2011 GovFresh Awards entries and voting now open

Every day, tech-minded citizens across the country are doing good by their communities, literally geeking out about how they can help re-define the relationship government has with its citizens, using technology as a democratic tool to empower both.

Should government outsource long-term or crisis-related social media?

Just noticed this contract solicitation submitted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a ‘professional media services company with experience and reliability in the deployment and delivery of professional broadcast transmission equipment and crews to various locations … used during pre- and post-declared federal disasters to support the OEA in its mission to prepare and disseminate information to the public.’

Having an outside contractor be heavily responsible for this role detaches the agency from its mission-critical work. I can understand services related to training and establishing processes that can then be left for agency employees to execute, but on-call assistance? Long-term or crisis-related social media and outreach should be the agency’s core focus.

What do you think?

Gov 2.0 guide to Crisis Commons and CrisisCamp

CrisisCamps are efforts by local communities to garner the collective skills of volunteers, particularly technology related, to support relief efforts during crises, such as natural disasters. Crisis Commons is the supporting organization whose mission is “empowering global citizens to save lives through technology.” Most recently, CrisisCamps have been active in supporting relief efforts following the earthquake in Haiti. Here’s an overview of CrisisCamp, CrisisCommons and how you can connect and get involved.

MyGovApp: DisastersMap

DisastersMap is a tool using information on earthquakes and storms sourced from data.gov (in expectation of more sources). This map also displays in real time tweets on natural disasters due to the Twitter API and shows location of the members of the U.S. Congress interested in natural disaster-related problems (using the Capitol Words API).