50 Must-Read Federal IT Blogs 2015
So much has changed in the federal IT space since our last must-read blog list. Innovation is happening at a breakneck pace, and a number of new publications have popped up to cover the lean government trend.
We’re really excited about this year’s list, which is evenly split between FedTech staples and new friends. On this list, you’ll find traditional publications, agency sites, upstart Medium blogs and many things in between. It’s well-rounded and representative of all the change happening in government today.
We hope you enjoy it. If you believe we’ve missed a resource, don’t hesitate to comment. And if your blog has been chosen, grab a badge to display to your readers — you’ve earned it!
So named because it sits on the corner of 18th and F streets in Washington, D.C., 18F is a lean startup team in the GSA. It describes itself as “a civic consultancy for the government, inside the government.” The blog details the fruits of the startup’s labor, which is evolving rapidly.
Follow: @18f | Must-read post: Automating easy government decisions with machine learning
Adobe Public Sector Blog
Adobe is best known for its design software, so it’s not surprising that this blog follows topics like creativity and storytelling for government. You'll also find more traditional IT topics, like security and data, but this blog is focused on improving the customer experience for citizens’ interactions with government.
Follow: @adobegov | Must-read post: Customer Experience Officers (CXOs) in the Public Sector
Armed with Science
It’s rare to catch a glimpse inside the military’s science and tech programs, which is exactly what makes Armed with Science so exciting. As the Defense Department’s official tech blog, it details everything from detecting wildfires from space to delivery vehicles that vanish into thin air.
Follow: @armedwscience | Must-read post: Vanishing Acts: A Call for Disappearing Delivery Vehicles
This is the “official blog of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.” You don’t often see the military blogging, so this site is especially interesting for IT leaders who need inspiration to think outside the box. The Army also maintains a Medium blog with additional content.
Follow: @rdecom | Must-read post: Army, industry, academia partner to demonstrate new technologies
Around the Corner
The GSA is the de facto IT leader for much of the federal government. This blog is where GSA CIO David Shive shares thoughts and news about his agency’s tech priorities. It’s not updated often, but its posts are always worth reading.
Follow: @USGSA | Must-read post: Our GSA IT Mission and Priorities
Ask the CIO
This blog’s description says it all: “Each week, host Jason Miller interviews federal agency chief information officers about the latest IT directives, IT challenges and successes.” Its parent site, Federal News Radio, is home to plenty of other high-quality federal IT coverage as well.
Follow: @FedNewsRadio | Must-read post: 11,700 and counting … data centers back on the chopping block
The Business of Government
For the government to operate effectively, the gap between the public and private sectors must be bridged. IBM’s Business of Government blog moves us a step in the right direction with information on leadership, innovation, acquisition and risk management. If nothing else, tune in for its weekly roundup post, which collects the most important news for federal leaders.
Follow: @BusOfGovernment | Must-read post: DOD’s Better Buying Power – A Path to Meaningful Acquisition Reform
CIO Council Blog
This is the blog of the U.S. chief information officer, Tony Scott, and the Federal CIO Council, which makes it required reading for both federal IT leaders and contractors. The primary topic is federal tech initiatives, with a focus on IT management. Keep an eye on this blog for important announcements and regular news roundups.
Follow: @ciodotgov | Must-read post: Modernizing Federal Cybersecurity
Cisco Government Blog
Perhaps the best part of the Cisco Government Blog is the weekly #WednesdayWalkabout posts, which “explore new themes, challenges and observations” in the public sector. You’ll also find an active social community ready to discuss the latest posts and other federal tech issues.
Follow: @CiscoGovt | Must-read post: Public Safety Series: EOCs Harness Video to Improve Emergency Response
Data Center Knowledge
Data centers power federal IT, and Data Center Knowledge powers the folks in charge of this fundamental tech. You’ll find all things data center here, from cloud infrastructure to networking, power and cooling, and green IT. There’s a section dedicated to government, but the entire blog is worth your attention.
Follow: @datacenter | Must-read post: US to Deploy Open Compute-based Supercomputers for Nuclear Security
The world of Net-enabled warfare is busy. Defense Systems is one of the Web’s premier sources of news and analysis in this space and is a one-stop shop for defense-related information, such as on defense IT, security, analytics and mobile.
Follow: @DefenseIT | Must-read post: How the Air Force is taking on the cyber domain
DHS Science and Technology Blog
The Department of Homeland Security is one of the forces that keeps America safe. As such, technology plays a significant role in its mission. This blog covers news and events at the agency, with occasional updates on the use of tech in DHS’ work.
Follow: @dhsscitech Must-read post: Building Security into IoT
Digital Government and Social Media in the Public Sector
Syracuse University associate professor Ines Mergel teaches classes on digital government and social media in the public sector. This is her course blog. It has hundreds of posts from her students dating back to 2011. The blog is fascinating — tomorrow’s government leaders are already blogging.
Follow: @InesMergel | Must-read post: Using Social Media to Manage Natural and Human Disasters
Once the infrastructure and budgeting are taken care of, agencies are still on the hook to create a good customer experience. This is where DigitalGov comes in. The blog talks UX, social media, SEO and mobile apps. It collects digital marketing news from all over the Web and packages it specifically for agencies working on digital initiatives.
Follow: @digital_gov | Must-read post: Government Product Managers Play a Key Role in UX
The DON IT Resource
The Navy’s chief information officer maintains this blog to share news about the service’s technology advancements and conferences. You’ll also find curated federal tech news and plenty of information on cybersecurity, defense and privacy.
Follow: @USNavy | Must-read post: Navy Expanding Use of Smartphones on Networks
This is the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy blog. Science and tech are at the core of its mission to find and promote more efficient energy sources. The blog publishes news about its work, as well as information about grants for upcoming projects.
Follow: @ENERGY | Must-read post: Colorado Joins the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Race
Not many agency blogs are updated regularly. The FCC blog supplies a steady stream of resources about the commission’s work in broadband, open government, public safety and consumer protection. Agencies can learn from the content and borrow from the strategy.
Follow: @FCC | Must-read post: Clearing the Air on Wi-Fi Software Updates
This all-encompassing news source is highly regarded in the federal IT space. You’ll find news and opinion articles on today’s highest IT priorities, like Big Data, consolidation, acquisition and policy. Be sure to check out The Spec, an FCW blog dedicated to the future of IT.
Follow: @fcwnow | Must-read post: How CDOs are putting 'useless' data to work
FedBiz is a blog published by the Washington Business Journal. Of course, if you’re doing business in the District, there’s a good chance it’s with the government. This blog covers news related to agency leaders and government contractors.
Follow: @WBJonline | Must-read post: How federal cloud vendors can survive the coming price war
Federal Blueprint Blog
Brought to you by the security experts at Blue Coat Systems, the Federal Blueprint blog is a place to learn about cyber threats, risk management, malware and encryption. Security is one of the most pressing issues in the public sector, making this blog a must-read for federal tech workers.
Follow: @BlueCoat | Must-read post: Do Not Enter: Blue Coat Research Maps the Web’s Shadiest Neighborhoods
Federal Times (IT & Cloud)
Focusing mostly on leadership topics — CIOs, IT management and strategy — Federal Times doesn't just speculate, it reports. You’ll find plenty of hard-hitting news and original reporting here. It’s an excellent resource for any federal tech leader.
Follow: @federaltimes | Must-read post: 50 Years of Technology
FedScoop has taken a social-first approach to building out a tech news publication. The bright colors and slick design are modern and engaging. One of its best features is the ability to filter tech news by agency. Check out its newsletter, DailyScoop, for the day’s most interesting headlines.
Follow: @fedscoop | Must-read post: Air Force looks to cut the high costs of data
This blog is part of the excellent FierceMarkets network. It hosts content on all the core areas of government tech — such as cloud, telework and networking, to name a few — and directs readers to sister sites for more specific resources related to mobile, health IT and security. Start here, and explore the well-rounded world of FierceMarkets.
Follow: @FierceGovIT | Must-read post: FirstNet to support personal devices through BYOD policy that complements network
Google's Public Policy Blog
Google is more involved in the public sector than you might realize. The company is building out its own fiber networks and creating collaboration tools for agencies. This is its policy blog, which is where it voices opinions and shares news about relevant tech and legislation.
Follow: @googlepubpolicy | Must-read post: Dig Once, Gain Broadband Later
At the core of every security strategy is information that needs to be protected. GovInfoSecurity candidly addresses “information security, risk management, privacy and fraud.” In addition to news, you’ll find a video library, infographics, events and whitepapers.
Follow: @govinfosecurity | Must-read post: Bringing Email Privacy Law Into the 21st Century
Government Health IT Blog
From Medicare to the military, the government is using technology to improve health care. Health care IT faces a unique set of challenges, all of which are detailed on this blog. If you work at the intersection of technology, government and health care, look no further for a trusted resource.
Follow: @govhit | Must-read post: To secure data healthcare organizations must first understand their business mission
The EMC Public Sector blog is a FedTech staple from one of the government’s most important vendors. You’ll be treated to a mix of thought leadership and federal IT musings from EMC Federal Division Vice President Barry Morris.
Follow: @EMCPublicSector | Must-read post: Power Platform: Hybrid Cloud Drives Digital IT
GovLoop takes a different tack from most of the other tech blogs on this list. It focuses on day-to-day issues that keep government moving, like project management and onboarding. The community, which is composed of more than 200,000 members, is active and engaged.
Follow: @govloop | Must-read post: 4 Ways to Enhance the On-boarding Experience for New Employees
Great Government Through Technology
This blog is brought to you exclusively by Mary Davie, the assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services. Her take on federal IT, particularly acquisition, is sharp and focused.
Follow: @GSA_ITS | Must-read post: IT on the Acquisition Gateway
Health IT Buzz Blog
You might not have been aware of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology until now, but you’ll be glad you are aware now. This resource was “created to answer your questions about the nation’s transition to electronic health records.” It’s an insightful look at one of government’s toughest challenges today.
Follow: @ONC_HealthIT | Must-read post: Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap – Version 1.0
HHS Idea Lab
The idea of “hacking government” has been gaining traction lately. Breaking down bureaucratic walls with a lean, fail-fast mentality is proving popular in the public sector. The Health and Human Services Department is one of the agencies at the helm of this movement, and its blog chronicles the journey.
Follow: @HHSIDEALab | Must-read post: Trusting Health APIs
The Hill (Technology)
If it happens on Capitol Hill, you can read about it in The Hill. There’s plenty of policy and regulatory news, but there’s also a healthy dose of cybersecurity resources. This fast-paced site is a must for any IT leader.
Follow: @thehill | Must-read post: FAA panel releases drone recommendations
In a word, the i360 GovIT blog is comprehensive. It covers a variety of topics, ranging from in-the-trenches issues like email privacy to strategic initiatives like cybersecurity. Come for the curated daily news and analysis, stay for the in-depth whitepapers.
Follow: @i360gov | Must-read post: DoD embraces public key infrastructure to secure tactical networks
IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub (Government)
IBM delivers its government IT news in a variety of multimedia formats, including podcasts, videos and infographics. Balanced with a steady stream of blog posts, this site is focused on Big Data and analytics, as well as cloud computing and cybersecurity. This blog is a breath of fresh air in the often stuffy federal space.
Follow: @IBMAnalytics | Must-read post: How analytics is impacting government, education and public safety
IBM Government Industry Blog
IBM’s government team is well-versed in the challenges of public-private partnerships. The posts on this blog are the result of many years of experience, so pay attention. You’ll find a little of everything here, and you can bet that it’ll always be insightful and interesting.
Follow: @ibmgovernment | Must-read post: Cognitive Computing Can Help to Meet Citizens’ Expectations from Transportation Services
Finding high-quality government tech news can be hard, and that’s what makes the InformationWeek Government blog so exciting: The nearly constant stream of news and commentary covers all angles of federal IT. Pay special attention to the multi-part cyberwar series.
Follow: @InformationWeek | Must-read post: Bridging The Big Data Skills Gap With Online Training
Insights for Government Agencies
Xerox’s government blog covers topics like document management, analytics and payment solutions. It’s a place for IT decision makers to peruse actionable resources and engage with their private sector counterparts.
Follow: @XeroxGovService | Must-read post: Big Data and the Big Opportunity for Federal Government
Microsoft on Government Blog
An essential government partner, Microsoft uses this blog to share news from around the public sector. From public safety and mobility to analytics and the Internet of Things, it’s all here. Posts are written by Microsoft’s tech leadership team, which is working in the trenches to improve government IT solutions.
Follow: @Microsoft_Gov | Must-read post: Mobile “everything”: The future of government
If you’re into military technology — think helicopters, tanks and even virtual reality — this blog was made for you. It is focused solely on the latest and greatest tech for our troops, and it’s fascinating to see the innovation happening in this space.
Follow: @MILTECH1 | Must-read post: US Marine Corps General Officer Panel Highlights
My Cup of IT
Steve O'Keeffe, founder of government networking group MeriTalk, is a staple in the federal IT community. MeriTalk organizes some of the best tech events around, and his blog never shies away from the tough issues facing public-private partnerships. This is where meaningful discussions happen, so stay tuned.
Follow: @MeriTalk | Must-read post: FITARA – What’s Next?
Nextgov is one of the most robust federal tech news websites out there. An Atlantic publication, its coverage of mobile, cloud, defense and security issues is second to none. If you prefer news in your inbox, choose from 19 newsletters. Check out the Emerging Tech section for a glimpse into the future of federal IT.
Follow: @nextgov | Must-read post: Did People Telework Before Computers?
Office of Science and Technology Policy Blog
Better known as OSTP, the Office of Science and Technology Policy spans across government. This blog plucks some of the best stories and most pressing news for easy reading in one place. You’ll find posts on biosecurity and Big Data, plus so many things in between.
Follow: @whitehouseostp | Must-read post: Advancing Open and Citizen-Centered Government
Open Government Initiative Blog
Ever since the White House launched Project Open Data in 2013, the Open Government Initiative Blog has been keeping tabs on its progress. The project’s scope is wide, and so is this blog’s coverage. Stay tuned for news and announcements from the White House.
Follow: @OpenGov | Must-read post: Two Years of Transformative Open Data for Public Good
Open Government Partnership
The Open Government Partnership is an international effort to encourage transparent, accountable governments. Tech is at the center of much of its work, and the international perspective is an intriguing source of inspiration for domestic IT leaders.
Follow: @opengovpart | Must-read post: Open Government, a Catalyst For Democracy
The SIGNAL Blog
The office content hub of the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association, the SIGNAL blog explores ways to bring industry and government together. There are great articles on cybersecurity, defense and intelligence and a slew of multimedia resources, like webinars and whitepapers.
Follow: @AFCEA | Must-read post: Why Aren't Women Entering the Cybersecurity and Risk Management Arena En Masse?
Space Data Daily
When the Office of Management and Budget called on federal agencies to embrace transparency in 2009, NASA responded. Since then, the agency has released more than 31,000 data sets and 49 open APIs. The openNASA blog caters to developers and curious laymen alike, with posts on everything from space travel to Big Data.
Follow: @openNASA | Must-read post: How I spent my 6 months at NASA
This is one of Wired’s blogs, and it’s loaded with great journalism on security and privacy. While it’s not strictly federal, it is run by former hacker Kevin Poulsen. He knows a thing or two about hacking (and how to protect yourself from it), so this blog should be on every federal IT leader’s radar.
Follow: @WIRED | Must-read post: The Doctor on a Quest to Save Our Medical Devices From Hackers
The U.S. Digital Service
Like 18F, the United States Digital Service is changing the way government approaches tech. This Medium blog is maintained by its star-studded staff of entrepreneurs, developers and data scientists. Public service has never been this cool.
Follow: @USDS | Must-read post: The U.S. Digital Service: An Improbable Public Interest Start Up
USDA Blog (Technology and Broadband)
Here’s an interesting application of open data: feeding a growing population. That’s the kind of challenge the USDA is taking on, along with other large-scale issues, like climate change, broadband access and food safety. This blog covers the USDA’s wide-ranging projects with news and announcements.
Follow: @USDA | Must-read post: Open Data: a Key to Feeding 9 Billion People by 2050
VMWare’s Virtual Blocks blog isn’t for the faint of heart. This hardcore tech blog covers topics like storage area networking, converged infrastructure and data backup. It’s not all directly related to federal IT, but it is a priceless resource for public IT leaders.
Follow: @vmwarevsan | Must-read post: VSAN Design & Sizing – Memory Overhead Considerations