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2/27/2009
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NASA Succeeds With Social Networking

The space agency is mulling widespread adoption of Web 2.0 tools.

NASA will recommend that its employees use a social networking site and online collaboration after a pilot program proved successful.

NASA released results from the pilot program this week. It said that micro-sharing and internal enterprise collaboration benefit large companies and government agencies like NASA, and the network it used should be implemented agency-wide this year.

Seventy-eight users initially signed on to Socialcast's enterprise social media platform and invited 398 colleagues. Fifty-eight percent of those invited accepted invitations, and, within 60 days, 295 users of all ages had joined NASAsphere.

Nearly 82% of the users said the platform made it easy to communicate openly, and about 76% said discussions and comments were "on topic," according to the report. More than 65% said the discussions and comments were helpful, Socialcast found.

Users said the platform sped up communications and improved sharing, problem solving, and transparency into decision-making. Ninety-three percent of the questions posed online were answered by NASA colleagues throughout the country, according to Socialcast.

"Socialcast's successful work with a government agency such as NASA proves that micro-sharing is an effective method for knowledge sharing, aggregating, and broadcasting information safely and securely among our country's top scientists, engineers, and researchers," Tim Young, CEO of Socialcast, said in a statement released Wednesday. "We're glad NASA is enjoying the results of its pilot program, and look forward to the next phase."

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