Policies and Principles

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Basic training on intellectual property and web do's and don'ts

Citizens and Government could benefit from some basic training about intellectual property (IP);i.e., copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets. What policies and laws define them; what distinguishes them from each other; what';s the duration of protection; when could more than one type of protection apply ; what does and doesn't apply to government produced vs. government commissioned stuff; the effect on government ...more »

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4 votes
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Usability and Design

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Effective Use of Regulations.gov

The idea behind regulations.gov is great and important. Getting the public involved does start with a way for us to get involved. That being said, the site, while a great start is daunting to navigate effectively and post what one may feel is a meaningful comment. This is not Federal Court, users shouldn't have to use a PACER-like docket interface. Commenters want to come, see what's going on, see what's been said, ...more »

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3 votes
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Content in other languages

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Consider education level of multicultural audiences

Cultural relevancy is of utmost importance, especially in the healthcare and educational realms. However, it is key to keep in mind that there are members of the LEP audience that do not have a working reading level in their own native language, let alone a low degree of Internet literacy. Pertinent website content may require an audio component to further reach an audience that hails from a more oral tradition. Another ...more »

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4 votes
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Policies and Principles

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Open Source as the Default License

When government technology is acquired, contracts should stipulate that the software being developed (at taxpayer expense) is released with an OSI (open source institute) approved open source license. This would allow for reduced intergovernmental expense, and further innovation. Further -- it's morally appropriate: taxpayer funded software ought to belong to the public, much like taxpayer funded content cannot be held ...more »

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8 votes
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Content and Readability

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Syndicate Content to Create Consistency Across the Nation

For every federal program that is carried out on the local level, there are at least 50 states who replicate that content and thousands of counties who do so as well. Rather than so many descriptions of, say, SNAP [old food stamp program], provide local agencis with the basics in syndicated format -- and written in plain language -- that they can integrate into their pages. CDC does some of this already.

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11 votes
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Content in other languages

Submitted by (@carla.briceno)

Don't Assume Content Developed in English Addresses all Needs

Many agencies and organizations provide information to multilingual / multicultural audiences by translating content that was developed in English without really understanding the needs of these audiences. I believe it's important to do your audience research and make sure you understand what information is needed first and then make the decisions as to how it will be provided, i.e., original content, transcreation, ...more »

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8 votes
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Policies and Principles

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Unique Metadata tag to identify U.S. Government Works

I received a suggestion that I rework/revise my submission. Here goes: Version 2: In order to find government information, we first need a way to identify it. In order to confidently reuse government information ( data, video, websites, documents, photographs, images, etc)., we must be able to identify it! The adage “consider the source” applies especially to government information. There are and always have been ...more »

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0 votes
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Content and Readability

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Create a federal website content strategy

I'm reading a lot of terrific ideas here, but they are all proposed TACTICS. Without a unifying content strategy, these tactics will inevitably be taken on as one-off efforts, which result in the same inconsistencies and redundancies that exist today. Over the years, we have all attempted to “fix” our content with visual rebrands, website redesigns, new CMS technology, rewrites, and other tactical approaches. None of ...more »

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65 votes
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Policies and Principles

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Start usability with business process and content strategy

Many government agencies have communication problems. Committees don't speak with other committees in the same group. Decision-making authorities on content are lacking. Too many projects with good intentions are run by committees that are fractured and their changes dilute the end product. Part of making the government websites more efficient and effective would be providing business process recommendations and content ...more »

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6 votes
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