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In a January memorandum titled "Transparency and Open Government", Pres Barack Obama called for greater transparency in making information available online as well as more citizen participation in federal Web sites. The concepts were embraced by Washington, already abuzz about new possibilities for federal Web publishing. However, experience from the private sector suggests that executing on a strategy of greater transparency combined with public participation will be difficult. Technology vendors talk a good game about offering a unified solution to this challenge, but their architectures have not caught up with their marketing here. Agencies will find that any existing Web CMS infrastructures are largely not up to the challenge of public participation.
TONY BYRNE technology watch Agencies will find that any existing Web CMS infrastructures are largely not up to the challenge of public participation. Web CMS vendors have begun to incorporate community features, but most CMS platforms are not built to ingest user-generated content Working Out (UGC). They have more “inside-out” architectures that apply management services to content behind the firewall but push it out in read-only mode to pubic sites. Social for .gov Our research found that user-participation functionality in Web CMS tools tends to get activated behind the firewall, and for good reason. In high-profile public settings, enterprises incorporating UGC must pay serious attention to security, scalability, usability, n a January memorandum titled “Transparency and Open and access control considerations—areas in which best-of-breed i Government” (http://tinyurl.com/openg), President Barack Obama called for greater transparency in making information available online as well as more citizen participation community suppliers have a better track record. Meanwhile, although community and social software vendors may effectively support UGC, we’ve found that these suppliers in federal websites. generally cannot provide the sorts of workflow and life-cycle The concepts were embraced by Washington, already abuzz services that a public agency needs for publishing official content about new possibilities for federal web publishing. Friends who beyond the firewall. Indeed, vendors of community software work on dot-gov websites began to walk a little taller, and why often find these “control-oriented” services anathema to their not? Federal intranets have leveraged blogs, wikis, and other notions of openness. To them, workflow and records management new social tools for years, but public federal websites have are soooo Enterprise 1.0. Yet to you, they may be essential. remained almost entirely read-only. Obama’s memorandum To be sure, some platforms such as Drupal were built provides the impetus (and cover) to more freely experiment explicitly for combining traditional online publishing with public with the kind of Web 2.0 tools and approaches on public contribution. While at least one federal website, Recovery.gov, websites as well. recently went live
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