Overheard on Twitter

Traffic and shopping aren’t the only things that have ground to a standstill in Washington's 2010 blizzard. Add the Office of Personnel Management's Web site to the list.

If you check the status page, you’ll see: “Due to a high volume of traffic, other OPM.gov pages are not available now. Please try back later.”

It turns out, as we learned  thanks to a tweet from jlagorio, that there's a status page at Data.gov that does work. Heavy demand apparently forced OPM to move it there, and to make it a single image instead of a standard HTML page.

jlagorio: OPM.gov is so over burdened they moved the operating status page to Data.gov instead. Good thing we have that new site, Mr. President!

mykevandyke: It appears that heavy snow in DC == DDOS against OPM web site.

Later in the day, some of the OPM site re-opened on a "modified" basis, according to the announcement on data.gov.

Mark Drapeau, FCW columnist and director of innovative social engagement at Microsoft U.S. Public Sector (cheeky_geeky), has had some characteristically pithy tweets:

Forget counterterrorism: We need someone on the National Security Council in charge of weather.

Forget open source and open data: "Open government" should mean the government can telework in a snowstorm.

On the positive side, we’ve seen plenty of examples of teleworking in action, like these:

kanesprings: USG in DC closed again today - good "final exam" for all of the grads of our telework training classes

marydavie: we at #GSA are incredibly spoiled w/technology & telework ability. I’ve been able to telework for 15 years.

We’ve also sighted some conversations on the difficulty of people trying to telework having filled out the requisite paperwork ahead of time to get remote access.

weaverbean: Folks OPM states that some folks might have to telework... what do we do if we support teleworkers???

ScottGentzen: @julesdc If it’s done right, it doesn’t matter where IT is or where it is relative to where the users are.

julesdc: @ScottGentzen Key word here is done right. We’re working on it. Not there yet.

So what’s your experience? Can you get to work? Get to the office network? Send us comments below or follow us on twitter.

P.S. Check out the pics of some of the staff teleworking yesterday on Facebook. Post that pic of you working in your pjs.

About the Author

Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.

Over a career spent in tech media, Miller has worked in editorial, print production and online, starting on the copy desk at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for Federal Computer Week and later helping launch websites and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a turn at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she rejoined what was to become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all the company's government-focused websites. Miller shifted back to editorial in 2012, when she began working with GCN.

Miller has a BA from West Chester University and an MA in English from the University of Delaware.

Connect with Susan at smiller@gcn.com or @sjaymiller.

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Reader comments

Thu, Feb 11, 2010 Ken Washinton

I am a littled puzzled by this report, because I have not expierenced any difficulty getting updateds on DC closures on the OPM site.

Wed, Feb 10, 2010 Western USA

Even when employees have the capability and technology to telework, I'm finding many don't believe they should. It's a snow-day, go play. I work out West and can't get people from the DC area to participate in a basic telecon. Here is the email response someone sent me from their Blackberry: "Isn't the government closed today?"

Wed, Feb 10, 2010 William Devereaux Los ANgeles

Without counterterrorism there would be the possibility of no life despite the good weather!!

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