Leveraging Technology and Social Media for Information Sharing
AIR FORCE FELLOWS PROGRAM MAXWELL AFB AL
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Improving information sharing, as a sub-set of reforming the interagency process, is a much talked about endeavor. This research paper looks at a few solutions leveraging social networking and emerging technologies for the tactical and operational levels of planning and execution. Each solution is subjectively assessed by ease of use, security, and suitability. HARMONIEWeb is an internet accessible environment for the exchange of information across the civil-government boundary. Two social networking capabilities are assessed facebook and Twitter. Both help people communicate with others. Facebook has a wider audience and is mostly web enabled with some provisions for mobile cellular updates. Twitter has grown into a real-time microbloggingshort messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices. FrontlineSMS is free stand-alone software that turns a laptop and a mobile phone into a central communications hub. The leveraging of technology and social networks appears to be an inevitable course of action in the day-to-day interaction of any government agency. Once security concerns are properly addressed and mitigated, organizations should select a social networking system accessible by a variety of devices or inputs i.e. Twitter and establish an on-line presence and network with interested collaborators. If requirements dictate information sharing and communications in a stand-alone or technologically isolated environment, adopting a software system specifically tailored to facilitating communication within and between non-governmental organizations using indigenous mobile phone carriers or pairing with a deployable mobile phone facility i.e. FrontlineSMS is applicable.
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