Website of the Week: West Hollywood, Plus your Weekend Reads

Welcome to GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week with Chris Dorobek where each week, our goal is to find an issue — a person — an idea — then helped define the past 7-days and we work to find an issue that will also will have an impact on the days, weeks and months ahead. And, as always, we focus on six words: helping you do your job better.

Highlights from the week

  • 4 Biggest Challenges Facing RFP-EZ: What are the 4 biggest challenges facing the White House Innovation Fellow for RFP-EZ? How do you reform procurement in six months? Is it possible? What’s the role of leadership? Can it really work? Our expert panel weighs in.
  • TSA’s IdeaFactory – Does crowdsourcing ideas work?: We’ve probably all seen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The movie showcases imagination, creativity and the freedom to try new things and experiment. That’s the same idea as the TSA’s IdeaFactory. The 5-year-old program was one of the first true government 2.0 technologies. We talked with the program’s director about where IdeaFactory has been, where it is now and where it’s going.
  • Five Things Federal Agency Leaders Can Do in Times of Budget: With a national election looming on the horizon and terms like “fiscal cliff” and “sequestration” being thrown around by policymakers, pundits, and the media, it’s hard to ignore the fact that we’re currently experiencing a period of great budget uncertainty. Federal leaders wonder what they can do to keep their agencies and employees moving forward, despite the uncertainty. We get insights from the Partnership for Public Service.
  • New Zealand Launches a User-Centered Government Website: Sick of going to one government bureaucracy for a service only to get passed along to another and yet another? Wonder why government doesn’t communicate across agencies to provide a centralized service to you? Jared Gulian wondered the same thing and has come up with a solution for New Zealand: the Web Toolkit. He told us what he did.

Website of the Week: highlights one of the best local government websites in the US. is the home of the local government site for West Hollywood.

Brett White is the Digital Media Coordinator for West Hollywood. He told Chris Dorobek what makes his site so user friendly.

“We get 100,000 visits each month to our site. The foot traffic we get to our Chamber of Commerce doesn’t even compare. We reach tens of thousands of more people via the site then we could ever hope to reach otherwise,” said White.
Biggest Challenge

  1. The site needs to be geared towards the constituents. Not everyone is familiar with how City Hall works. The site needs to be intuitive for outsiders.
  2. Need to maximize the front page real estate on the site. There is a lot going on in this city. So we needed to get as much information on the homepage as possible without overwhelming the web page.
  3. The site needs to be dynamic and constantly evolving.
  4. Gone Mobile: At this point you need a mobile optimized website. When we launched our upgraded site two years ago, adding mobile was a no brainer.

“The website needs to be a reflection of the West Hollywood brand,” said White.

Weekend reads

  • The CEO’s Frugal Innovation Agenda: CEOs of large companies face a conundrum: they are confronted with a growing number of frugal consumers clamoring for affordable solutions, yet their existing corporate culture and incentive systems are designed to support a “bigger is better” business model — not to deliver more with less. As the Age of Austerity dawns, however, corporate leaders will have no choice: they will have to bite the bullet and infuse their organizations with a frugal mindset. In sum, CEOs need a frugal innovation agenda.
  • 7 Ways To Stimulate Your Capacity For Creativity:

    A Frenchman walks into a bar with a duck on his head, and the bartender asks, “Hey, where’d you get that?” So the duck says “I got it in Paris, they’ve got millions of ’em there.”Jokes like this one are funny because the punch line just doesn’t fit with the “context” of the setup. It violates our expectations, and this has the power to give us a chuckle.

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