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Housekeeping items... from NASA's new Web site to Fed 100 nominations

I come across a ton o' bloggable items all the time, but... this is only part of my job, so... I don't get to all of them. So here are some of the better ones that have been on my desk for way too long.

* Earlier this week, I posted about government holiday gifts you can buy out there. In fact, FCW's work-life columnist and blogger Judy Welles also wrote about this same subject. Apparently shopping is on both of our minds.

Anyway, the good folks over at NARA reminded me that there are interesting items at the National Archives and Records Administration's Presidential Libraries. "Visitors may click on their favorite president and visit the associated museum store for some interesting gifts."

So now you know.

* NASA's new Web site to launch tomorrow

I finally got around to my RSS feeds, which I haven't perused for awhile. A CJD-fav, the NASA Watch blog, had this item earlier this month based on an internal NASA memo:

New NASA Web Site Design Coming!

You are invited to preview the redesigned Web site www.nasa.gov, scheduled to go live Nov. 30. To access the new design, nasa.gov 5.0, visit: http://staging1.cms.nasa.gov/templates/home.html

More than a graphic facelift, nasa.gov 5.0 will offer users a new level of interactivity: the opportunity to comment on selected agency stories, for example, or to create a personal play list of favorite NASA videos, or to share NASA content with others via social book marking sites such as Digg and del.icio.us. New topic-based navigation will offer users easier access to the depth and breadth of NASA Web content. On the back end, nasa.gov 5.0 will integrate new software to improve search results and help users find our most popular content.

Your feedback on the new design is important and welcomed, either through comments posted to the Web Manager's Blog at: http://inwiki.nasa.gov/cm/blog/nasawebblog/posts/post_1193922514902.html or by e-mail to [email protected]

I couldn't get the link to work, but... Look for it to go live as early as tomorrow.

* SEC discusses blogs on a blog

I've mentioned Sun Microsystems chief executive Jonathan Schwartz's blog before. I'm a regular reader, in part because I find the whole concept of a CEO blogger so fascinating. And I wrote about that earlier this year.

One of Schwartz's issues is he thinks the Securities and Exchange Commission's rules on what companies can and cannot say -- and where they can or cannot say it -- are antiquated. Essentially, companies are... well, if it isn't illegal, they are strongly dissuaded from talking about earnings issues in things such as blogs. Schwartz blogged about it, of course.

John and I also spent some time talking about corporate transparency and shareholder communities (I'd just presented, that morning, to a group of Sun shareholders at Sun's Annual Shareholder meeting, links and audiocast here (and yes, to the commenter who suggested we need to refresh our file formats for technology neutrality, you're quite right, stay tuned).

As I've said before, transparency and efficiency are obligations as much as opportunities - a better informed investor can make better decisions, just like a better informed customer or developer.

One of the 22 comments on that post is from Christopher Cox, who heads the SEC.

From the NYT Dealbook blog, where I found this item:

Christopher Cox, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has taken a step into the blogosphere. In what the Associated Press describes as the first official communication posted to a blog by an S.E.C. chairman, Mr. Cox made a comment on the blog of Sun Microsystems chief executive (and frequent blogger), Jonathan Schwartz.

Mr. Cox’s comment, which was apparently sent by old-fashioned mail as well, was in response to Mr. Schwartz’s recent suggestion that in certain cases, the S.E.C. should consider Web sites, including blogs, to be an acceptable way to disseminate corporate information under Regulation FD, which requires broad disclosure of information that would matter to investors.

I love that Cox mailed it too. Probably some regulation.

* Donate a PC and change the world

Also from NASA Watch blog ...

We all know the power of technology, and we have, no doubt, read a ton o' stuff on MIT Professor Nicholas Negroponte (see also see Wikipedia's item about him) who created the non-profit seeking to get one laptop to every child. And he helped create a low-cost laptop. And you can help.

From the One Laptop Per Child site:

One learning child. One connected child. One laptop at a time.

The mission of One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is to empower the children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child. In order to accomplish our goal, we need people who believe in what we’re doing and want to help make education for the world’s children a priority, not a privilege.

Since November 12th, OLPC has been offering a limited-time Give One Get One program in the United States and Canada. During Give One Get One, you can donate the revolutionary XO laptop to a child in a developing nation, and also receive one for the child in your life in recognition of your contribution. Thanks to a growing interest in the program, we are extending Give One Get One until the end of the year. Through this extension, and the increasing public interest in OLPC, we hope to give many more children the opportunity to grow, explore, learn and express themselves.

Those of us who work in IT know how empowering information technology can be. Imagine if people could tap into the power of technology. It seems to me it could be one of those powerful drivers -- we couldn't predict the benefits that could result.

The buy one-give one program goes through the end of the year.

* The YouTube debate cartoonists

Earlier, I mentioned the CNN-YouTube Republican debate. One of the questions came from a cartoon of VP Dick Cheney. The cartoonist is Houston Chronicle cartoonist Nick Anderson, who has a blog. He posts drafts of his cartoons and everything. Definitely an enjoyable distraction.

* Operation Jump Start

And speaking of giving... Operation Jump Start is scheduled for Jan. 31 at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Va. More as details get finalized. I posted about it last year, but Operation Jump Start seeks to help the soldiers of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom transition to civilian careers. And there are all sorts of ways to help out. More information to come as I get details.

* Finally, a reminder about nominations for the Federal 100 awards are open. The nomination form can be found at www.fcw.com/fed100.

The deadline is in early January. We always get calls over the holidays from people saying, 'is that really going to be the deadline.' It is going to be pretty close. Just to explain why: Nominations close in early January. We literally get hundreds of nominations. We have to get those to the judges -- who have day jobs -- in enough time so that they can review them before the group gets together to make their final determinations. And it takes time to make a dozen copies of hundreds of nominations. So there is a lot that happens in the weeks between closing the nominations and judging.

In the next few weeks, I'm going to try and offer some Fed 100 nomination advice having been involved in the process for years. We already have received a number of e-mails asking for the criteria. I tried to lay out the criteria to a certain degree a few weeks ago when we announced that nominations were open. But in the coming weeks, I'll try to provide some additional guidance. You can also check out previous winners dating back to 1996 to get a sense of the kind of people who win.

Essentially -- judges are looking for people who were leaders, doers, influencers, people who made a difference, and people who went above and beyond the call of duty. If that person did one -- or all -- of those things, just say why... and how. They certainly do not have to beCIOs . To the contrary. If they made a difference, it can be a contracting officer, or a GS-10... or a mid-level industry person. Just tell the judges what that person did -- and how it made a difference.

Again, more on this in the coming weeks.

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Nov 29, 2007 at 12:17 PM


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