Government Connections - Fall 2009 - (Page 10)

THAT’S TECHNOLOGY What’s New—For Now TECHNOLOGY CAN BE a blessing and a bane in our daily lives. We have to admit, however, it would be difficult to live without it. Government communications, services, purchases, informational sites, and blogs keep us connected to Uncle Sam in a most transparent form. That same transparency has been wired into our social lives as well. Take a look at some of these trends, sites, and technology issues that are here today. But watch out; it may be gone tomorrow or morphed into something entirely different—that’s technology! THE FEDERAL “IT DASHBOARD” The IT Dashboard is a new, one-stop clearinghouse of information that allows anyone with a Web browser to track federal information technology (IT) initiatives and hold the government accountable for progress and results. A part of, the dashboard allows users to see which IT projects are working and on schedule (and which are not), to offer alternative approaches, and to provide direct feedback to the chief information officers at federal agencies. The IT Dashboard has become an instant success for agency leaders and government watchdogs. The site has had more than 20 million hits so far, with encouraging response from members of Congress and the public in support of the government’s efforts to increase transparency. And one of those 20 million hits was from a prominent user—President Obama. In essence, users can keep tabs on the people who are responsible for spending taxpayer dollars on technology. In fiscal year 2009, all agencies make up 781 major investments with spending at $38.6 billion. Government Connections will be looking at spending on IT projects that have government travel and meeting application uses in future issues. ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKING Are you LinkedIn? Have you been Facebooked? What’s going on with your Twitter account? How’s your MySpace page looking? Have you heard of GovGab? Visit to read blog posts that point to great government resources. You can search meeting planning, travel, retirement, etc., for your personal knowledge or to socialize with another “govie” (government employee). GovGab is fun for everyone. NOTEBOOK/NETBOOK TECH OPTIONS This year, for the first time ever, notebook sales outpaced desktop sales. The attractiveness of notebooks and their smaller, less powerful cousins, netbooks, has grown as features such as battery life and structural durability have improved. Notebooks in particular are being regarded more than ever as replacements for desktop machines, holding enough memory and processing power to function just as well on the road as in the office. Netbooks, on the other hand, should be treated more like large smart phones rather than small notebooks. Netbooks are for “net-centric computing” (i.e., surfing the Internet and checking e-mail). They often lack the computing power that makes running multiple applications possible without delay or disruption, and are not a good option for video conferencing. Netbooks have less storage space for videos, movies, pictures, etc., and no DVD drive. Before purchasing a netbook—and the price makes it tempting— decide if it is the best machine to improve office efficiency and not just lower IT costs. Notebooks have limitations as well. When they aren’t being toted through airports and around conferences, they often require peripherals like a full keyboard, larger monitor, and a mouse for use in the office. Notebooks easily can be damaged or lost too. Determine your needs for meeting management and consider the power of a notebook versus a netbook when you are away from the office, then you can make a more educated decision. INTERNET & WIRELESS DEVICE SAFETY Three important things to keep in mind as you surf: • Nothing sent or posted online is going to remain private. • There is no changing your mind in cyberspace; assume anything sent or posted online will never really go away. • Nothing is truly anonymous. Screen names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses can be traced back to an individual if someone—including a criminal—tries hard enough. GGOVERNMENT CONNECTIONS | FALL 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Fall 2009

Government Connections - Fall 2009
President’s Letter
Editor’s Letter
Going Places
Education Edge
That’s Technology
Travel Tips & Trends
Supplier Strategy
Plan Green
Good to Know
Dieting on a Per Diem
Brush up on Jetiquette
Achieving Success as a Contract Meeting Planner
Is There a Government Meetings Blacklist?
Considering Clients with Disabilities
The New Normal
Annual Report
Working Smarter
SGMP Nation
Membership News
Go Figure
Conference Connection
Advertisers’ Index
The Meeting Minute

Government Connections - Fall 2009