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How government employees can participate in the GovITwiki - GovITwiki


How government employees can participate in the GovITwiki

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Government employees, particularly managers of IT systems, can participate in the GovITwiki by creating a page to highlight their program or business function. If you manage a government program, you are likely to be the greatest expert in how that program works, how it uses information technology, and how both citizens and other government departments can interact with that program.

Share as much information about the program as you'd like, including contact details. (Only if desired).

Don't be afraid to promote yourself as an expert in your slice of the IT world. Discuss the technology that you use or offer. Help others learn more about it and how they can solve their IT challenges. Encourage others to contact you via your "my talk" page.

Are government employees allowed to enter content on this Wiki?

In general, yes they are. But there are specific circumstances for this and it is best to check with your individual agencies to confirm their rules.

When CAN government employees participate?
Some people point to very general government rules which restrict government employees from entering information on .com sites. However, this does not always apply. It's important to keep in mind that exceptions are usually made to this rule for a) outreach and education or b) participation in efforts leading to standards, research, training or process improvement.

  • For outreach and education examples, just look to places like SecondLife.com where government organizations such as NASA, the Information Resources Management College at the National Defense University, and several other agencies have built information pavilions containing many pages of online content provided by the government. Meanwhile, some government sites now embed links from commercial sites (similar to our set of "share this" icons in the column to the left) to allow users to auto-add gov content to shared bookmarking sites. There also are hundreds of examples of military ads and ads for government maps, databases, etc. on commercial sites.
  • For examples of government participation in training or process improvement efforts, you can see USDA training videos on YouTube. And if you look at sites like Government Computer News or Federal Computer Week, you will see examples of special guest articles written by government IT managers.

Per the examples listed above, and hundreds more, government employees clearly can and do participate in conversations on .com sites. But their activities should not be commercial in nature, nor should such forms be used to promote any political causes or to delete information for any reason other than to improve information accuracy.

Bottom line on participation in the GovITwiki: Hundreds of government employees have already posted information here and it's very likely most government employees will not have a problem participating here if their entries are meant to educate citizens and to share publicly available information about government resources, IT program or government technology efforts. But it's always wise to check with your agency to make sure. Participants are welcome to use a nickname here, and all entries should be documented with links that support the details of their entries.

How to Get Started

  1. Choose a user name and register here. In order to keep our content of the highest quality, you will need to verify your email address to edit pages. This process is automated. We don't keep the email addresses nor collect any personally identifiable information. After you create your user name, feel free to add details and a brief description on your personal user page (Just click on your name at the top of the page). How much you share here is totally up to you.
  2. Search for the name of your program using our search box. The results will show you if and where the wiki mentions the program. The results page also gives you a chance to click on the search name and create a new page by that name. Click through and create your new page!
  3. On your new page you will see a text editing box. It starts with a WYSIWYG editor. But you can click the Wikitext button to use a straight text editor instead. Our Editing Cheatsheet page tells you how to use both editors.
  4. Once you have created your page, look for places around GovITwiki where you can link to the page.
  5. On the front page, we have a link to All Federal Agencies . Drill down to find your agency or department. (You may need to create department-level pages if your department isn't listed.)
  6. From the front page you also can see sections sorted by technology, by major initiative, by hot topics and more. Try not to over-link, but feel free to add links where they are appropriate.

That's it! thanks for participating. Please stay involved by creating other content too.

  • Look for links shown in red. These areas need more information. If you are familiar with one of these areas, feel free to click through and add this information, with documentation. You can also find things that you can write about on the Wanted Pages article.
  • Use the search box to search for a specific subject area related to government information technologies or specific agency IT projects. If the page has not yet been created, follow the create this page link and add new content. If the page does already exist, feel free to add additional information (documented).
  • Use Templates
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