Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Landmark Agreements Clear Path for Government New Media

As a "pioneer" (so they tell me) in government use of "new media," including blogs, YouTube, and other interactive websites, I've followed with interest President Obama's call for greater use of these media by government agencies.

Two interesting developments have occurred in recent weeks. First, this press release from the US General Services Administration, which I quote in part:

Answering President Obama's call to increase citizen participation in government, the U.S. General Services Administration is making it easier for federal agencies to use new media while meeting their legal requirements.... "We need to get official information out to sites where people are already visiting and encourage them to interact with their government," says GSA Acting Administrator Paul Prouty. “Millions of Americans visit new media sites every day. The new agreements make it easier for the government to provide official information to citizens via their method of choice.” To date, GSA has signed agreements with Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo and blip.tv, and is in discussions with many other providers that offer free new media services. Federal agencies that want to use these services to meet their mission can now choose to sign the same agreements.

Sounds encouraging. Then yesterday I got an e-mail asking me to participate as a subject matter expert in the National Park Service's discussions about how to implement this policy. So stay tuned! (At the typical rate of governmental change, we might actually enter the 21st century in, oh, about 2016!)

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