Spacebook: NASA's homegrown, secure social network app

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has developed a homegrown social-networking application that provides all NASA employees with the types of features found in Facebook but in a secure environment.

Spacebook, which offers user profiles, group collaboration tools and social bookmarking, is available through NASA’s intranet, according to Linda Cureton, Goddard’s chief information officer, who announced the launch, appropriately enough, on her blog.

CIOs are eager to take advantage of the collaboration technologies available through commercial social-networking sites, such as Facebook and Myspace, but they have valid security concerns, Cureton writes. “Launching capabilities like this on internal networks reduces those barriers of entry.”

NASA’s Ames Research Center and Kennedy Space Center have developed their own social-networking applications based on SharePoint, she notes. At some point, the space agency might integrate those with Spacebook.

“One of the most amazing things about these Web 2.0 technologies, and the greatest value to NASA, is the ability to help us create a culture of engagement and collaboration that makes each individual employee much more effective,” Cureton writes.

More GCN news about social networking:

Facebook diplomacy: State uses Web chats to reach out overseas
Army gives soldiers access to Twitter, Facebook
Social-networking tools fuel collaboration
Ready for a closeup: GSA debuts on YouTube
Obama White House embraces social networking
Internaut: 16 rules for using social media networks

About the Author

John S. Monroe is the editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week.

Reader Comments

Mon, Jun 22, 2009 L Swinford

Facebook-style social networking is one thing, but how (or if) do they make (or keep) it productive and business-useful?Taking a break for chit-chat is very useful to meticulous mindwork, but is that all it does? Are there collaborative problem-solving also going on?

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