Podcast: What is the HHS Center for New Media?
What is the HHS Center for New Media?
You’re listening to The HHS Center for New Media podcast, where new and innovative media projects are introduced, shared, and discussed.
In today’s world of growing technologies, the reach we have at our computer is continually expanding. Web 2.0 has brought people together online through interaction, participation and convergence. Here at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for New Media is trying to apply those growing tools to the growth of the Department. Read Holman is a New Media Strategist at The Center.
“The mission of the H.H.S. Center for New Media is to promote and support the strategic implementation of new media across the department, so across all of H.H.S.”
The Center works to communicate with all members across H.H.S., using trainings like “new media 101” and “how to strategically use a particular tool” to help members of the department, while also realizing that some of those people know more than they do.
“We also work to establish collaborations and share best practices across all of H.H.S. The website serves as a very fundamental tool that helps us do that, where we post lessons learned and different guidance documents and various resources.”
That website, newmedia.hhs.gov, is home to a vast amount of resources for H.H.S. employees, including Standards and Policies that apply to all web practices.
“Those may be 508 and accessibility issues, records management issues, privacy security. Those policies were written and have long applied to our static websites. Suddenly these new technologies come along where the shape of the way the world works on the web is not on a static website that we maintain but more on a dynamic website that others may maintain. The Facebook.com’s…The Twitter.com’s. The biggest challenges that we right now are facing head on are how these standards and policies that apply to web pages also now begin to apply to our new media tools and practices.”
It’s one of the challenges that Holman and the entire H.H.S. Center for New Media is currently taking on. Ultimately, he says, the task at hand is to give employees the right rules to use the tools.
“We try to create the framework and structure through which offices across the department can set up their Facebook account and set up their Twitter account, and do so effectively and legally.”
The goal is also to bring H.H.S. employees together through collaboration. One of The Centers most recent victories came in the creation of the directories tool on their websites homepage, which answers the question, how many people are using a given tool.
“On the right hand column there is this little box that says directories of H.H.S. accounts. You click on YouTube and you can see everybody in H.H.S. that’s on YouTube, right there.”
The tool also applies to Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and Flickr. Holman explains how the directories tool benefits all employees.
“They can easily go into these directories of accounts, poke around to see whose doing what, and it also gives them a clearer idea as to who to contact if they want to see how to mimic, and use the lessons learned and best practices of others.”
Looking ahead to the future of new media, the ultimate goal is collaboration and participation. The Center is now working to bring as many members of H.H.S. together to do just that, and ultimately, create a more efficient and productive working platform.
“What we’d like to be able to do is have an online space where we can list a few things that we think need to be done. Other people across H.H.S. can list the things that they think need to be done. And then we’re looking at now what’s called an ideation type of tool where people can vote on which ones they think are more important. That entire process is able to prioritize the work of the H.H.S. Center for New Media.”
You’ve been listening to The HHS Center for New Media podcast, where new and innovative media projects are introduced, shared, and discussed. If you have a project, media tool, or idea that you want to share with other H.H.S. employees, please contact email@example.com.
Thanks for listening. I’m Nicholas Garlow.