Campaign: Content and Readability

Differentiate between ephemeral and evergreen content

Some content remains valid for a long time, and serves as an ongoing resource. Other content primarily serves the purpose of providing an update, but becomes dated and inaccurate quickly. Consciously consider the differences and act accordingly. I've seen it happen time and again where really solid content that has been carefully crafted for a long life gets drowned out by press-releasy stuff because they are in the ...more »

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64 votes
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Campaign: Social Media

Do Not Replicate Social Media

Do not waste money trying to cfreate immitations of social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, or others. Instead, use closed groups using existing social networks. Government should focus on developing government-specific systems.

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63 votes
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Campaign: Accessibility

Train web developers beyond Section 508

Some of the most important accessibility best practices are not required by Section 508. Logically ordered heading tags for example, or links with clear purpose (instead of "click here", "Read our August 2011 Newsletter"). It seems everyone simply adds ALT attributes to images and calls it a day. We need to train web developers and designers in more than basic Section 508 and ensure they understand accessibility beyond ...more »

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60 votes
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Campaign: 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Add the ability to flag a web page for outdated, incorrectness.

Give the users the ability to flag a page for a broken link, missing content, outdated or incorrect content.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 These flags for outdated or incorrect content could be a metric that agencies use to measure quality.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 »

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Campaign: 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.

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58 votes
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Campaign: 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.

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57 votes
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Campaign: 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.

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56 votes
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Campaign: 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.)

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54 votes
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Campaign: 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 »

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54 votes
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Campaign: 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

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52 votes
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Campaign: 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 »

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48 votes
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