Lest Things Fall Apart

Out of a hundred "me too" articles is one that has something new and important to say

This is an uncharacteristically brief posting, the purpose of which is to pass along a quote from a single article.

I’ve just scanned scores of “me too” articles, almost all of which derive from the handful of articles that were themselves based on the same few public statements and email. Whether through inability to reach those in the know during a holiday week or for lack of initiative, very few journalists have sought any additional first-hand input.

In my review of the more than 100 articles that have been posted on line since the news of Peter Quinn’s resignation has become public, I’ve paid particular attention to those in the on-line journals that cater to government IT workers and CIOs. That’s because I’m concerned over what sorts of lessons other state CIOs may draw from the experience of Peter Quinn. After all, many have suggested that it would be a brave CIO that would stick his neck out after seeing what sort of treatment an innovative policy earned Peter.

I’m happy to say that I have found a quote from one such state CIO, in a brief article by Ethan Butterfield in Washington Technology. And not just any state CIO, but from Matt Miszewski, who is also the president of the National Association of State CIOs.

Here’s what he had to say:

Peter has left an indelible mark on public sector IT. His resignation sets in stone the need for change in the area of open source, open standards and, of course, open formats. If the enemies of true change think it sets those efforts back, simply wait.

Thanks, Matt. That’s what a lot of people have been wanting and waiting to hear. When one soldier in the front lines goes down, another one needs to step in to take his place, or the centre cannot hold.

It’s good to know that there are others willing to do just that. If a revelation is in fact at hand, I want it to be one of hope, and not one that slouches back towards the status quo.

[To browse all prior blog entries on this story, click here]

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