Friday, May 6, 2011
Articles from around the Web that we found interesting, the week of May 02, 2011

This week, a lot of Social Media in Government stories came to my attention.  The first two are older, but they set the stage:

  • Take the Fear out of Using Social Media for Government, in which Sue Reynolds talks about the value of engaging people through social media, and reminds government leaders to pay attention to their comments section: "use the comments you’ll receive on your pages as a way to turn unhappy people into brand ambassadors." Which leads us to: an article on comment/community management by former Salon Editor in Cheif Scott Rosenberg. Regarding the vituperativeness of many posts in the comments section, Rosenberg asks:

The great mistake so many [sites] made was to turn on the comments software and then walk out of the room. They seemed to believe that the discussions would magically take care of themselves. . . .If you opened a public cafe or a bar in the downtown of a city, failed to staff it, and left it untended for months on end, would you be surprised if it [failed]?

  • And how can government use social media?
  1. Alex Howard writes about the use of social media in disasters;
  2. Justin Mosebach investigates how social media can serve the "booming Hispanic population";
  3. Darren Sharp discusses Gov 2.0 and municipal budgeting;
  4. and Gadi Ben-Yehuda looks at the features of the State Department's new social media portal, Corridor.

John Kamensky

PTO Has a Cool Dashboard. Some agencies have figured out that sharing performance information with their stakeholders can be good. But sharing it in a way that it is fun and intuitive isn’t common practice. The Patent and Trademark Office’s Dashboard is a great example of how to do it right!

OMB Guidance for Customer Service Is Out. President Obama’s new executive orderon streamlining service delivery and improving customer service directed agencies to develop action plans in 180 days. But agencies generally don’t act without guidance from OMB. And OMB acted quickly! Here’s the PDF of the new guidance!

OMB Guidance on Real Property Realignment Creates an Advisory Committee: And while we’re looking at OMB Guidance, here’s more. It takes another step toward implementing President Obama’s initiative to realign federal real estate inventories around the country in order to trim $3 billion in costs by systematically shedding excess properties. Here’s a map showing where the properties are, and here’s the new guidance.

The guidance is optimistic, with a touch of realism. It is tasked to “ cut bureaucratic red tape, resolve longstanding competing stakeholder interests, and help address the financial challenges that hinder efforts to realign and consolidate Federal real property . . . “ but also notes: “The success of the Committee and its mission will require agencies' cooperation. In particular, we expect that agencies will be open and forthcoming with their data, analyses, and management approaches for their real property.”

Dan Chenok



The Business of Government Radio Show: Joseph Nye

The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government does business. The executives discuss their careers and the management challenges facing their organizations. Past government executives include Administrators, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Commissioners, Controllers, Directors, and Undersecretaries.

Joseph Nye is a profssor at the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the author of The Future of Power.  In his discussion on this week's Radio Hour, he will explore questions such as "What is smart power? How do the challenges of the 21st century demand a reshaping and a redefining of leadership? How best can national security leaders transform the intelligence enterprise to meet the security needs of today?"

Each week, The Business of Government Hour interviews government executive who are changing the way government does business. The show airs four times a week on two radio stations in the DC Metro Area. If you can't wait, though, we also put it online. You can also search our audio archives for your favorite interview.