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Britain Appoints First Twitter Czar

Did you see this? BusinessWeek reports that U.K. government has appointed its first “director of digital engagement” to “to push its plan to move more public services online and leverage social media.”

Andrew Stott, a Cambridge graduate with a degree in mathematics and law who has been deputy CIO since September 2004, started his new job yesterday—championing digital engagement and promoting the use of web 2.0 technologies across government. One of his first tasks was to create a Twitter account for the role: @DirDigEng.

@CiscoSystems is definitely following him now.Very progressive for any government to have this type of high-touch in their administration…clearly one person cannot scale to work with all constituents, but could Twitter be a way for all of us to get closer to our governments and elected officials? I’m following a handful of elected officials as well as government leaders in the US, such as @caseycoleman who is the CIO of the Government Services Agency (GSA). If anything, it certainly helps put a face and name to some sometimes nameless and faceless government bureaus. I applaud it. Now, if the DMV would just read this! (Actually, to give them credit here in California, they allow you to schedule appointments online and it saves MUCH time, thank you California DMV.)

Cisco Mobility Bringing Collaboration in Motion

Cisco continues its saga of uniting collaboration and mobility with Collaboration in Motion, a strategic approach with the goal of overcoming the barriers of distance and time that enable people to connect, communicate and collaborate. More simply put, Collaboration in Motion bridges the gaps between an on-premises wired network, off-premises cellular network and a high performance Wi-Fi network, thereby enabling a collaborative experience from any workspace. Essentially, connect devices, people, business processes, and networks to transition to a borderless enterprise and help businesses thrive. Read More »

NYC iSchool: Rethinking School for the 21st Century

Cisco’s ongoing commitment to transforming education for the 21st century reached a new milestone May 12, 2009 in America’s largest school district. Cisco Global Education, along side of Chancellor Joel Klein from the New York City Department of Education, and philanthropist and businessman Mort Zuckerman celebrated the successful launch of New York City’s first Model School focused on preparing students for the 21st Century. Just short of completing it’s first school year with the inaugural freshman class, the NYC iSchool has taken a problem-based learning approach to education. Teachers collaborate on thought provoking topics to integrate into the classroom while ensuring they still meet state mandated subjects and testing standards. Students learn in the context of real world problems, and just like the real world, they have access to a host of technology and information anytime, anywhere, and from anyplace. The NYC iSchool is leading the way in creating a culture in education that truly engages students with successful results. Read More »

The Future is Here….The Virtual World for Large Meetings!

imageIt’s 6:15pm EST on Wednesday May 13th, 2009 and I have just gotten up from my chair to get a cup of coffee before joining the next session. This is Day 2 of Cisco’s annual Strategic Leadership Offsite (SLO) where directors and above from all around the world and from all functions of the company congregate to align on the key priorities for the coming year. The difference this year is that we are doing it virtually. I do admit that when I heard the plans for a virtual meeting for SLO, I felt a rush of excitement that we were trying something radically different. I also was questioning whether I would like the experience and if it would be as effective as being physically there. Our current financial climate is forcing all companies to look carefully at expenses, and Cisco is no exception. The SLO event has historically averaged a cost of $2,800 per person and since we have close to 3,000 attendees, the expense is significant. Cancelling SLO is not an option and we needed to find an alternative that wasn’t as expensive. “Necessity is the mother of invention” and our need to reduce expenses led to this idea of a virtual SLO. The cost for attending virtually is turning out to be around $680 per person vs $2,800 which is a quarter of what we used to spend. Ok… so it makes financial sense and it also saves a lot of time traveling to and from the event. But is it effective? image Read More »

Blogs Versus The News: “Rough First Draft of History”

There is lots of talk in the news industry about business models and the future of news. At a conference that I attended yesterday, Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal and “D: All Things Digital” said the focus shouldn’t be on saving newspapers, but on saving quality journalism. I didn’t see Craig Newmark’s reaction (he, of Craigslist), but I’m sure he agrees, as his site has been accused of being a vital component of dwindling newspaper revenue since people can now list their classifieds for free rather then going to their local newspaper. Not to mention, of course, Google, the Associated Press and more.In thinking about a panel that I am sitting on this afternoon with Chris O’Brien of the San Jose Mercury News (and his side project Next Newsroom), Robert Scoble of Building43, Liz Gannes of NewTeeVee, and moderated by our friend (and CEO) at Text100, Aedhmar Hynes, I read this interesting Frank Rich article in the New York Times, “The American Press on Suicide Watch”…as well as this essay by Kathleen Deveny on “Reinventing Newsweek.” The essence (from my point of view) is that the business model of news is currently broken, but that quality journalism IS important and many bloggers, pundits and pontificators generally offer opinions on the news that is created by real newsrooms. Read More »