Blog, Blog, Blog

December 29, 2003

Blogging, or keeping a weblog, is often seen as a solitary effort. An individual can type frequent updates onto their log, sharing opinions or ideas with anyone with Internet access. The future of blogging could look a lot different. The Office of Naval Research and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) are testing out the idea that weblogs can be powerful communication tools to bring together teams of people.

The ONR and NUWC are leading a government-industry team to develop a blog as a promising new approach to speeding up the exchange of information on new defense technologies--and thereby speed up getting the technologies into the field.

The blog is one of 12 pilot programs, selected for funding from a field of 120, for demonstration through the DoD Rapid Acquisition Incentive-Net Centricity (RAI-NC) initiative. The RAI-NC, managed by the office of the Pentagon's chief information officer, aims to demonstrate processes to speed up the development of net-centric, "transformational" approaches to defense technology development and acquisition.

This pilot blog is being developed by Traction Software as an "enterprise blog" according to the company. It will serve as a medium for distribution of general information to staffers from the seven team members. It also will enable users to post proprietary data, for example, test results and reports, that are accessible only to designated readers or groups of readers. The homepage will resemble a newspaper consisting of stories posted by users.

The first program to use the blog is evaluating a night-vision technology developed by Ford Motor Corp. The team members include Ford, the Marine Corps, the Army's Night Vision Lab, the Defense Acquisition University, and the New York Police Department.

Nancy Groves, ONR's manager of technology transfer, says that ONR is providing the night-vision technology to government and non-government organizations for evaluation. Ford will benefit through access to their findings, which may help with future upgrades to the technology.
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Office of Naval Research

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