Government 2.0

Twitter outpaces Facebook in terror alert sign-ups; also, federal virtual worlds conference coming up

Sign-ups on Twitter for the Homeland Security Department’s new terrorism alert system are surpassing those on Facebook. About 70 percent more users have signed up to receive alerts on Twitter than Facebook so far.

After months of discussion and reports about the pending system, DHS officially announced the National Terrorism Advisory System on April 20. It replaces a color-coded system that was criticized for being too vague. The new system seeks to use traditional media (TV, radio and print), social media and mobile applications to alert the public.

Following the announcement, DHS created a Facebook page and Twitter account for the new advisory system.

The Twitter account had signed up 4,666 followers as of April 21, while the Facebook page had 2,706 fans.

The Facebook and Twitter alert pages have not published anything or sent any tweets yet. The new system goes into effect April 26.

In other Gov 2.0 news, the Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds is planning its annual conference for May 11-13. The fourth annual event will be held at National Defense University.

Virtual participants can view the events though six virtual worlds that will carry the conference live.

Posted by Alice Lipowicz on Apr 21, 2011 at 7:25 PM1 comments

NARA's Foursquare mobile app coming to NYC, and World Bank names app contest winners

Get ready, New York City. The National Archives and Records Administration is bringing its Foursquare mobile application your way this month.

The NARA/Foursquare project can be accessed through Foursquare’s mobile application or a Web browser. It allows users who check in with Foursquare at a NARA location to obtain tips with additional information about the location.

For example, users who check in at the Washington Monument can see a historical photograph of the monument. Users who check in at the U.S. Supreme Court building can see a video.

To date, the program has distributed nearly 100 tips. Its most popular check-in site — NARA's headquarters in Washington — has had nearly 3,000 check-ins from Foursquare, said Jill James, NARA’s social media manager.

NARA’s development costs for the mobile application were about 120 hours in staff time, James said. Foursquare is providing a brand page to NARA for free, she added.

In April, NARA is rolling out more than a dozen tips for locations in New York City, James said.

“We are having fun with it and getting good feedback,” she added.

In other Gov 2.0 news, users can compare country-by-country poverty rates, health care, education and other indicators with winning software applications developed for the World Bank’s Apps for Development contest.

The contest drew 107 entries from 36 countries to meet the challenge of creating digital applications that highlight the bank’s data. The three top-rated applications were from Australia, France and Germany. The winners were announced April 14.

By allowing visualizations and analysis, the World Bank hoped the competition would stimulate innovation in dealing with global problems.

“These apps clearly demonstrate how the software development community can harness technology to analyze and tackle some of the world's long-standing problems,” World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick said.

The judges included Kannan Pashupathy of Google, Ory Okolloh of Ushahidi, and Craig Newmark of Craigslist. A total of $55,000 was awarded in cash to competition winners.

Read more about the winners here.

Posted by Alice Lipowicz on Apr 15, 2011 at 7:25 PM0 comments

'Obama 2012' surges on Facebook; GOP group starts wiki for fed 'accountability'

President Barack Obama kick-started his reelection campaign today with an announcement on his Facebook page that drew 65,000 “likes” from supporters within six hours.

“Today we are filing papers to launch the 2012 campaign,” Obama posted. “Say that you’re in.”

More than 65,000 people on Facebook liked the message and 10,000 people commented within six hours after that.

The campaign also is encouraging Facebook supporters to share the “I’m In” message prominently on their own Facebook pages and send it to their Facebook friends, prompting several bloggers to note that Facebook is likely to play a significant role in the president’s reelection campaign. Obama has nearly 19 million followers on his personal Facebook page.

“Is Facebook now the most important weapon in a politician’s digital armoury? Barack Obama certainly seems to think so,” Rory Cellan-Jones, blogger for BBC News, wrote in a blog posting today.

In other news, Crossroads GPS, a group with ties to Republican strategist Karl Rove, has created the wiki as a clearinghouse for Obama administration documents,a ccordinig to a report from ABC News.

Registered users of the site can upload and search information, similar to sites such as Wikipedia or Wiki Leaks. The site already includes documents pertaining to expenses related to health care reform and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Posted by Alice Lipowicz on Apr 04, 2011 at 7:25 PM1 comments

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