BART Says: We Can (or Want to) Do Wireless!

With all the talks of Government 2.0 lately, we haven’t talked about those who are embracing it in a meaningful (and useful) way. Peter Corbett and iStrategyLabs could be lauded for spearheading Apps for Democracy, a contest that brought Web innovation to the District with apps like iPark. Certainly, there are plenty of folks in the private sector chomping at the bit to do something useful for the government.

imagesBut shouldn’t we laud the governments that are actually listening to the public and trying their hardest to adjust?

Organizations like the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) who just posted a survey for Bay Area riders looking to understand the wireless needs of their customers. In other words, they are listening. It, of course, remains to be seen if they will follow through.

Wireless technologies (notably WiFi) are amazingly absent in mass transit. As far as I know, no US-based system has incorporated things like free (or even paid) wireless in their trains or buses (cannot support this with evidence, so I’m happy to be proven wrong).

Here in the District, Metrorail has wireless carrier access – if your wireless carrier is Verizon Wireless. In the Bay Area, iPhones rule the day and though I don’t live there enough to know if AT&T works underground there, I can say that giving the tech-heavy Silicon Valley access to their mobile devices will help bring along ridership. Ridership means fewer carbon emissions from fewer cars and a bonus to traffic. (We all know that Scoble is surfing the web on his iPhone while driving. Wouldn’t it be better if her used the train instead? ;)

Security Problems and Government 2.0

The other day, I made a very serious point about the fad that is “Government 2.0″. I was pleased by the amount of attention it received and the large number of very reputable and poignant comments it recieved. However, it was largely a philosophical post, and did not provide anything concrete.

Today, that concrete example fell in my lap as I read this post by IT Security company, Websense. The post outlines how malicious users added an image to a “user generated” section of My.Barack.Obama. The image led to a trojan download site that is infecting user computers.

Granted, the MBO site is not a government site, but it is certainly related, wouldn’t you say?

Veteran federal IT Administrators are vicious about protecting internal systems and intranets. Trust me, I know. I come from a Lockheed Martin, CSC and Northrop Grumman background where projects I worked on were all government-facing or oriented. This is what we did.

For as much complaint as there is about the lack of transparency, the lack of public facing services that engage the public in a Web 2.0 way, I’d point out that there is a valid reason for it. I would love to see the Government opened up to more Web-savvy ways, but there are very tangible reasons why they are not!

This is also why Government 2.0 will not rule the day. At least not soon. Until there is a sensible way to prevent user-generated content from being user-generated security nightmares, such as this incident was, Government 1.0 will rule the day.

Security will always trump anything else and right now, there is too much opportunity for mischief to entrust the federal systems to user-generated anything.

Help Wanted

Over the past month and a half, I’ve been working tirelessly on building out the consulting arm of what I do. Recently, I posted a consulting page here that outlines some of the work I do and can do for clients and people like Thomas Hawk have been actively promoting me. I can’t say enough in thanks for all the people who have passed my name along to interested parties, both as potential employment material as well as consulting material.

Though my search continues, I am pleased by the amount of inquiries I have gotten during this time. Though I am still looking for a big longer term project of 4-6 months, I am feeling confident that I can sustain the work I do here based on a myriad of smaller projects from WordPress migrations, sponsored plugin development, strategy consultation as well as SEO.

Historically, I have turned away work that involves design, for instance, because I am not a designer. However, the amount of work I’ve turned away is significant and noticeable and I no longer want to do that. There are also other positions I’d like to fill.

Ux Developer

First I am looking for a Ux Developer. As the most critical part of this position, I’m not looking for someone who has a firm understanding of usability. At this time, I am looking to retain the actual HTML/CSS coding but I am looking for a Photoshop ninja – someone who can take specs, work with me as well as clients on look and feel. We will use Conceptshare and Basecamp, or similar, as jumping off project management and collaboration tools. I will run the business side of things so you will not have to negotiate with anyone but me. Please send resumes and examples of logos and website design work to me. Please include general flat-rate ballpark figures for such work. This is for ongoing project work as it comes in.

Business Manager

Second of all, I’m looking to pay someone on a percentage basis to develop business. This is a typical BizDev role where you will talk to potential clients, work out deals and earn more money for more business you secure. You will work with me to vet projects and determine feasability, viability and develop requirements if necessary. Please send resumes and a short note to me.


Of course, the strength of is in the writing. If you are interested in writing here at and gaining notoriety and readership, please send examples of your work and a pitch to me. This is unpaid for now, but you wil have immediate access to the large and influential readership here. Areas of focus are web, technology, entrepreneurship, etc.