The use of open source software, cloud computing technologies, and an integrated approach to search, video, and social media seems almost common-place in industry these days. Yet government websites aren’t quite there with the exception of a few noteable exceptions (not an exhaustive list by any means). This is why I’m so excited about that NASA has recently released an RFI (Request for Information) for information on how to build a better public website nasa.gov and intranet insdie.nasa.gov. This is a really big step for NASA, but,we truly need your help.
This is how it works. NASA has released an RFI and draft statement of work. An RFI, or request for information, is a standard government acquisition process in which vendors submit information that is then used for comparative purposes to help NASA later release an RFP, or request for proposal. An RFI helps NASA
- Conduct market research to identify what kinds of product or service solutions are commercially available
- Ask industry to offer solutions for agency requirements or objectives
- Collect information about relevant companies, their capabilities, products, and experience
nasa.gov is a very high profile website with more around 600,000 unique visitors and 43 million “hits” per day. The architecture itself is massive, with roughly 140 disparate websites and web applications and more total 700,000 web pages across 10 centers. It’s no small job and we need someone who can help usher us into the future and develop a web architecture appropriate for an agency like NASA. This is one of the greatest jobs on Earth and we are looking to you to help.
If you are interested in helping us, the first step is simple. Respond to the RFI. We are looking for companies and organizations that are visionary, that get open source, cloud computing, and citizen engagement using the latest online technology.
Here’s the catch. You don’t have much time to respond. RFI responses must be submitted no later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on March 6, 2012! For all the details check out the announcement here. Luke Fretwell at FedScoop also wrote a good article summarizing the highlights and includes an embed of the main documents.