Regular readers will note that I have been, um, a little critical of NSF's online presence. However, I've been getting hints from NSFers that the Bio Directorate was considering some options to make interaction possible. Lo and behold, last night I heard
from a band of singing cherubs on twitter that the new Director of the DEB Division of Bio, Alan Townsend, is starting a blog. In his own words:
Last, be on the lookout for a new blog – the first in NSF’s history. Though my absence from here might make it seem otherwise, I’m a firm believer in how a range of Web 2.0 technologies can help us learn better, connect more, and communicate more effectively. That includes blogs, so I’ve spent the last few months pushing NSF to allow the Division of Environmental Biology to be the testbed for the agency’s long-needed foray into the blogosphere. To NSF’s credit, the green light for that site is now on, and it will include true two-way communication options. It being the federal government, we can’t simply open up a WordPress or other site on the fly – it now needs to roll through the internal IT process, so it’s likely to be a few more weeks until the site is live. But it’s coming, and I hope everyone with interests in environmental funding at NSF finds it useful.
Obviously, this is a good thing, both from the perspective of communication and NSF's willingness to let an employee in a high ranking position use the web in a reasonable way. Let's hope this is as successful as I think it will be and the start of more to come. I am very much looking forward to what Alan has to say.