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Microtasking Mania?


Microtasking may soon become a new way of working for federal employees as part of the Obama administration’s digital government strategy.

Bridget Roddy, program manager for the Virtual Student Foreign Service Program at the State Department, told Wired Workplace that she is assisting the General Services Administration as a consultant in an effort to create a microvolunteering platform as part of the digital strategy.

The VSFS program last fall launched a pilot microvolunteering platform that allows State employees to post unclassified, short tasks that can be performed by eager student volunteers. The platform allows State Department workers to post tasks that require anywhere from 20 minutes to a couple of hours to complete. The program is currently open to American college students who applied for the VSFS e-Internship program, but the goal is to eventually open the program to all American college students, Roddy said.

Late last week, GSA announced that it had launched the Digital Services Innovation Center, a key piece of the digital strategy. As part of the launch, GSA is now calling on government entrepreneurs and techies to join in and help in creating a digital presence where government information can be accessed anywhere, anytime and on any device.

Roddy said other agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control, Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and the Veterans Affairs Department also have reached out to learn more about microvolunteering.

Meanwhile, I’ve reached out to GSA in hopes of getting some more information on their plans for microtasking. Stay tuned.

Reporter Portrait for GovernmentExecutive.com

Brittany Ballenstedt writes Nextgov's Wired Workplace blog, which delves into the issues facing employees who work in the federal information technology sector. Before joining Nextgov, Brittany covered federal pay and benefits issues as a staff correspondent for Government Executive and served as an associate editor for National Journal's Technology Daily. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mansfield University and originally hails from Pennsylvania. She currently lives near Travis Air Force Base, Calif., where her husband is stationed.

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