In the end, it’s a pretty neat simple piece of technology that helps government collaborate with itself and improves the citizen experience finding government information.
I’m a huge fan & it fits into #4 of my 7 original ideas for Project MyGov – Show Related Government Information (plus it highlights my #3 as well – search, search, search)
It’s going to be a huge help for agencies to quickly collaborate (without a long MOU or management agreement) and cross-promote each other. For example, imagine being on a CDC H1N1 flu page, the MyGov toolbar at the bottom may also show relevant information on flu from HHS.gov or from the White House. That’s a big win for the end user & government.
As always, I have a couple ideas on what would make the toolbar even more awesome.
So here we go – my 3 Ideas on Improving Project MyGov Toolbar
1) Different formats – I like the footer toolbar format. It’s pretty clean and simple. However, some are not a fan of this format so I’d make sure to offer it in other formats – for example, I’m a big fan of Outbrain which shows related content right above the comment sections of blog posts. This should be pretty easy to do but I’d love to see the toolbar offered in 3-4 different formats and sizes that agencies can customize
2) Add Sign-up Feature – I think a key goal of any toolbar is to show visitors relevant information and also to encourage them to sign up for regular communication. That can be in the form of sign-up for email box or Facebook Like button – however it is super key. For example, check out Wibiya, the most successful toolbar company – see how it has a huge sign-up for email or Like Us on Facebook as call to action (see below)
3) Include State/Local Government – I’m not sure how the algorithm works to show related government information. However, it would be great if it included state and local government. It is great to show cross-federal related information but honestly the most relevant as citizen is the cross-jurisdictional information.
For example, if you are in Philadelphia reading a page on CDC and the flu, it would be great to see a related link to the City of Philadelphia flu shot location finder.
Kudos to the Project MyGov for a great piece of technology & I’m looking forward to seeing rapid adoption (agencies go sign-up for the beta).