Editor's Desk | A Wiki for transition

Every week, it seems, a think tank, trade association or other special interest group releases its recommendations on what agencies and the next administration should consider as the government transitions to new leadership next year.

Many of the recommendations seek to harvest the lessons of past transitions. Others, including those coming from within government agencies, are intent on separating what's working in government from what still needs attention. And not surprisingly, many are merely bent on preserving a host of pet projects.

Keeping track of those recommendations ' let alone identifying which ones are likely to win the attention of the McCain and Obama camps ' is no small task.

That's one reason the 1105 Government Information Group ' which publishes GCN, Federal Computer Week, Washington Technology, Defense Systems, Government Health IT and Federal Employees News Digest and produces events such as FOSE ' has launched a new, admittedly experimental wiki to collect the growing number of reports, articles and events about the transition.

The site, named Gov Transition 2009 (GovTransition2009.wik.is), is intended to be an interactive resource for a variety of communities that have a stake in the way government is managed. In particular, it is an attempt to highlight issues related to program execution, performance management, acquisition and procurement, the use of information technology, and the workforce.

We chose a wiki for two reasons. Having reported extensively on the growing use of collaboration tools in government, we felt it was important to create a site where a variety of knowledgeable players could participate in the discussion. We've also come to appreciate ' to borrow from author James Surowiecki ' the wisdom of crowds and the problem-solving abilities of large groups of people. We're hopeful that by facilitating a public arena, we will help the best ideas rise to the surface.

We invite your comments about Gov Transition 2009 and your suggestions about what other reports, articles and events deserve the attention of the thousands of people moving into new positions in Washington in 2009.

About the Author

Wyatt Kash served as chief editor of GCN (October 2004 to August 2010) and also of Defense Systems (January 2009 to August 2010). He currently serves as Content Director and Editor at Large of 1105 Media.

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