Weekly Round-up: January 27, 2012
Updated to include Dan Chenok's contributions.
The Metaphor Edition!
- Is Identifying-information Radioactive? Cory Doctorow makes the case that it is in the Guardian article, "Personal data is as hot as nuclear waste." Great sub-head: "We should treat personal electronic data with the same care and respect as weapons-grade plutonium - it is dangerous, long-lasting and once it has leaked there's no getting it back"
- Life Is Not a Game--Until It Is. The Australian Government's Craig Thomler asks in a blog post, "When will we see gamification in government?" Related: TechCrunch reports that a startup called HighScore House has a game to encourage kids to do chores. If that is possible, anything may be.
- A Boom, a Tidal Wave, a Forest. Federal Computer Week (FCW) posted an article under the headline "The Gov 2.0 Boom Is Over and Other Inconvenient Truths from 2012," which they have since changed to "Gov 2.0: Now the real work begins," before Alex Howard penned "A global tidal wave of disruption is coming, driven by social media, open data and mobile," which itself mentioned an article I had written in response to FCW called "The Long Boom." I recommend reading all three.
- Bonus Non-Metaphor Article! Also on FCW, a recap of GSA's Webinar on tweeting by federal agencies.
Dr. John Bordeaux
- The famous saying is: If you're not paying for the service, you are the product. This has been true for years on Facebook, which pioneered cross-site connections. Google ups the ante in March, bringing together your personal information across all of their products: your search history, your email, Google +, etc. The only way to opt out is to stop using all Google products. Has Google become the inescapable dial tone? Are we ready for an escalation in the consumer-as-product economy?\
- Fascinating look into the changes enabled by social media: How Africa Tweets.
- Nice piece on the Apple iPad foray into textbooks - this was inevitable and a long time coming. Favorite quote from the article: “Is there any real learning advantage from electronic textbooks? Probably not,” said Ron Owston, director of the Institute for Research in Learning Technologies at Canada’s York University. “It will just be more up-to-date learning.” For U.S. primary and secondary education - that represents a dramatic learning advantage over the status quo.
- Federal CIOs see growing impactin role:
- Industry group launches Innovation Institute:
- Acquisition budget tightening -- will quality suffer?
- A Focus on “Disruptive Innovation.” Bill Eggers, the research director of Deloitte’s GovLab, has written a really useful white paper on why (and how) government should exploit “disruptive innovation” to help agencies achieve more for less. He points to private sector innovation leading to reduced costs and better performance in areas such as computing power, airline travel, and the use of Zipcars vs. rental cars. He contrasts this with increased costs in public sector fields such as higher education, health care, and defense and asks why the public sector isn’t achieving the same productivity. Then he answers it!
- Is a Department of Competitiveness the Answer? The Center for American Progress has released a report recommending the creation of a Department of Competitiveness as an approach the Obama Administration’s initiative should consider as it reorganizes the government’s trade functions.
- Public-Private Effort Creates Innovation Institute. ACT/IAC has announced a joint public-private Innovation Institute that, according to a story in Federal Computer Week, “will tackle some of the challenges around technology and provide recommendations on how to move forward amid shrinking budgets.” The Institute will take on up to five projects a year to problem-solve government technology challenges.
- Mission-Driven Management Summit, March 6-8. There’s a management summit featuring Dan Pink and David Norton (of the Norton-Kaplan Balanced Scorecard duo). It’s at the National Press Club downtown. There’ll be case studies of HUD, FAA, and Maryland’s StateStat, along with updates from key OMB officials on the implementation of the GPRA Modernization Act.
The Business of Government Radio Show: Dr. Paul Anastas
Federal News Radio 1500-AM
Mondays at 11 a.m., Wednesdays at 12 p.m., Fridays at 2 p.m.
The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government does business. The executives discuss their careers and the management challenges facing their organizations.
Dr. Paul Anastas is known widely as the "Father of Green Chemistry" for his groundbreaking research on the design, manufacture, and use of minimally-toxic, environmentally-friendly chemicals.
Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday, January 30, at 11 a.m., Wednesday, February 01, at noon, and Thursday, February 02, at 2:00 PM on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED