10 Great dot gov sites
July 29, 2009 at 12:58 pm #76703
Great .Gov Web Sites
10 sites that take online government to the next level
* By Joab Jackson
* Jul 27, 2009
Anyone who doubts the central role that the Web has taken in government life should consider all the attention paid to Recovery.gov. The General Services Administration created the site earlier this year to show the public how federal economic stimulus money was being disbursed. But the first iteration of the site proved to be too inscrutable for the public. So the agency contracted with a company to redesign the site — to the tune of $18 million over the next five years.
The days of a Web presence being an optional component for agencies are long gone. For most citizens, the primary way of interacting with their government is through Web sites. By and large, agencies have responded to that demand by creating richer, more interactive sites.
A lot has changed since Government Computer News created its first list of 10 great government Web sites last year. For one thing, social networking has moved into the mainstream, and to maintain a presence in the communities they serve, the smartest agencies have established footholds on Twitter, Facebook and other such sites.
“Agencies are starting to see that government needs to be part of this larger information ecosystem,” said Sheila Campbell, co-chairwoman of the Federal Web Managers Council. “Managing the Web isn’t just managing the Web site. It means putting the content out where people are on the Web.”
Second and perhaps most important, the Obama administration has made government transparency an agenda item and wants agency Web sites to be crucial elements in achieving that goal. “We’re just in the beginning stages of laying a new foundation around transparency, [the results of which] allow the American people to create innovative solutions to some of the toughest problems we face in this country,” said federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra.
What follows is a compendium of 10 government Web sites that are meeting and exceeding those goals. This is not a definitive list of the 10 best government sites. The field is way too broad for any such superlatives. But they are sites that embrace the Web’s full potential, and they can offer ideas for other agencies seeking to improve their own sites.
Quick links to GCN choices… (Read the article to get a few additional links)
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