Sam’s email was the impetus for building a new theme, now called GovPress, that Devin Price and I developed with his feedback, and Ferndale deployed a beta version in July of 2013 (more on the history here).
The new site, located at alpha.phila.gov, is powered by WordPress with a custom theme that hopefully the city will open source at some point in the future.
Despite the fact that millions of websites around the world today are powered by low- and no-cost open source content management systems, nearly all small city governments remain trapped in the 90s. To date, however, this need hasn’t adequately been served, and we need to change this. We can change this.
We’ve heard a lot about Drupal and WordPress in government, but not much about the open source platform Joomla. We asked Joomla External Communications Lead Sandra Ordonez to share how government is using it, its key features, how it compares to Drupal and WordPress and what governments are using it.
As I mentioned in my 2012 civic commitment post, I’m focused on helping drastically lower the cost, de-mystify the technology and build better websites for local government.
OpenGovWest has a new logo and Website. Described as a “network of open government supporters and practitioners, working together to foster progress on open government issues and technology throughout the US and Canada,” OGW is managed by Knowledge As Power, a nonprofit organization based in Seattle.
WordPress Bible author Aaron Brazell discusses issues around government’s use of the Website and blogging platform, WordPress.
Most western governments have in the last decade developed an accessibility strategy for their websites, often based on WCAG 1.0. At the end of 2008, the WC3 announced the final version of WCAG 2.0 and the public sector is now struggling to keep up. In Canada there was a recent announcement about a revised Common Look and Feel (CLF). In the USA the Section 508 is in its first of six revisions, part of which will be to adapt to the new approach to standards. I’m not sure that most citizens will notice the changes to government websites, however for both people with disabilities and the tax payers, it will be a very big deal.
Here’s video from the August 2009 news conference announcing the launch of DataSF.org, San Francisco’s open data site, which provides “structured, raw and machine-readable government data to the public in an easily downloadable format.”
The press conference is attended by SF officials and technology entrepreneurs, including SF Mayor Gavin Newsom, SF CIO Chris Vein, SF Dept of Public Works head Ed Riskin, SF Director of Innovation Jay Nath, Tim O’Reilly and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg. There’s a general Q&A that includes examples of how citizens and entrepreneurs are leveraging the newly-opened data.