Web Study Report Released

During FY2010 a National Records Management Program team conducted a study, found at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/resources/web2.0-use.pdf, on web 2.0 and social media tools use in Federal agencies.

The purpose of the study was to “gather information on how Federal agencies use web 2.0 tools to create and share information and how this might affect the value of the recorded information in the tools.” The tools included internal and external blogs, wikis, social networking, and other collaborative web-based technologies. During this review, several characteristics were identified as affecting the record value of this information, including:

  • Extensive duplication of information
  • The ability to record increasing aspects of process
  • Syndication of content to reach new audiences
  • Additional structure and context
  • Perceptions of the authoritativeness and longevity of content

The study concluded that based upon function and use, records created should continue to be assessed based upon business, evidential, informational, and contextual values. The concepts of temporary and permanent value have not changed.

The team received a significant response from agencies that were both interested and willing to participate with the study, which allowed the team to make recommendations for future actions and to identify areas for further research. These recommendations included clarifying the definition of a Federal records, addressing transfer requirements for permanent web 2.0 records, mitigating public expectations of content longevity, and integrating records management into agency social media policy, among others.

The FY2010 Web Study team is excited to receive feedback and would like to hear your thoughts or views. Do you agree with the findings? What do you think our next steps should be?

About Arian Ravanbakhsh

Records Management Policy Analyst in the Office of the Chief Records Officer.
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