The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has initiated the process for developing standards that governments could employ to tap Web 2.0 and social networking technologies. The W3C eGovernment Interest Group (eGov IG) is working on a draft paper that defines the problems agencies currently face with using the Web as a first step to devising standards that may help agencies more effectively perform Web-based multichannel delivery, according to eGov IG co-chairman Kevin Novak. "We started this last year with the recognition that governments had a multitude of unique needs that weren't being addressed in the existing standards space," he notes. "[We wanted to address] what were the best approaches for them to get their services out to their citizens."
In March, eGov IG hosted a workshop in Washington to review the issues the paper brought up, and recurring issues that were heavily discussed included to what extent commercial services could be relied on, the impact of government officials using such services for communication, and how agencies could expose their data in ways that would make it useful for others. The scope of the draft paper covers a wide spectrum that includes how government employees may engage with citizens through Web 2.0 technologies, as well as multichannel delivery, interoperability among agencies, and sharing data with the public. The paper characterizes the concept of "open government data," or information that is published in "open raw formats and ways that make it accessible to all and allow reuse, such as the creation of data mashups."
From Government Computer News
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