IT/Web: August 2011 Archives

NASA Seeks to Communicate, Engage Public Better,

"[Bolden] also said he was "disappointed" at the lack of fresh faces - "those in the back, who haven't been around for the last 10 to 20 years" - in the audience, but did not discount the attendees either. "We need your help - your ideas, your energy and your passion. What you're doing here today is very important, and I look forward to hearing more from you," Bolden said in closing, tying into the broader themes of the Future Forum, with panel discussions between academia, NASA officials, and private industry representatives featuring technology and innovation, commercial technology transfer, and inspiring education. Broader interaction with the public also came up during a question and answer session after the first panel discussion. A member of the audience suggested that the biggest problem NASA has is "preaching to the choir" - established supporters - via Twitter and the web. A discussion of broadening the base ensued. "If we have a more loud choir, more people look at what's going on in the church," NASA Chief Scientist Dr. Waleed Abdalati suggested."

Keith's note: NASA has lots of transmitters to throw things out into the media and at the public - but it has very few receivers with which to capture input from the real world. And when it does get input, it often hasn't a clue what to do with the information. There is more to this than constantly asking for input, Charlie. You need to instigate a culture shift inside your agency wherein the input NASA gets from outside itself is incorporated into how your people run the agency. NASA needs to admit that it doesn't know everything and that 'change is an option' when public input does not mesh with what the agency thinks it is supposed to be doing. As for loud choirs, Waleed, NASA often confuses momentary amplitude with real public interest. It can be difficult to hear subtle messages when all you have is a bullhorn at your disposal.

Keith's note: So ... this is the new NASA Buzzroom? If so, NASA needs to replace the responsible website contractor JESS3 ASAP. This is just a crappy Facebook feed wherein anything that people post appears on this website with zero moderation. One post says "NASA takes down buzzroom after too much revealed about Comet Elenin trajectory." At least this new version of Buzzroom no longer features utterly off-topic videos that featured including lynchings and 80's hair bands (see earlier stories on this failed experiment)

The NASA IT Summit is an open forum of all the best that IT offers. Members of the IT community - NASA, Federal, Industry & Academia - will gather to exchange ideas, share best practices, and learn what is new and cutting edge on the internal and external IT landscape. NASA CIO Linda Cureton will host the 2011 IT Summit at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco - August 15-17. To chat during the session, please go to the session on the IT Summit Remote Engagement Site:

Livestreaming webcast

More information

Keith's note: Facebook's CIO Tim Campos is the opening speaker today at the IT Summit. Alas, NASA blocks access to Facebook (and Google+ etc.) NASA has multiple internal attempts to copy (badly) some of what Facebook does so there is some appreciation for the utility of these tools. Campos makes many good points. Indeed, I think Tim Campos and NASA CIO Linda Cureton need to have a serious chat during the lunch break. He says interesting things but NASA blocks access to his company's product. So how can his lessons be applied? Why can't NASA civil servants and contractors use Facebook (or Google+) or both? And please don't throw "firewall" or "ITAR" nonsense back at me in the comments section. If NASA can reprogram 30+ year old Voyager spacecraft outside our solar system surely they can figure out how to offer employees the same tools that the rest of the world uses.

Working at NASA in 2011 is like driving a car that only has an AM radio - with only one speaker.

Keith's clarification: While some people can clearly access (and interact with) Facebook and other social media sites from their desks at NASA others tell me that they cannot. Due to the retaliatory mindset at NASA I am not going to identify where these people are. Suffice it to say, there is no consistent, agency-wide policy as to what people inside NASA can or cannot access out in the real world.

Keith's note: NASA's Webb Space Telescope Twitter account is promoting AURA JWST lobbying materials:

"We've just added a link on our site to this page from AURA which has a collection of statements of support for JWST:"

Reader note: Read the following on the Direct TV web site regarding NASA TV. So they now want to charge $10.00 extra but not deliver HD. "Is NASA TV still available on DIRECTV? Yes, DIRECTV will still offer NASA TV on Channel 289. However, starting August 3, 2011, NASA TV will only be available to customers who have DIRECTV HD equipment and are subscribed to HD Access ($10/month). But please note: NASA TV will remain a standard definition channel. Upgrade to HD online or call us at 1-800-531-5000."

NASA Launches New Open Government Blog

"The site is a collaborative blog for the open government community to highlight the ways that transparency, participation, and collaboration are being embraced throughout the agency. "NASA is committed to experimenting with and embracing new participatory ways of collaboration," said Linda Cureton, the agency's chief information officer. "The launch of open.NASA is a new chapter in NASA's culture of openness and an exciting new way to engage citizens in our activities."



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