Well of course there are lots of obvious reasons it matters. But what is under-appreciated by many of us in the private sector is how often the government leads the way in developing, fostering and exploiting technology. This is especially true with information technology. The reason is simple: they have a bigger information management problem than anyone else combined with more resources than anyone else. For example, the US (as well as other governments) were building sophisticated markup-based content management, and electronic publishing applications a decade before the Web and browsers existed. While many of those SGML and electronic technical manual applications may seem primitive today, they were very forward-thinking and advanced then, and provided valuable lessons for today’s HTML and XML applications. Also, it is arguable that the entire (non-Google) search technology industry has been kept on life support for the last 20 years because of government investment.
So paying attention to government information technology initiatives is something all IT strategists should be doing. For our June 13-15 conference on government technologies in Washington, Conference Chair Tony Byrne is gathering a broad range of government speakers and experts who have, and are, building powerful content applications. It is a great place to get up-to-speed.
Speakers include:
GAO, FAA, NASA, FirstGov, Navy, Forest Service, EPA, OMB, World Bank,
PostNewsweek Tech Media, NPR, Government Computer News, White House,
GPO, International Trade Commission, Department of Energy, Social
Security Administration, DOT, and many more.
Topics include:
Content management, enterprise search, XML, business cases, content
modeling, open source CMS, best practices, records management, content
security, publishing, text mining, and new technologies being used for
government applications including blogs, wikis, RSS and Podcasting.
The full program is at:

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