The Best Example of Online Government Engagement? Win Free Tickets!

Government websites are finally starting to come around. Just in the last years there has been several complete overhauls and redesigns that not only make the sites look better but make it tons easier for citizens to get around and engage with the government.

Here’s a dataset with some great government website examples: http://data.govloop.com/Government/Government-Website-Design-Examples/drcq-g8fp

Getting citizens engaged should be the number one goal in government and being in the digital age a lot of that engagement is going to be online.

In June Government Agencies will come together at OpenGovDC to discuss actionable strategies for building efficient & engaging modern government websites and you can be there for FREE. All you have to do is answer the question below and we’ll pick the best 2 answers and hand them the free tickets.

What is your favorite example of a government website engaging and interacting with citizens?

We’ll be picking the Free tickets winners on June 6th so make sure to get your answer in by then!!! Good luck and can’t wait to hear all the great examples you choose.

Here’s a little more about the awesome event the ticket are to:

OpenGovDC is a great event for Open Government stakeholders who wants to better understand—or build—technical platforms that support agency-level needs. This intensive one-day conference examines how open source tools can be used to advance open government. It brings doers and decision-makers together to talk about what works—and what doesn’t.

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Profile Photo Stephen Buckley

Steve,

If I go to a conference (like OpenGovDC, for example) to learn about “best practices” for engaging people, and I listen to various panel-discussions, then to what extent, if any, am I (and the other attendees) being engaged?

Shouldn’t there be a strong element of engagement at a conference about “what works — and what doesn’t” with respect to Public Engagement?

Yes, I grant you that there may be some newbies in the audience (i.e., empty vessels seeking education), but what about the possibility that some attendees may have relevant knowledge that the “panel experts” are lacking?

You say that “we’ll be picking the winners” for best examples of “getting citizens engaged”. And because I am very interested in the judging of “what works” in Open Government, please share with us your criteria for success in Public Engagement.

Don’t take my skepticism personally but, after more than two years of OpenGov conferences after Obama launched his Open Government initiative, and politely listening to the so-called “experts” and “thought leaders” expound about their “best practices” — usually with little to no critieria or data to back up their claims, I have decided to start challenging those who claim to know what is “best” (but don’t care to tell us how they figured that out).

I would love to engage with them about what the criteria should be for judging “online public engagement” but — ironically — many of the people up on the stage at these conferences have little to no record of engaging in discussions online!! (IMHO: A blog-post or a couple of tweets on a topic doesn’t qualify as “online discussion”.)

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Profile Photo Jon Lee

My favorite example is not at all mission-critical, but is savvy, smart and definitely engaging.

On Texas.gov, instead of rotating “Photos of the Day”, which usually provides zero value, they instead show photos submitted by citizens to the Texas.gov flickr page. Any one can use the Texas.gov iOS or Android app to snap what they think is a Texas-themed picture, upload it to the Texas.gov flickr group, and someone from Texas.gov will review for IP infringements, childrens’ faces, and other criteria. If it’s acceptable and they like the picture, they’ll put it online.

So, instead of relying on a FTE to find, refine, post, swap, maintain pictures for a section that nobody really cares about, Texas.gov is engaging its citizens to allow them to generate content that makes it to the homepage of the official state website.

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Profile Photo CollabNature

What is your favorite example of a government website engaging and interacting with citizens?

Thanks to Gov Rockstars and the Open Government Initiative, I can definitely provide a lengthy list but,

at the top would be EPA‘s State of the Environment Photo Project.

Am I biased? Yes and proud of it! I have no problem sharing a great tool to engage citizens to become more aware of our environment to promote awareness and a sense of stewardship for our surroundings.

It also creates a unique opportunity to be creative, and to be recognized for capturing the state of the environment through their own eyes.

In terms of igniting the flame for environmentalism (public servants, scientists, professors, activists etc…) the possibilities are endless!

Submit your photo today!: http://www.epa.gov/environmentphotoproject/

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