Official: Federal Web 2.0 tools should evolve

Government Web 2.0 tools such as Intellipedia should evolve beyond being collaboration tools used merely as a reference when evaluating information, said Chris Rasmussen, knowledge manager at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, at the FOSE trade show in Washington today.

A new model in which ideas are discussed and evaluated in the same space would lead to more up-to-date information getting to the people who need it faster, Rasmussen said. He spoke as a member of a panel on Web 2.0 technology.

For agencies, “Intellipedia and other Web 2.0 tools are places to think out loud, but then conclusions are vertically vetted through agency-specific processes,” Rasmussen said. Rather than have the two activities happen in separate venues, he said they should be mixed.

“So you move the review process into the same space where the collaboration takes place, so it is no longer mutually exclusive,” Rasmussen said. The mixed environment would also make sharing information among different agencies easier, he said. And it would eliminate the redundancy of each agency going through its own evaluation process.

The idea of mixing collaboration and evaluation is new, and so far, few organizations support it, Rasmussen said.

“The process that I’m talking about will require a massive executive push because we’re talking about turning certain systems off,” he said. “We’re talking about realigning reward structures. We’re talking about all sorts of things that the grassroots just can’t do. You need a massive organizational commitment to move to that level.”

For example, editing an agency’s wiki could become a required duty for some employees, and a mixed environment could help agencies move away from sharing data solely through text reports. Spatial modeling, videoconferencing and other formats could easily be integrated into a mixed collaboration and evaluation environment, Rasmussen said.

FOSE is produced by the 1105 Government Information Group, which owns Federal Computer Week.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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