Community = the citizens who are looking for federal jobs + the federal employees who need to fill jobs + the OPM'ers who are responsible for making the process work on a country-level scale. The work of the latter can be shared between OPM and other agencies' experts, but someone with a collegial, competent presence has to manage the community. I think that person should be based at OPM. A good model for how this could work appears below.
Lee Koo, CNET Community Manager, sends out a weekly "Community Help and How-To" message to all who have done a simple sign-up. This is an incredibly useful service that I never delete before reading because it is so practical and useful. Even if I don't have the problem that's under discussion, I may have it in the future. I can scan topics on the archived newsletters page at http://reviews.cnet.com/1990-7600_7-5534360-1.html?tag=rb_mtx;f06-fd and immediately find answers to vexing problems when they occur. So far, I have not felt the need to submit a question because so many good answers to common questions are already posted.
OPM could prepopulate a new archived newsletters page with its best answers to the most common questions, and then could move into the new territory of having a real conversation with job-seekers by beginning to send out and market a weekly newsletter. Marketing should be done free and fast, and periodically refreshed, via social media tools that encompass all jobseeker demographics, such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.
This would present an entirely new public face, one says the government is composed of real people who respect citizens and are here to help. That would give job-seekers a sense of hope as it improved OPM's (and federal government's) public profile.
It would be worthwhile for OPM to ask Lee Koo for more specifics about how CNET has set this up. The CNET implementation is very smart and efficient because it allows Koo to leverage other experts on both the supply and demand sides. The answers in the newsletters, in most cases, are coming from the public - CNET is merely vetting them. This reduces the load on CNET by leveraging the intelligence of computer users and conveys a refreshing attitude of respect for them.
Given the availability of so many open-source applications and willing helpers at GSA and elsewhere, implementing this idea is much more about internal change management than budget. It would require OPM to rethink the nature of its relationship with job-seekers and HR colleagues at other agencies. However, the payoffs in increased customer satisfaction, interagency cooperation, OPM employee engagement, and fixing the hiring process could be huge.