Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Healthiest States

The latest state health rankings are available. The healthiest states according to the United Health Foundation study are:
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • Hawaii
  • Utah

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

NIC just won the contract for Colorado's web portal. It looks like they might begin somewhat smaller than our Utah Interactive (NIC affilliate) component.

According to the Univ. of Massachussetts, Utah ranks 46th on the Work Environment Index. Wow, that's not very good.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Time-Lapsed Video of Capitol Construction

Here is a very sped-up video of our Capitol construction project.


Phil Windley mentions something about linking your TiVo to your home network. Hmmm... I guess that I've just given up on some technologies altogether based on time limitations. I don't watch television anymore or have much desire to. Now that I've got a high speed ethernet connection to my home, there are too many other more interesting things to do with my limited entertainment hours.

Gov Blog Aggregator

Nick Mudge mentions this new government blog aggregator. Looks like a nice service.

Nick also mentions the talk about Web 2.0. Just a term for something that's been going on for a while and some people are just now catching on to. What interests me is that now when I mention things like AJAX and Googlemap APIs, my developers don't look at me cross-eyed anymore. They are responding and have some cool stuff going on. I probably should have sent them to the Web 2.0 conference earlier this month, but I've been a little distracted with the statewide IT consolidation and WoW. I mention WoW because of the way that they have integrated so many things into the experience. If we could only make eGov so interesting.

My monitoring specialist just dropped by. We are tracking about 150 million page views through WebTrends. That's not nearly comprehensive and does not include the portal or associated applications. We track that separately.

Rewriting History

I'm not sure that a very good history has been written about the early development of egovernment. A recent article in Government Technology points out that some state websites celebrated their tenth anniversary this year. The article mentions that California, Massachussetts, Michigan, and Washington are among those laying claim to the first website. Add Utah to the list. While that may be controversial, it is clear that Governor Leavitt was the first Governor to verbalize a clear vision for online services. In 1993, he gave his Electronic Highway speech, encouraging agencies to move services to the internet:
"Internet. I challenge you to explore the possibilities of making the Internet available to every citizen. It is a technology that exists today that could provide every citizen with electronic mail and a means for parents to communicate with schools. It could also be the means to access state databases."
In early 1994, I began experimenting with Mosaic and putting up pages for the Division of General Services. We created a group called Access Utah to coordinate our egov efforts. By 1995, we had a dedicated state webmaster and by 1996 received second place in the Best of the Web competition. So we have been at this for over 11 1/2 years which is really a very short time in the whole scheme of things.

I made note of the tenth anniversary of the Electronic Highway speech on my original weblog two and a half years ago. The goals are still much the same; increase productivity, improve service, be more efficient.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Best of the Web 2005

After a two week hiatus, I'm back - at least for a while. Distractions are numerous right now.

Congratulations to Delaware for winning the Best of the Web this year. I am trying to discover what it is that made this year's winners stand out from those who were not at the top of the list and can't find it. In the past, the differences stood out more. According to the Center for Digital Government which sponsors the contest, portals were judged on four criteria; innovation, functionality, efficiency, and economy. Delaware makes a big deal about its insourcing of the portal to save money. Maybe that's the distinguishing feature this year. Or the fact that they have a podcast of Delaware history and road conditions - I'm not sure that podcasts are the right venue for either one of those.

Regardless, Delaware has made significant improvements to their website over the past two years and that is a good thing.

Overall, however, I find relatively little real innovation as I look through all the winners compared to previous years. Let's hope for more in 2006.