Policies and Principles

Add the ability to flag a web page for outdated, incorrectness.

Give the users the ability to flag a page for a broken link, missing content, outdated or incorrect content. This would actually help government keep their web pages updated instead of relying on link-checkers. These flags for outdated or incorrect content could be a metric that agencies use to measure quality. Additionally it could help agencies implement this Executive Order--Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving ...more »

Voting

60 votes
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Social Media

Support Employee Access to Web 2.0 Sites

It's very, very difficult for programs to use Social Media to communicate with or even learn about the communities they serve when the sites themselves are very often blocked.

 

Sorry to bring this up, but I think it's an elephant in the room when you talk about social media.

Voting

58 votes
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Accessibility

HTML5 and Semantic Content

Use semantic content and markup so that relevant content is easily found through search engines. Allow content managers to easily tag content for SEO, so that people can find the relevant information that are looking for.

 

Harness HTML5 in forms and use micro-formats when applicable. This would greatly improve the the experience for the growing amount of users on mobile devices.

Voting

57 votes
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Search

SEO as standard practice

Ensure that every new site follows the basic principals of optimizing its content for search engine ranking. Too many sites don't even contain the keywords commonly used by most people to describe the primary subject area of the site.

Voting

56 votes
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Content and Readability

Ban the alphabet soup

Maybe not an official ban, but there really needs to be an effort to avoid at all costs (or at least first mention) the use of acronyms. If you'd have to explain the acronym to your dad, then you shouldn't use it. We should think of them as swear words. If everyone had to pay a quarter each time they dropped an acronym, we could fill the deficit. :)

 

(I was tempted to categorize this as "Content in other languages.)

Voting

54 votes
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Usability and Design

Create a user-friendly error page for "eliminated" sites

In the spirit of a common experience, create and implement a standard error page for every federal .gov website that is decommissioned, archived, or otherwise removed from public access. Offer a friendly, plain-language explanation, the ability to search all .gov websites, and perhaps a link to USA.gov and / or a centralized .gov archive. This will prevent ISPs from serving ads when a user goes to a .gov website that ...more »

Voting

54 votes
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Policies and Principles

Finding who to contact

Many websites do not contain an easily seen contact person. All websites should have a contact person (phone number/email address) for each substantive page.

If websites have organizational charts, name and phone

number and email address for each position should be part of the website

Voting

52 votes
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(@cjguru)

Policies and Principles

Keep the appointees out of the weeds.

Federal communications to the citizen should not be biased with political motives or agendas. While this is a near impossible endeavor, it is probably the single most valuable one to take on. (IMHO) Citizens should be able to TRUST the government agencies and what they have to say. Right now, the political appointees govern too much of what IS actually said, for political gain. We have all seen it (if you have worked ...more »

Voting

48 votes
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Policies and Principles

Need coordinated teams of specialists vs. too few generalists

One thing I hate to see is agencies where the people managing the web don't have adequate teams and support, and may need training themselves but are spread so thin that they are forced to be generalists instead of specialists. The web should be staffed adequately, and employ modern technology (content management systems, anyone?), not be an afterthought in communication, PR and/or IT staffing needs. Sure, we need ...more »

Voting

46 votes
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Social Media

Institute Effective Social Media Emergency Plans

In emergency situations, the fastest route to spread information in via social media, who in turn often inform those who aren't on. Being prepared is important. As the earthquake in the DC area recently showed, the discussion instantly begins online. The US Geological Survey's shackmap was shared very quickly. The existence of that resource meant people could get facts quickly. That's a great example. So what does that ...more »

Voting

43 votes
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Content and Readability

Avoid Adobe PDF, Flash, Office Docs! Use Only HTML Forms & Docs

Avoid the use of these proprietary formats which require external plugins and are usually never accessible. HTML is always the most accessible and universal format that works on all devices from Cell Phones to Kindles to iPads. HTML is open source and does not require expensive tools like Adobe Acrobat Professional or Flash to develop. HTML is indexable by search engines and makes it easier for the public to find the ...more »

Voting

41 votes
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Policies and Principles

Consolidate health information on the web

There are too many competing sources of government health information. It's a waste of resources, they cannibalize each other's page rankings and branding, and it confuses users. Health.gov, at present just a place holder, could be the easy-to-find home page for government health info on the web.

Voting

39 votes
Active