Recommended Reading for Jan. 26

Recent articles and resources on technology management and government

Social networking in perspective

Source: CIO magazine

A CIO reader offers some advice for his fellow executives: Give social networking a rest.

The reader’s point is this: Once people get into the Web 2.0 swing of Twitter, Facebook and related applications, they are likely to spend more time networking than they realize. The easiest test of whether that’s happened is to quit for a while and see what difference it makes.

“I’m hesitant to go on record admitting it, mostly because I believe the productivity argument against social tools is used by shortsighted business leaders who ban social networks and Web 2.0 tools at work,” the reader writes.

E-gov: Recommended listening

Source: The Kojo Nnamdi show

The Kojo Nnamdi show, which airs on WAMU, one of Washington, D.C.’s public radio stations, offered a spirited hour last week on “The Obama Era and the Digital White House.” The guests were Lee Rainie, founding director of Pew Internet and American Life Project; Darrell West, vice president and director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution; and Andrew Rasiej, founder of Personal Democracy Forum and co-founder of

Among other topics, they discussed the role of social networking in the Obama administration. Potentially, Web 2.0 tools could protect Obama from the “bubble effect,” they said.

Battling botnets

Source: Policy Review

Lauri Almann, former permanent undersecretary of defense for Estonia, teams with John Kelly, president of Model Software, to discuss potential strategies for dealing with cyberattacks.

Almann, of course, learned the hard way about cyberattacks in 2007, when Estonian systems came under siege by botnets. Almann and Kelly recommend several steps organizations and governments can take to prevent the same scenario from playing out elsewhere. For example, “governments could work with [Internet service providers] to institute remote-automated audits for subscribers as a standard service,” they write.

Advice for new leaders

Source: BNet

BNet, drawing from a recent Harvard Business Review article, provides some pointers for people who are stepping into new leadership roles.

The article begins by looking at some common mistakes new leaders often make, such as focusing too much on details. That happens when they try to ace one component of the new job and lose sight of others, Harvard Business Review researchers found.

They also warn against jumping to conclusions about existing problems, rather than working with their staff members on solutions.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Shutterstock image: looking for code.

    How DOD embraced bug bounties -- and how your agency can, too

    Hack the Pentagon proved to Defense Department officials that outside hackers can be assets, not adversaries.

  • Shutterstock image: cyber defense.

    Why PPD-41 is evolutionary, not revolutionary

    Government cybersecurity officials say the presidential policy directive codifies cyber incident response protocols but doesn't radically change what's been in practice in recent years.

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

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