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:

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Success with Web 2.0 requires risk

About the Author

John Monroe is Senior Events Editor for the 1105 Public Sector Media Group, where he is responsible for overseeing the development of content for print and online content, as well as events. John has more than 20 years of experience covering the information technology field. Most recently he served as Editor-in-Chief of Federal Computer Week. Previously, he served as editor of three sister publications: civic.com, which covered the state and local government IT market, Government Health IT, and Defense Systems.

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