Government 2.0

National Archives giving tips on history through FourSquare

Doing a FourSquare “check-in” at the Washington Monument? You can get a helpful tip from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) offering a look of a photo of the monument under construction. The photo can either be sent to a smart phone or accessed online.

NARA, along with the Presidential Libraries and Museums, are now collaborating with the FourSquare location-based social networking service to distribute dozens of informational tips at historic sites in several states, soon to expand to sites nationwide.

For example, at the Supreme Court, FourSquare check-ins with NARA include a link to an audio recording. At the Lincoln Memorial, the link is to a historic video.

NARA also is encouraging FourSquare users to leave their own tips and helpful information as they visit the historic sites.

The new service currently is available in the Washington, DC, Kansas City, and Philadelphia NARA locations.

Posted by Alice Lipowicz on Feb 02, 2011 at 7:25 PM0 comments

Many federal blogs wither from neglect

More than 100 federal agency blogs are being published regularly on the Web and new ones are being created every few weeks.

But not all of them are healthy. Some are on the sick list.

What do you call a federal blog that has not been updated in three to four months? Five months? It certainly doesn't leave a good impression.

 “Blogs need to be updated frequently and consistently,” said Danielle Bailey, research lead on the L2 Public Sector Digital IQ study.

“If a blog is not updated in several months or a year, that is a dead blog, and if you link to a dead blog, that makes a bad impression,” said Adriel Hamption, founder of Gov2.0Radio.

That is why we are launching a “Dying Blog List” highlighting a few of the federal agency blogs that have languished for months at a time without any new content. We compiled the list with a quick look around several federal agency websites; it is not a comprehensive list. Feel free to add to it.

1. GLOBE Scientists’ Blog, last updated Aug. 26, 2010

2. CDC Injury Center Director’s View Blog, last updated Sept. 21, 2010

3. President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board Blog, last updated Sept. 22, 2010.

4. HHS’ “Open Government at HHS Blog,” last updated Oct. 17, 2010.

5. CDC’s Medical Colleges and Universities Roundtable Blog, last updated Oct. 22, 2010

The Dying Blogs may be still be resuscitated and life breathed back into them with a little effort. Let’s see what happens.

In other Web 2.0 news, the General Services Administration updated its page offering resources to agencies on Web pages, social media, mobile applications and other technologies. The most recent guideline was for using plain language on websites and other communication.

The new page appears to be well-designed and has a live Twitter feed that adds updated content. But other than the Twitter feed it is hard to find out what’s new on the site, so perhaps there could be an app for that?

Also, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is getting more involved with social media for its disaster response.

FEMA is using Twitter to disseminate disaster and response information, NextGov reported in a recent article.

According to Wired magazine, FEMA Chief Craig Fugate recently visited California to meet with Wired, Twitter, Craigslist, Apple and Facebook to see how digital tools can be better used at FEMA. FEMA already is one of the most active agencies on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted by Alice Lipowicz on Jan 21, 2011 at 7:25 PM3 comments

The HUDdle: HUD's new Wordpress blog

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has redesigned and rebranded its blog.

The HUDdle, formerly a title-less HUD blog, has been transferred from Oracle Portal software to the Wordpress open-source blogging platform. Wordpress is the leading blogging software platform on the internet and powers many of the top blogs such as TechCrunch and GigaOM.

The interesting piece about HUD moving to Wordpress is that the blogging platform is known for its ease in allowing readers to leave comments and interact with blog authors and other commenting members of the community. There are not a lot of government agencies that allow comments on their blog platforms. The Department of Treasury’s blog --Treasury Notes -- does not allow comments nor does The Whitehouse Blog. On the other hand, all of the variety of NASA’s blogs do allow comments.

Contributors to The HUDdle include CIO Jerry E. Williams, Jon L. Gant, Director of HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control and a variety of people from HUD’s Office of Public Affairs.

Check out Deputy Secretary Ron Sims’ introduction to The HUDdle, embedded below.

Posted by Dan Rowinski on Jan 18, 2011 at 7:25 PM0 comments

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