Spacebook brings secure social networking to NASA

The application is available to all NASA employees via the agency's intranet

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has developed a homegrown social-networking application that provides all NASA employees with the types of features found in Facebook but in a secure environment.

Spacebook, which offers user profiles, group collaboration tools and social bookmarking, is available through NASA’s intranet, according to Linda Cureton, Goddard’s chief information officer, who announced the launch, appropriately enough, on her blog.

CIOs are eager to take advantage of the collaboration technologies available through commercial social-networking sites, such as Facebook and Myspace, but they have valid security concerns, Cureton writes. “Launching capabilities like this on internal networks reduces those barriers of entry.”

NASA’s Ames Research Center and Kennedy Space Center have developed their own social-networking applications based on SharePoint, she notes. At some point, the space agency might integrate those with Spacebook.

“One of the most amazing things about these Web 2.0 technologies, and the greatest value to NASA, is the ability to help us create a culture of engagement and collaboration that makes each individual employee much more effective,” Cureton writes.

Of related interest:

Facebook allows State to connect to the world

Twitter offers Iranian protestors outlet to the world

Report: Online dialogue better than RFIs

Army gives soldiers access to Twitter, Facebook

Success with Web 2.0 requires risk

About the Author

John S. Monroe is the editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week.

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