Month: September 2009

Contest: Best Gov 2.0 Video

If H1N1 can have a rap video then so can Gov 2.0.

Recently, Dr. John Clarke’s H1N1 Rap won the flu prevention video contest sponsored by the Department of Health & Human Services:

Dr. Clarke’s innovative approach using social media to spread an important message got me thinking:

“Gov 2.0 needs a video.”

In an effort to inspire creative govies, Gov 2.0 enthusiasts, civic songwriters, comedians, poets and musicians, GovFresh is sponsoring a ‘Best Gov 2.0 Video’ contest.



  • ‘Above the fold’ home page feature on and through December 31, 2009.
  • Awesome GovLoop t-shirt.
  • Bragging rights at every Gov 2.0 event under the sun.
  • If you would like to sponsor a prize, please share in comments or send us a message, and we’ll add to the list.


  • Must be creative.
  • Must be original, specifically for this contest.


  • October 31, 2009: Deadline
  • Nov 1-7, 2009: Voting
  • Nov 8, 2009: Winner announced

Who’s first?

FedScoop founder Goldy Kamali discusses ‘Developing Communities of Practice in the Government’

FedScoop founder Goldy Kamali discusses ‘Developing Communities of Practice in the Government.’


“I think that’s it’s really important to keep in mind that social media can have an incredible impact on getting the word out and getting people really motivated and excited in a unique way, but unless you have an infrastructure in place, and relationships in place, and a network in place, social media alone actually has limited impact. It’s important to combine the old way of doing things with all of these new resources to get the maximum results.”

MyGovApp: Time Machine

MyGovApp is a GovFresh feature showcasing Gov 2.0 applications, including Web, mobile, social networks, etc. Share yours » Time Machine

App Time Machine


Eugene Polyakov


Dynamic government data visualization on a state level. See how figures (unemployment rates for example) change over time and compare state to US total.


  • scroll time slider yourself or press the “play” button
  • BLS, Census & IRS data and various mashups
  • automatic data updates
  • extensibility: any time series data can be added


MyGovApp: Socrata Social Data Platform

MyGovApp is a GovFresh feature showcasing Gov 2.0 applications, including Web, mobile, social networks, etc. Share yours »



Socrata Social Data Platform


Kevin Merritt


The Socrata Social Data Platform allows organizations to make data available to citizens by transforming the way audiences consume and share public datasets, enabling government agencies to boost participation and fulfill transparency mandates.

With the Social Data Platform technical and non-technical audiences can interact with data online. Scientists and analysts can download data while everyday citizens can access data through an easy to use interface, much like media players are used for audio and video content.

The Social Data Platform includes Socrata’s Data Delivery Network, a shared services platform allowing organizations to share tremendous cost savings with other organizations of all shapes and sizes.”


New GovFresh feature: ‘MyGovApp’

In an effort to bring more attention to the great Gov 2.0 apps out there, we’re starting a new feature on GovFresh called “MyGovApp.”


“MyGovApp” is a new GovFresh feature showcasing Gov 2.0 applications, including Web, mobile, social networks, etc.

This will be a post by the app founder or creator.


Developers/companies/organizations building cutting edge Gov 2.0 applications.


Send the following to

1. App logo (at least 200px wide)
2. App name
3. Founder(s)
4. Description (250 words or less, including short description, bulleted list of features)
5. Ways to connect with app (URL, Twitter, Facebook – not personal links)
6. Gravatar email (this will be a post from you)
7. Brief (2-sentence) bio of poster, including html links


Post in the comments section below, and we’ll respond!

QR-Codes: How small town Manor, Texas is changing government with barcodes

City of Manor, TexasQuick Response Codes, or QR-codes for short, may seem like just another barcode to blanket products and aid in inventory systems management, but in Manor, Texas, they are much more.

QR-codes are two dimensional barcodes that can be generated for free and subsequently decoded for free on most newer model camera phones. When I first learned of QR-codes I quickly realized the amazing potential they had, however, I was unaware of the significant impact they would have on my own organization.

The immediate application I saw for QR-codes was a method of document management for smaller agencies. Since my department’s budget is less than $100,000 a year, I did not have the funds to purchase an industry-standard document management system. Instead, I identified QR-codes as a great way to “tag” boxes with information that could be decoded with a cell phone, instead of purchasing expensive software and an industry-grade barcode scanner. After working on a document management system, the City Manager and I quickly realized that the QR-code model could be applied to just about every aspect of local government operations, including economic development. As a result, on March 29, 2008, we launched our first public QR-code campaign that consisted of 15 fixed-mounted QR-code signs placed throughout our community.

These signs were placed in front of city buildings, historic structures and other sites of interest throughout our community. Instead of embedding information in each barcode sign, I embedded hyperlinks to websites that contained the information. For example, if you scan the 4’ x 4’ QR-code hung outside City Hall, your mobile phone browser will be redirected to a website specific to City Hall and its history. Even though each QR-code may look the same, they each link to a unique website address.

QR-codes have not only increased tourism in our small community, they have increased transparency. By placing QR-code signs at each of our construction projects, we can provide the taxpayer real-time information about that project. For example, if they scanned the QR-code at our most recent bond project, they would receive information about how much they project costs, when it was scheduled to be completed, etc. When there were costs or timeframe changes in the bond project, we would only have to update the information on the website because the QR-code hyperlink remained the same.

We have also deployed QR-codes on our city vehicles, which we hope to eventually tie our work order system into each QR-code.

Instead of bombarding our residents with information they don’t want through traditional means of communication, we have created a model of information dissemination that puts them in the driver’s seat and engages them to get involved. Manor currently has 24 fixed mounted QR-codes, 15 of which are also equipped with RFID for NFC phones, that provide real-time information to our residents.

For more information on Manor’s QR-code campaign, e-mail