Thursday, May 31, 2007
The first selection is a services search which is an AJAX-driven search of over 660 Utah state online services. We have also added a over a 120 local and federal services. From here, the user can go to this page where you can search all of these services by agency, by category, etc. The large number of distinct services dictated a different approach. I imagine we will continue to refine these options as the number of things that a citizen can do online continues to grow. For example, we may want to allow citizens to contribute tags, etc. Right now, the tagging and indexing is based to some degree on user activity, but is not as social as it might be.
The second search allows users to look for an agency and pull up a Google map of the department's location, etc. We will also continue to improve this service with additional enhancements.
The third search is the new Google custom search that we implemented in late April. I just checked and we have had over 194,000 searches performed in the first month.
We have added a multimedia portal branded Utah GovCast. This database-driven portal, just in its infancy right now, will allow users to browse the multimedia content produced by the State, including some very relevant content from the federal government and from Utah's colleges and universities in cooperation with State agencies.
There are several new sub-portals featured under the Explore Utah section that I would encourage you to look at, particularly the new Utah Travel portal and the new State Parks site. Thumb through the beautiful photo book on Utah.travel or checkout this mashup of state parks.
We really hope that all these enhancements will improve the user experience. I'd love to hear any comments.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
As far as myself, I have been supportive of a variety of environmental initiatives. Over 10 years ago, I chaired a group to write the State of Utah's first alternative fuels plan. Now, with the price of gasoline spiraling upward, we are maybe seeing the results of not being more proactive. Certainly, it is time to become better stewards in the way that we use this and other finite resources. Last night, Governor Huntsman mentioned his interest in alternative fuel vehicles on a radio show. He also discussed Utah's participation in the Climate Registry. So I'll put in a good word for the Clean Cities program here in the state. While you're looking around, I invite you to sign up for the Utah Energy Office email list.
Finally, I will pass this on to:
- Ken Thompson, author of The Bumblebee
- Barbara Haven, insightful blogger working with California government IT
- Jim Stewart, thought-provoking manager of UEN technical services
- Tom Warne, former UDOT executive director who understands transportation issues from top to bottom.
- Steve Clift, the author of the DoWire newsletter for democracies online.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
"Much as I love my high-speed connection to the AFCnet-- in my part of town, it's reliable -- I can't look the taxpayer in the eye and tell him we're leaving roads unfinished because we want to go $1 million in the red on municipal broadband."
Ouch, I sure hope they can make it successful. Should be if they could muster another 5,000 subscribers.
"Government needs to communicate with citizens – and vice versa. We try to facilitate this a hundred different ways.
- Award-winning, citizen-friendly web sites;
- E-mail correspondence;
- Direct phone conversations;
- Live streaming video of chamber activity;
- Streaming audio of chamber activity (both live and archived);
- On-line audio of our legislative committee meetings (live and archived);
- Personal meetings with groups and individuals;
- Etcetera. I’m sure I’ll think of more as I'm going to sleep tonight."
President Valentine further elaborates, "Web 2.0 is different than working through a reporter because we can speak directly to the public, in our own voice, and our constituents can respond, anonymously or otherwise. I like the opportunity and the accountability."
Monday, May 21, 2007
photo by ashergrey.
Friday, May 18, 2007
I also wanted to mention yesterday, the great new look of Google Analytics. We have been using it to track activity on Utah.gov since last October. The newly revised tool, still in beta, provides great reporting capabilities and data that can be extremely useful in determining how to improve your site.
All three components of the Utah eGov Strategic Plan are also now online. We are planning to release the last two pieces in June and July.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Department of Homeland Security – Infectious Disease Informatics Working Group
USDA – APHIS – Wildlife Services and state cooperators
USDA – APHIS – Veterinary Services
USFWS and state cooperators
USGS National Wildlife Health Center
State / RegionalMaryland Department of Natural Resources
Idaho Fish and Game
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
I wonder where Utah is in this effort. I know that we have a very creative Wildlife Division that is doing great things with podcasts, multimedia, mashups, online services, etc.
Monday, May 14, 2007
I happened to look at the Utah Senate blog and noticed that John Massey is retiring as the Legislative Fiscal Analyst. I appreciate John's professionalism during the time he has served in this important capacity. I can still remember discussing the use of Acrobat and RealMedia with John many years ago as tools to enhance access to Utah legislative activities.
Friday, May 11, 2007
I also just noticed that Carlos Guadian from Barcelona has also created an e-government swicki.
I have also created a Utah Data Group on swivel to share statistical information and graphs from the State of Utah.
- Indiana - Indiana's new portal is a beautiful site and a major improvement from the previous version. The dynamic photo news element in the center is captivating and dynamic and draws the users attention. The page focuses your attention on news and online services.
- Rhode Island's "media central" contains pages for blogs, podcasts, calendars (focusing on ical interoperability) and more. Rhode Island (along with Utah) was one of the first states to start publishing RSS feeds. I have been creating a list of government calendars in Utah to do something similar with the calendars, in addition to the statewide calendar of public meetings that will be created in response to this year's legislation.
- Montana's new site is compact and functional.
- I still can't decide if I like California's new portal better than the old.
- I've always liked usa.gov, but they have made it harder to locate state governments by removing it from its previous location at the upper left hand of the page.
- Kentucky's Get Healthy initiative has a flash user-focused interface.
- I like Alabama's e11 directory. Alabama has become one of the better state portals.
- There used to be several really bad state portals. Now there is only one, but I'm not going to say which one it is.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
So, I may get to explain some of the things that I am working on and involved with if I ever get the time: a new release of the Utah.gov portal, our Google GSE and sitemapping partnership, a new multimedia portal, a utahegov wiki, an implementation of Sugar CRM for Utah entrepreneurship, new mashups, a five part Strategic eGov plan, State of Utah web standards, ESB, cataloging over 650 Utah online services, IT support for the Governor's Office of Economic Development, an annual egov conference, statewide GPS systems, USTAR, business continuity, and more. It is all interesting stuff, but it consumes time.
Meanwhile, life goes on, there is more to learn. I have been looking at a lot of fascinating web 2.0 tools, some of which are completely new, others just value-added remakes of things we already have. Here are a few: