FCW Insider


The 12-word social media policy

As federal agencies struggle with social media policies that can facilitate a flow of information without tarnishing an agency's public image, a blogger from the health care industry offers 12 magic words that might do the trick. They even rhyme, creating an aid to memorization.

Dr. Farris Timimi, medical director for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, proposed the 12-word social media policy in a blog post on April 5. It might help feds because, like agencies, health care organizations deal with sensitive information, rules regarding disclosure of information and a need to protect their reputations.

The 12 words are:

Don't lie, don't pry,

Don't cheat, can't delete,

Don't steal, don't reveal.

To read Dr. Timimi's more detailed explanation of what these six two-word directives entail, click here to read his blog.

Posted by Michael Hardy on Apr 26, 2012 at 12:18 PM3 comments


Do you remember when?

Hey, do you remember 25 years ago?

It was 1987. Ronald Reagan was president, just halfway through his second term. Nobody had ever heard of the Internet, a smart phone or an “app.” Want to take some music on your jog? Load up the Sony Discman with a CD and hit the trail. That’ll keep you entertained for 45 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., a specialized newspaper called Federal Computer Week launched, bringing federal managers and contractors news about the technology world and how it was changing.

And oh, how it changed. That era seems quaint today, even though many of us are old enough to remember it fondly. Here at Federal Computer Week — still going strong all these years later — we’re preparing a special issue next month to trace the history of federal IT during those years.

So we’re asking you to share your memories — fond or not — of the past quarter-century. What do you see as the important trends, milestones or turning points? What regulations helped move things along — or contributed to holding things back? What technologies do you miss?

Share any thoughts you have about the era in the comments here.

Posted by Michael Hardy on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:18 PM3 comments


Pivotal policies of the past 25 years: What say you?

Think back over the past 25 years and figure out what policies have been pivotal in the shaping of federal IT.

We’re asking because Federal Computer Week is 25 years old this year. As part of an upcoming special issue, we’re going to examine the people, policies and technologies that have shaped the landscaped during that time. We’re looking for people and ideas that still hold sway today, not yesterday’s passing fads.

We’ve identified a few policies we think have been among the most significant, but we’d like your help. Look over the list below and then, in the comments, tell us what ones you think we’re missing, which ones we’ve named but should not have, and any other thoughts you have about what makes a policy pivotal.

Our ideas so far:

Procurement reform: Although it’s not a single policy, a number of procurement reform measures have changed the system in ways that still affect the ways in which the government buys products and services.

The President’s Management Agenda: The George W. Bush administration instituted this effort to apply metrics to government performance in ways that led to running agencies more as businesses are run. The Barack Obama administration has continued using the concept, as shown by the TechStat and PortfolioStat programs.

The Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996: Perhaps best known for creating the office of the agency CIO, the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 actually contained a full set of IT management reforms, including the creation of a capital planning and investment control process linked to budget formulation and a mandate for agencies to rethink their business processes and improving them when possible before investing in information systems.

Homeland security: In the wake of the Sept. 2001 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration not only established the Homeland Security Department but also kick-started numerous initiatives to improve information sharing across the federal government and with state and local agencies and the private sector. The work goes.

The Federal Information Security Management Act: Part of the E-Government Act of 2002, this effort to apply standards and best practices consistently across government put a new framework around agencies’ approach to security that has been refined over time. But what about the E-Government Act itself? Should it be on our list? If so, why?

Cloud-First Policy: This is a new one, but it could shape federal IT buying for years to come, shifting the preference away from agency-based dedicated systems to shared services, consolidation and remotely hosted applications.

So, let us know. Do we have the right list? Tell us why or why not, and what you’d add or remove.

Posted by Michael Hardy on Apr 10, 2012 at 12:18 PM1 comments