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NASA's Dueling In-House Facebooks

By Keith Cowing
June 12, 2009

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Launches Spacebook
“What’s next for Spacebook? There are currently pilots at Ames Research Center and Kennedy Space Center on SharePoint so integrating these capabilities may be desirable. The ability to leverage use of widgets and have use mashable apps is something that we want.”
Keith’s note: “May be desirable”? Yikes, of course it is desirable that they are mutually integrated. Note the title of this post “NASA Goddard launches … “ not “NASA launches …” It is bad enough that NASA is trying to reinvent the wheel internally with in-house applications. But the thought of NASA having multiple internally-developed social networking sites which are, by definition, much less capable than the ones you find in the real world, is really scary. Yet another example of how this agency is incapable of cooperating internally – the net result being that every center needs to have its own shiny new toy.
What is sadly humorous is how this blog post was written – one that is freely open to the public – yet a link is offered to Spacebook that only works inside the NASA firewall. Why bother putting it there if no one outside can use it? Yet another example of how NASA never stops to ponder the reaction of the rest of the world to what it does inside the gate.
My snarkiness aside, Linda is to be congratulated for jumping into this Brave New World like few other NASA center CIOs have. You have to start somewhere – and she has. Now she and the other forward-thinking CIOs need to make the next big step – to go beyond the mind-numbing cultural confines of their respective field centers and implement NASA-wide solutions.

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.