In an attempt to foster better communication between U.S. government agencies, the State Department plans to launch FedSpace this fall, a social networking portal for federal employees. While not the government’s first foray into social networking (Intellipedia, a top secret network, recently celebrated its fifth anniversary), it is expected to be its largest digital undertaking to date.
Fedspace will be primarily made up of member profiles, blogs and wikis with a key purpose to:
- Allow sensitive information to be securely exchanged among federal workers, including file transfers.
- Create a searchable database of the skills and directories of employees (i.e. – Who speaks tribal Moro and can drive a tractor trailer?)
- Communicate important messages quickly to gov’t workers, irrespective of their department
Will the site improve government efficiency and squeeze more out of our tax dollars? Only time will tell, but it is clear that the government is taking a proactive approach towards implementing social media. The General Services Administration recently launched Go.USA.gov, a custom URL-shrinking service to truncate links that end in .gov, .mil and other “official” extensions. Currently in use by over 1,000 government workers, the site helps social media users authenticate the source of a link.