Use of Web 2.0 Tools for DON IM/IT Policy Development

By Christy Crimmins - Published, August 19, 2009

Over the past few years, the use of Web 2.0 tools has increased in the Department of the Navy. Many of these tools present both opportunities and challenges. This column will focus on educating readers about the myriad tools available for use within the DON, Department of Defense, and federal government, as well as the challenges they present. Topics will range from new applications to safe use and cultural changes that occur as a result of Web 2.0 collaboration. In the interactive spirit of Web 2.0, your comments and suggestions are encouraged.

The office of the DON Chief Information Officer has begun to pilot the use of Intelink, home to Intellipedia, "the U.S. Government's unclassified wiki," developed by the Intelligence Community Enterprise Services (ICES) within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The DON CIO is using Intelink to develop and refine existing policy. To be eligible for an account, users must belong to or provide direct support to the intelligence, defense, homeland security, law enforcement or diplomatic communities.

In addition to Intellipedia, other services offered by ICES through Intelink are a blogging capability, video and instant messenger — in all classification domains — and a Web-based document management system called Intelink Inteldocs. An outline of these services, as well as information on ICES, can be found on Intellipedia.

On April 29, 2009, Secretary of the Navy Instruction (SECNAVINST) 5000.36A, the Department's policy on information technology applications and data management, was posted to Intellipedia for community comments and editing. The policy will remain open for editing for approximately three months. In the near future, the DON CIO plans to post additional DON information management/information technology (IM/IT) policies for community editing.

"A challenge faced by the DON is to develop and promulgate effective IM/IT policy," said DON CIO Chief Technology Officer Michael Jacobs. "Effective policy does more than simply identify the 'rules' that must be followed; it guides the Department toward achieving its critical goals and strategic objectives." The DON CIO hopes that by opening policies for community editing, members of the Department will be encouraged to review, provide input and make changes during the policy development phase.

"We hope to foster a collaborative environment where everyone has the opportunity to comment while the posted policies are taking shape, not just as a final step before they get signed," Jacobs said.

In addition to providing a space for collaboration on existing policy, the page also includes space for the identification of policy gaps. Like the policies posted to the site, this page is open to anyone in the Department with suggestions for future DON IM/IT policy development.

To access DON IM/IT policies open for community comments and editing, as well as the space dedicated to identification of IM/IT policy gaps, visit: http://go.usa.gov/kcK. Users will need to register for a user name and password to access the site.

The development of DON policy is a For Official Use Only (FOUO) activity. Access to Intellipedia is limited to government employees; active duty and ready reserve members of the U.S. military; active members of the U.S. National Guard; contractors or other individuals sponsored by a U.S. government agency; state, local or tribal government employees; Foreign Nationals sponsored by a U.S. government agency; and members of the U.S. academic community sponsored by a U.S. government agency.

Intellipedia has more than 23,000 registered users and 126,000 pages. There are 1,100 unclassified blogs with more than 8,900 posts. Users who register for accounts are able to create their own blogs and post comments to many others.

Jacobs has started a blog to discuss emerging IT issues relevant to the DON, as well as their use, implementation and adoption.

Christy Crimmins provides communications support to the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer.

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