Monday, November 23, 2009

Government 2.0, Web 2.0, and NASA Outreach

This posting was born out of a suggestion by Dar to get smart on Web 2.0. Your research mileage may vary, but here's what I came up with.

Government 2.0
  • I started with Wikipedia, which is far from an authoritative source, but great for a starting point. So what I found on government 2.0, e-government, and web 2.0.
  • Lewis Shepherd's blog on NASA's "Be a Martian" site is worth another read.
  • Obama's Deputy Chief Technology Officer wants millions of lobbyists!
  • There's a Gov 2.0 Expo next May.
  • Jeff Foust points out a number of new uses for Twitter re: NASA, including launch "Tweetups," a new hash tag to "Save NASA," and a web site by that same name.
  • Here's something new out of the Obama administration today: a $260 million "Educate to Innovate" initiative. I'll be interested to see how far it gets. There is a recession on, after all.

Web 2.0

First, the Wikipedia article to get myself oriented...

Tim O'Reilly, one of the folks Dar recommended reading, has a long article on "What is Web 2.0?" that is well worth reading. I had a bunch of notes I was going to post from the article, but the copy-and-paste function does not translate from Word to Blogger. Arrrgh. The short version of Web 2.0 applications seems to be that future web designers for business or the government need to focus on making content easily available across multiple platforms (PC, Mac, PDAs, iPhones, etc.) and easily manipulable by potential users.

How much a technology-based organization like NASA is willing to do that is obviously a subject for debate. There are, after all, legitimate arms control and proprietary issues to consider before sharing technology products with the public. There are some obvious things that can and are being shared in new and innovative ways, like scientific data coming out of Hubble and the Mars rovers. There are no doubt obsolete technologies that could be opened to the public if there was sufficient interest.

The advantage to the government sharing information in this fashion--if it in fact comes to pass--is that it is a return to the old NACA model of government-private sector interactions, where information paid for by the taxpayers is made available to all, and what is done with the information to make a profit is the province of the private sector. Stranger things have happened.

As always, the trick is translating

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