Conferencing and meetings across agencies and jurisdictions

I've taken this one from an entry by Alex down at As always i can't reply there because their spam eater is unsociable.

It's so nice to see that we're starting to see a on the same thing which every university has been struggling with for the past decade. i.e. How do we break down the silo effect especially as, in all research these days, sharing information is usually between global disciplinary groups.

Alex's main interest is in using Video Conferencing (VC) to make it easy to bring together people, from different silos, who are engaged in a common problem. In the NREN world, VC is just one tool in the "real time communications" toolkit. You'll know the others - message, chat, talk, conference - and the other extensions like streaming, recording, & archiving.

This kind of bridge building is a new art. But regardless of whether one is a public employee in the .gov or .edu part of the public sector, the common factor is in creating an Inter-institutional online environment where Birds of a Feather can find one another and collaborate.So it's reassuring to see the gov sector addressing the changes which have largely already taken place in edu sector.

This is not the place to discuss the technical reasons why Australia's NREN should be included in ALL these kind of governmental discussions. It's enough to say that James and his selections are made with the future in mind. The technologies, and the social changes they have caused, are advancinng more quickly than any public servant has the imagination to implement; their institutions can't let them.

So I should point out one primary consideration, simply because it illustrates the change in the concept of being an insider or outsider. The primary factor in the change in ICT/media model comes down to using a Single Sign On to a range of (in this case) public services. The common misconception for most people on a .gov network is that, by including people from outside their domain or network in a service, that somehow they are leaving themselves  open to "attack". This kind of bunker attitude is something exploited by their vendors to extract pennies.

We've already seen the first attempt to provide the Single Sign On. It was meant to start by registering here. We're also seeing another approach to the same ends through the provision of a Single government sponsored email address. So there's two gov agencies who are working to the same ends.

Now all we are talking about is what range of services citizens might want to share. VC is obviously one.

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