November 3, 2008 By Chad Vander Veen
Welcome to The Weekly Web 2.0, a featurette I'm posting each week here on Govtech.com. I'm scouring the Web to bring you two interesting 2.0 tools that I hope you'll find worth checking out. Some finds may serve you professionally while others may be better for personal business. And a few will do both. This week I explore KonoLive and Fuelly.
With more government agencies experimenting with a mobile work force, facilitating employee collaboration can be challenging. There are a great number of benefits to having employees work remotely, but many still value the face time workers get in a traditional work environment. Fortunately every niche problem seems to have a niche solution in the world of Web 2.0.
The KonoLive site promises users the ability to easily manage their activities and collaborate on projects online and in real time. Though still in pre-beta, KonoLive is all about free and easy organization. Once you've downloaded the application, KonoLive users have access to tools that resemble Twitter on steroids. Twitter allows users to update others about what they're doing at any given moment. KonoLive takes the concept a step further by incorporating project management, file sharing, calendars and deadlines. For example, if you have a team working on a project from multiple locations, they can use KonoLive to: instantly update members on project status; exchange documents, video and audio files; send reminders; and review the work other team members have completed.
Regardless of a project's size or the user's location, KonoLive creates a central environment for everyone involved to meet and share ideas in real time. Whether the project spans the globe or involves just two people, KonoLive claims it can "help you get the job done quickly and efficiently."
Note: KonoLive is currently available only on Windows XP. Vista and Mac applications are in development.
Although gas prices have seen a downward trend lately, it still isn't cheap to fill up. With Fuelly, you can easily track and analyze your gas mileage over time and use that data to help make better decisions about your driving habits.
Fuelly went online just a few months ago and is extremely easy to use. Once you've created a free account, you're asked to add information about the vehicle you want to track. I signed up and added my 2002 Nissan Xterra -- a 4x4 SUV not known for being particularly fuel-efficient. Once you decide how you want to track your mileage -- either by odometer or when you fill up -- you're ready to start. I choose to track by "fuel-up" date. Fuelly asked me to enter the miles I've driven since my last fuel-up, the amount of fuel I added, the price per gallon and the date, plus any tags or other metadata I felt like including. The next time I fuel-up, Fuelly will detail my driving habits. For example, a user named Arthur has tracked the last four times he fueled up his 1996 Chrysler Sebring. Arthur's profile now shows, among other things, his total fuel-ups, the average miles per fuel-up, the average price per fuel-up -- per gallon and per mile -- the total amount spent and the best price he paid. The data is also charted, and Fuelly gives Arthur tips on what he can do to get better mileage.
Fuelly is a simple tool that clearly illustrates your fuel consumption. The site also stacks your data against the Environmental Protection Agency estimates for your vehicle, helping you determine if, say, you need to check your tire pressure, to optimize your fuel efficiency.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.