j.j. toothman

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Month: May 2010

Defining Gov 2.0

As I stated in my previous post defining Cloud Computing, I’m on the lookout for foundational definitions to the buzzwords circling my work at NASA Ames.  And I’ve found the definition of Gov 2.0 that I’m going to proceed with.  It comes from Laurel Ruma, co-chair of Gov 2.0 Expo and O’Reilly Media’s Gov 2.0 evangelist. In an interview with the Federal Cloud Blog, Laurel provides the following construct for Gov 2.0.

It’s an umbrella term for this next generation of government, one that accepts and uses technology as one of its main tenets. But, it’s not just the technology.

Technology is easy and tools are easy — it’s also people, and the collaboration between governments at every level, from federal down to your city government, with the people. This is happening easily with social media and more interaction on the web.

It’s also about looking at government as this great provider of information and open data and how it can be used to really further every American’s and global citizen’s desire to have more information about their government at any given time.


Defining Cloud Computing

A couple things I’m realizing about cloud computer.  First, NASA is management is pretty obsessed with it.  Almost every single I.T. conversation I have at NASA Ames has the word “cloud” in it somehow.  Second, I don’t have a great working definition that I’m using as a foundation for my thinking on cloud computing.  If you asked me “what is cloud computing?” recently, I would probably tell you that cloud computing is when I’m in the middle of a flight from San Francisco to Boston and I can send emails and surf the web.


So I’ve been looking for a definition and found one that I liked.  And as it turns out, it’s from NASA CIO Linda Cureton.  In a blog post from last December, Linda defines cloud computing as “a style of computing where scalable and elastic capabilities are provided as a service through Internet capabilities”. 

Cloud Computing is a style of computing where scalable and elastic capabilities are provided as a service through Internet capabilities. Elasticity is the most important attribute and is looked at from the perspective of the consumer of the service. Capabilities are acquired at the consumer’s (end user) discretion and are automatic, demand-focused, with no manual intervention. There is no need to place a call or make an order; these capabilities are done in an automated fashion. The elasticity provides for a “pay as you go” concept that negates the need to build infrastructures for new products or new development projects. The cost savings are achieved through this elasticity. Its security model is designed to operate in a hostile environment and focuses on flexibility. The security model is best described as rather than building a big secure moat around a computing environment to protect data, have “armed guards” escort data every where it needs to go.

Read the full post here

I’ve heard a lot of wonderful things about Linda.  Many NASA people whose opinion I respect highly have nothing but praise for her leadership.  I look forward to meeting her sometime soon.

The most accurate blog post on Gov 2.0 that I’ve read so far

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in the past few weeks diving into the the online discussions regarding Gov 2.0, OpenGov, etc.  Basically, I’m playing catch up.  And I’ve found myself spiraling down some interesting worm holes.

But one of the best assessments of the Government 2.0 trend that I’ve read so far came from Aaron Brazell.  AKA Technolsailor.  Despite the fact that it was written in January 2009, I haven’t read anything else that truly captures how the Gov 2.0 trend is really going to play out.  I completely agree with Aaron’s notion that any external self described Gov 2.0 “expert” isn’t going to make much of an impact changing how government works.  I’m sure there will be an exception or two to that statement.  But you have to truly understand how government works in order to start making a difference in helping it evolve.  Here’s a key passage from Aaron’s post.

There is the elected government which changes every 4-8 years and sometimes longer (in the case of Congress and State legislatures). As well, there is an established government – career feds who are never fired, and rarely quit their jobs. They just move between agencies with established patterns and principles in tow. They are the foot soldiers who actually do the work. The established government is where the real change begins.

That’s exactly right and spoken like someone who has worked within government circles before.1 One of my major concerns with the Gov 2.0 and related trends is that the same evolution that took place in social media marketing circles will repeat itself. 

  1. which I believe Aaron has 

Great GPS / International Space Station Idea

Can someone build an app that alerts me when ISS is in the sky above me based on my phones GPS location. Blackberry preferably.Mon May 17 23:05:10 via web

Just a great, great idea. I remember being in middle school and there was one summer when for 3 nights in a row, my friends and I would sit on the roof of someone’s house and watch the space shuttle travel across the sky. I haven’t done that since. Why? Mainly because I don’t know when to look up.

An Introduction and Preface to More

I’m J.J. Toothman and I’m a NASA Web Dude. 

If you already know me, you probably know that I recently started working at NASA Ames Research Center as a Web Strategist.  If you don’t know me, read the post about this over on my personal blog as I wrote about what I’ll be doing at NASA Ames. This is my second stint working on improving the web experience at Ames.  There is still so much to be done.

For the past month, I’ve been getting ramped up with the current activities related to Web at Ames and around the rest of the agency.  I’ve also been spending some time thinking about the following question:

Do I really need to start another blog? 

[Still Thinking…] 

After all, I’ve already got a personal blog.  And a blog for freelancing business that I share with Holly Hagen.  And then there’s the photography blog I’ve been meaning to ramp up but has gotten trumped by the needs of my two young sons and my mobile posterous blog.  Then there’s that Red Sox blog that, well, let’s just say that the less than great start by my favorite baseball team has really disenchanted me from writing about them.1

But yes, despite all these other experiments and trials, I do thing the right move is to start another topical blog.  As I’ve been discovering, the topics of Gov 2.0, OpenGov, OpenNASA, etc. etc.  is a H-O-T space.  There is a lot of activity going on.   I previously sensed this when I was thinking about returning to NASA, but didn’t really grasp the sheer abundance of thinking and effort being put into these subjects by some excellent people.  Thus, needing my own place to reflect on these matters, communicate my own thoughts, and share my related activities… here I am.  Thought about doing this on my personal blog, but really that has become (or perhaps it always was) a friends and family communication blog sharing what I’m up to and, of course, lots of pictures of the two sons I share with my wife Keturah. 

A focused, niche blog seemed more appropriate.  And thus, the NASA Web Dude blog is born.

Stay tuned. 

  1. This paragraph is really just a sly attempt to provide a bunch of related hyperlinks about me to help people get to know me better. 

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