Build Once, Use Many: Making Collaboration More Efficient

Social media tools are weaving their way into agencies’ Gov 2.0 and Open Government planning. There are many to choose from that handle all types of activities. But we know that policy compliance of these tools is of concern.

That is where APPS.gov NOW comes in. APPS.gov NOW is a platform that our Center Citizen Engagement/New Media office built to remove the policy, privacy, security and accessibility barriers that prevent agencies from using many social media products. The platform houses free, open-source social media tools that meet Section 508 accessibility requirements and are hosted in a secure FISMA compliant government environment.

We launched in August with a multi-user blogging tool and we just added four more tools- two wikis and two discussion forums. Yep, it’s like many free private sector blog and wiki platforms that so many use, but with federal government requirements baked in!

We think this ‘build once, use many’ approach is much more efficient for government–rather than each agency spending time and resources building their own tools and web hosting arrangements. Our tools should be especially useful for small agencies, for short campaigns and for special projects–but we are open to all federal users with a dot-gov and dot-mil email address.

We also set up a Help Forum to support our agency users and grow our community. Users can collaborate with each other on solutions to their problems and generate ideas for future tools and platform improvements. And we think it is pretty cool that new plug-ins or themes for the blog can be proposed and voted on by our user community.

Why don’t you join our community and help you spread your message to the public? You can start by signing-up for an account with the storefront and then choosing the tool that best fits your outreach needs.

What other social media tools would you like to see added to our storefront in the near future? Help us increase the value of our platform by providing you the tools you want and need!

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Julia Tanasic

Interesting concept! I would love to see a short video of how that interaction of Social Media online actually looks like … maybe all the steps you mentioned (Sign up – pick a product – we built – you customize) visualized?