26. No CTO, but Team Obama a ‘director of citizen participation’
  27. Navy out with one of the first Web 2.0 policy memos
  28. NAPA’s Collaboration Project helps with government 2.0 policy and legal issues — highlighting the problems and starting the work on solutions
  29. Operation Jump Start this week — Wednesday, Feb. 11
  30. The most read DorobekInsider posts for the first week of February 2009
  31. Interior’s Howell to move to OMB
  32. CQ for sale… if the price is right
  33. Happy birthday to… Dan Chenok
  34. GSA gets a new acting acting administrator — Paul Prouty
  35. Welcome to 44 — President Barack Obama… and a new White House blog!
  36. The CRS report on the Obama CTO: The challenges
  37. Happy Birthday to GovExec/NextGov’s Bob Brewin
  38. VA CIO Bob Howard reportedly has a new gig
  39. Hearing that Interior has named a new CIO
  40. Meet the Innovators: Richard Allen on UK’s Power of Information Task Force
  41. Government 2.0 challenges — and some solutions
  42. VA CIO Howard lands at FCI
  43. Obama talks government spending transparency in the weekend “radio” address
  44. Your 01.09.08 Federal CTO reader: No official word yet, so let’s speculate
  45. ConnellyWorks’ A.J. Guenther scores AFCEA recognition
  46. More buzz around the new acting GSA administrator
  47. Godspeed John Gioia Nov. 11, 1932-Dec. 26, 2008
  48. 02.08.2009 DorobekInsider newsbytes
  49. Government media aren’t dodging the rece
  50. Fed 100 nomination: Navy CIO Robert Carey

Written by cdorobek

February 16, 2009 at 7:20 AM

Posted in DorobekInsider