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GCPedia 2.0 – CMS Showcase

One of the headline sections of our Open Government Canada webinar will be the CMS Showcase.

These will introduce the core building block of an Open Gov program, the Web CMS (Content Management System). For example Drupal, Joomla, Plone, RedDot, and many others.

We’ll be covering these apps, their cool features and what’s the relevance within an overall Open Government context.

GCPedia 2.0

To provide a snap-shot introduction to this topic check out this Wikipedia article on one of its clones, GCPedia. This is an internal ‘Wikipedia for Canadian Government’.

It’s entirely private, restricted only to Government of Canada staff and computers, and so it immediately begs questions about this approach in this era of Open Government. Certainly some information is private but does that mean all of the information should be?

Actually and quite categorically no, the fundamental purpose of the Canadian Open Government Resolution is that this information should be proactively shared. The ‘protect some information by firewall barring access to all information’ is not a sufficient model any more, agencies therefore need to master the technologies that will enable them to more easily classify intranet materials for external publishing.

There is also a culture of openness in general, and embracing it as part of designing programs, rather than treating it as an information access policy issue alone.

A great example of this is the NIST Cloud Computing standards work that is currently underway. This uses a wiki toolset here and overall the standards program itself is very Open to participation. Indeed it’s the industry-wide collaboration that is making this government program such a success, that’s the common theme to all of these new Open Innovation models.

Therefore repeating a successful Open Government program is the combination of these new tools and also these proactively open engagement models, and as part of this there are other key technical developments too that these CMS need to address:

  • Social media – Open Government goes hand in hand with the requirement to also master social media. Twitter, blogs et al, are all now such a standard part of the working landscape that not using them is like not using the telephone or fax. Features like blogs are standard parts of CMS, as we’ll explain.
  • Distributed working – Not only are the public outside the firewalls but so are the staff much of the time. The age of one person tied to one desk and one PC are equally out of date, and sychronous working across
  • Open Data – Working with Open Data.
  • Citizen SSO – Providing a single sign-on portal for citizens to access all of their Government services.

In particular we’ll be mapping CMS solutions to the technical blueprint defined by the Canadian Federal Government CIO in the relevant section of his Cloud Roadmap presentation. The ‘GEDS2.0′ environment described there blends together each of these above points.

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