Thursday, September 25, 2008

Guest Post at New Ideas for Government!

Wow! It's been a couple weeks since I last posted anything here. I guess I am making up for lost time by posting a couple times today.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to write an article for a website called "New Ideas for Government" that seeks to provide recommendations for the next administration. Here's an excerpt:

The 2008 presidential race has been remarkable for many reasons. One of the most intriguing aspects of the contest has been the incredible diversity reflected in the candidates and their running mates. Consider the unprecedented role of gender, race and religion. Each of these elements has been present in previous elections, but never before has there been such a unique confluence of these factors.

While these three aspects of the race have received the most press, one may contend that the election will turn on a fourth factor: age.

Please read the full article and make comments over at New Ideas. Of course, I welcome dialogue here as well.

Coast Guard Commandant: Jump into Web 2.0

In case you missed this story by Anne Laurent at Tech Insider, it's worth posting an excerpt here to spark your interest:

"The message couldn't be clearer: Coasties need to start social networking, right now! Yesterday on YouTube, in his firm, ramrod straight-arrow style, Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen ordered his entire service, and especially its leaders, to get into Web 2.0, double time."

Here's the Commandant's YouTube video:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

NYT Op-Ed: To Change Washington, Move Out

Today's Daily Pipeline by the Partnership for Public Service shares a fascinating Op-Ed from Mark Everson in the New York Times. The long and short of the article is that true change would come to Washington only if people actually left the city. With government being centralized in Washington, it creates a serious risk for security and continuity of operations. Plus, the region already has considerable wealth - why not spread those jobs to other parts of the country that could benefit from rejuvenation?

As you've seen from my posts here, I am interested in the impact of the four generations in the workforce and Web 2.0 on government. From this vantage point, Everson's proposal to restructure government by moving jobs outside of the Beltway is appealing for several reasons:

(1) As Boomers retire, they will most likely want to relocate to be closer to children and grandchildren or to work from more attractive locations. Surveys indicate that Boomers plan to cycle between work and leisure. They don't need to be in Washington to make an ongoing contribution. With a cell phone and laptop, they could be in Port Jervis, NY, Puerto Rico or Portugal.

(2) With their proficiency for using technology, Gen X and Millennials will work from anywhere. Why relocate to Washington when they can perform job functions right where they live? As someone who grew up in towns with populations under 1,000 people in Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa, I am sensitive to the fact that communities across the U.S. have experienced a "brain drain" as people like me and my former classmates left small-town life to find urban opportunities. Citizens across the country can fulfill government activities as Federal employees without being in the Washington metropolitan area. Consider: as government has outsourced functions to the private sector, contractors are most likely accomplishing the same tasks through decentralized, remote team members. Plus, decentralizing government expands and enhances the labor pool by attracting a broader (and more representative?) segment of American society.

(3) Social networks like GovLoop allow for people to connect with one another and mitigate the distance caused by geography. Not only that, but virtual worlds like Second Life and video technology offered by companies like Cisco and Tandberg will enable us to communicate with one another as if were in the same room. Granted, it's not the same thing as being live and in person, but we can approximate the experience. In addition, one might contend that the balance of work and life that emerges from teleworking situations allows people to spend more time with their families and at their schools, churches and community groups.

Those are just three reasons why I think this proposal has some validity and virtue. What are your thoughts?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Web 2.0 Presentation for Texas State: Resource Guide

Here's the Resource Guide that I created at

I know, I know, it's too small to read's just a teaser for what you can find here.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Web 2.0 Presentation for Texas State CPM

I delivered a webinar on Web 2.0 yesterday for about 15 participants in the Texas State Certified Public Manager program. If you are one of those participants (and even if you are not!), thanks for visiting my blog! The slides from the presentation are found below:

You may also read this document on Scribd: Tex State CPM - Web 2 0 - Sep 4, 2008
I am open to fielding any questions that arise after you review the slides and Resource Guide.