The 2009 Federal List

Gov 3.0: The future revealed in 7 lists

 7 federal IT bloggers worth bookmarking

1. Robert Carey

The Navy’s chief information officer brings enthusiasm and a deep understanding to his comments on how information technology affects the seagoing service.

2. Casey Coleman

Innovation and the impact of new technologies, such as the smart-energy grid, are the meat of the General Services Administration's CIO’s posts.

3. Linda Cureton

The CIO of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center takes an analytical approach to what is nevertheless an entertaining look at IT and the people involved with it.

4. Chris Kemp

Kemp was inspired by President Barack Obama’s call for openness in government to start his NASA Ames Research Center’s CIO blog on what the Web will mean to his agency.

5. Chris Smith

The Agriculture Department’s CIO has a brand-new blog and sees it as a two-way forum for dialogue between his office and the public.

6. Jay Bernhardt

The blog is not about IT as such, but it gives the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s health marketing chief a venue to explain how technology and Web 2.0 will help his agency’s mission.

7. IT Dashboard

Vivek Kundra, the federal CIO, uses this blog to explain the ongoing influence of the IT Dashboard, the government’s public tool for tracking IT program performance.

10 bloggers on the government IT beat

1. TechPresident

The blog began as a way to cover how the candidates used the Web during the 2008 presidential campaign and now looks at how the Obama administration continues using it and how people are responding.

2. DorobekInsider

Federal Computer Week’s former editor-in-chief continues his extensive and exhaustive probing of federal government IT and the people involved with it – and then some!

3. Input

The market research company's blog takes a broad look at government IT procurements, the implications that has for agencies' use of technology and the ramifications for government contractors.

4. Municipalist

The blog is an expansive collection of posts about government’s use of Web 2.0 at the federal, state and local levels, and it is worth a look for the contacts and projects lists alone.

5. MuniGov2.0

The site is an outside-the-Beltway take on how Web 2.0 can help government become more open and collaborate better with the public.

6. Free Government Information

Explore the ups and downs of access to government information. The site also offers insights about how IT and the Web influence access.

7. The Health Care Blog

Health IT is a big part of health reform proposals, and as part of its larger health care coverage, this blog outlines just how technology fits into the whole package.

8. Sunlight Foundation

The foundation highlights how IT can help improve access to government information in the pursuit of greater openness and accountability.

9. Generation Shift

The blog looks at how social media is paving the way for the next generation of government employees to collaborate with one another and other organizations.

10. Transformation in the Federal Sector

Check out observations about the use of IT as it relates to open government, including details about nitty-gritty technology issues such as enterprise architecture.

Top 10 agencies on Twitter

(by number of followers)

1. The White House

Followers: 1,071,927

The White House began to Twitter in May and now boasts more than a million followers for regular updates on comings and goings there, in addition to folksy asides.

2. CDC Emergency

Followers: 808,979

The agency's feed is a perfect example of how important Twitter will be in the future for getting information to the public during emergencies, with swine flu updates a current focus.


Followers: 125,901

NASA tweets about shuttle missions, tales of astronaut derring-do, and links to astounding pictures and stories of deep space galactic discoveries. ‘Nuf said!

4. U.S. Army

Followers: 14,263

The service delivers a constant river of daily snippets about the men, women and institutions that drive its global enterprise.

5. Smithsonian

Followers: 12,711

The world’s largest museum complex has some excruciatingly intriguing tweets: “Abduction-turned-assassination planned in former woman-owned boarding house. Owner? Plotter? Victim?”

6. FDArecalls

Followers: 11,663

Find instant notifications about the Food and Drug Administration’s product recalls, market withdrawals and safety alerts.

7. GSA/

Followers: 10,918

GSA provides a central outlet for up-to-date announcements about official government news and information.

8. NIH

Followers: 9,314

The National Institutes of Health give people a slew of announcements on important research that regularly come from the nation’s leading medical research authority.

9. HHS/Office on Women’s Health

Followers: 9,015

People can find tips and pointers for women about how they can improve and maintain their health, along with links to updates on relevant medical conditions as determined by the Health and Human Services Department.

10. State Department/DipNote

Followers: 8,110

A must-read for all foreign policy wonks, this Twitter feed provides links to all of the State Department’s public activities, along with current activities of note in other countries.

Top 10 most prolific agencies on YouTube

(by number of videos)

1. Defense Department

Videos: 2,059

DODvClips boasts more than 2,000 videos about military news, in-theater stories and profiles of military men and women. It also offers individual channels for people such as the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman.

2. The White House

Videos: 416

The Web-intensive White House is also a big user of YouTube, with an extensive array of videos ranging from presentations by Obama to executive agency news and information about what’s happening inside the White House.


Videos: 314

The agency’s channel includes detailed briefings about ongoing shuttle missions, events across NASA, and a cornucopia of gorgeous images from the Hubble telescope and other space instruments.

4. State Department

Videos: 308

Many of the department's videos are of press briefings, but they also include discussions about State career possibilities and single-issue documentaries.

5. Library of Congress

Videos: 199

The best site for those who like their viewing eclectic, with a fascinating range of videos from the Library’s deep archive to more contemporary events.

6. Federal Emergency Management Agency

Videos: 190

FEMA's channel highlights how the agency operates in emergencies across the country, including continuing cleanup efforts in the Gulf Coast and educational spots about how to prepare for hazards.

7. HHS

Videos: 188

Weekly updates about health reform efforts, seminar presentations and public service spots on topics dealing with the flu, including rap songs and advice from Elmo.

8. FDA

Videos: 144

This is the place for those who get excited about skin sanitizers and fungal infections, with timely updates about product recalls and label warnings.


Videos: 77

A range of relatively short educational videos describe how the agency works across the United States and internationally, along with more extensive documentaries and spots highlighting officials’ presentations.

10. Veterans Affairs Department

Videos: 62

A series of mostly educational and public service announcements targets both longtime military veterans and those returning from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

10 social-networking sites that will keep you in the loop


GovLoop has rapidly established itself as the pre-eminent location on the Web where government people can meet and interact with like-minded souls.

Gov Twit

This is the site to find out what’s happening on Twitter across the global government community, including relevant sites from academia, industry, media and nonprofits.

NAPA Collaboration Project

A wikified space that seeks to gather and share ideas and insights about how the government can solve — or at least improve — its myriad problems using Web 2.0 technologies.

The Gov IT Wiki

A wisdom-of-the-crowd site, it covers all things related to government IT, with lists of tech trends, agencies, budgets, contracts and more, contributed by IT folks and interested bystanders.


The many NASA communities can connect and collaborate on projects among themselves and with the agency's external partners.

The Federal Contractor Network

Not to be outdone, federal contractors now have their own site they can use to find government job opportunities — and it's a place to kvetch.


Described as the first anonymous discussion forum for government employees and contractors, its themes run the gamut from careers to IT, Gov 2.0 and security clearances.


The Oak Ridge National Laboratory launched this site to try to use social networking to organize and provide near real-time collaboration among U.S. and global communities that need to share important sensor data.


Not strictly a social-networking site, it is the most comprehensive one-stop introduction to government-related blogs and other Web 2.0 sources.


The site is a marketplace of ideas from some of the most provocative voices in the government IT community, with plenty of research and stats to back them up.

Top 10 agencies with the most Facebook friends

White House

Friends: 327,592

A well-traveled site, as to be expected, the White House's Facebook page has plenty of information on administration doings and links to presidential appearances and statements — not to mention lots and lots of comments.

Marine Corps

Friends: 83,144

The Marines' site is hugely popular — but staid and quiet following the Marines’ clampdown on Facebook and other social media earlier this year.


Friends: 49,416

Probably the most heartfelt of government Facebook sites, the Army’s far-flung members and their families can connect with one another and share stories and experiences.


Friends: 21,257

CDC seems to have successfully created an engaged and voluble audience while working to fulfill its mission of providing credible, science-based health information.

State Department

Friends: 16.386

The department offers oots of information about Secretary Hillary Clinton’s travels and other diplomatic ventures, in addition to voluminous links to embassy pages. But discussion areas are surprisingly quiet.


Friends: 7,768

NASA provides an eclectic mix of items pointing to official announcements, with some offbeat stuff thrown in, and a talky fan base of knowledgeable — and sometimes scary — science nerds.


Friends: 6,536

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the space agency’s center for robotic missions to the planets and beyond, a natural attraction for an energetic audience that isn’t far behind the agency’s main site.

Library of Congress

Friends: 6,520

The hugely informative site about Library events and its collections is devoid of any public feedback and interaction.

Air Force

Friends: 3,011

A recently created site, the Air Force's Facebook site seems destined for great things based on the reactions it has already received.

Environmental Protection Agency

Friends: 2,608

It carries a lot of the EPA’s announcements, but it’s also actively trying to build a community among the environmentally minded public.

6 out-of-this-world government sites in Second life

1. NASA Virtual CoLab

The Virtual CoLab, which has a real-life counterpart, hosts avatars from NASA and other science- and space-related organizations around the world in regular meetings to collaborate on projects and share information.

2. NASA JPL Explorer Island

This is mainly an educational site for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s robotic space missions. It has included immersive experiences, such as avatars that can follow Mars Odyssey and Phoenix Lander excursions on the surface of the planet.

3. NOAA Virtual Worlds

NOAA is using this site to educate new audiences about the Earth’s environment through activities on two islands, called Meteora , which deals with the atmosphere, and Okeanos , which deals with the oceans. Users can fly a plane through a hurricane and experience events such as tsunamis or the effects of climate change.

4. Coalition Island

Air Force, Navy and Army organizations have built a continent that comprises a number of different islands that demonstrate to their virtual residents how the various services act in certain circumstances. The organizations also use Coalition Island for collaboration, simulation, prototype testing and training.

5. SciLands Virtual Continent

SciLands is a mini-continent devoted exclusively to science and technology. Several dozen organizations, including government agencies, meet to share ideas, collaborate and plan future projects.

6. CDC Island

CDC Second Life Island opened to the public in spring 2008 as an educational space to demonstrate its mission and goals, and it includes interactive features such as the ability for users to study different bacteria and diseases with microscopes. Users also can ask questions of live CDC representatives.


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