Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Utah.gov Acknowledgements

Day One for our new Utah.gov portal is now history. That's always a little challenging, especially when you make the kind of dramatic changes that this effort has meant for us.. Even though lots of testing and analysis was done in advance, it's never possible to predict how something new will be received. Overall, the response was very positive. We are also learning in the process and will apply what we learn to future activities.

The efforts that resulted in the new portal really began in 2007 when we put together our new state egovernment plan. That plan was intended to take us through this summer and we have used it regularly as a mechanism for progress. We have now achieved much of what was outlined in that plan and have a lengthy draft of the 2009-2011 egov plan ready to complete.

In developing our plans, we have sought to learn from the best minds in the business. I can't mention them all, but I will mention a few.
  • Tim O'Reilly - like the hundreds of thousands of people who follow Tim on Twitter, we track his vision for the web and for society. We have tried to integrate some of that vision into what we are doing with Utah.gov.
  • Dion Hinchcliffe - Dion understands architecture and does a better job visualizing it than about anyone I can think of. Architecture is an important part of what we are doing in the state right now and our technical architecture wiki is beginning to reflect that.
  • Paul Taylor - Paul has a tremendous vision for digital government. His contributions to the field, along with Cathilea Robinett and the Center for Digital Government have provided an incredible forum for sharing ideas on egovernment
  • Steve Fletcher - as CIO of the State of Utah, he has provided an environment where we are able to implement new ideas in productive ways.
  • David Stephenson - one of the more strategic thinkers about how web 2.0 can be used to improve government, particularly in the homeland security space.
Obviously, there are many more.

Tools of the Trade
A big part of our planning has been focused around developing more and better collaboration between agencies, citizens, and the global community. We have tried to use tools that support that paradigm, including:
  • Google - Our relationship with Google has been great. The partnership that was implemented in 2006 and the use of their CSE has been phenomenal. We have also used Google Docs for sharing ideas and managing projects associated with the latest release.
  • Twitter - this tool gives us access to interaction with and real time response from the global community. Our new Utah.gov site features over 100 state and local government Twitter feeds that provide daily interaction with Utah citizens and other interested parties from beyond our state borders.
  • Slideshare - this is one of the many additional web 2.0 tools that we will continue to leverage now and in the future. We have incorporated them into our enterprise technical architecture standards. I could also mention Wikispaces, Swivel, YouTube, Ning, etc., all of which have helped make us a more collaborative state.
My goal in mentioning these tools is not to promote a specific product, but to give credit to companies that have helped us develop a broader vision for what we can become as a government.

Day One Commentary on Utah.gov
We appreciate those who have commented on our initial release of Utah.gov in traditional media, on blogs, and on Twitter. Here are a few I have gleaned...
Finally, I acknowledge the efforts of our development teams, state agencies, and state leadership. When we put together the 2007-09 egov plan we had 550 online services. In just two years, that number has climbed to over 850. Utah Interactive developers and designers have put in long hours to help us achieve this plateau in our climb upward and have responded incredibley to the requests made of them. Rich Olsen, Sara Watts, and Bob Woolley have been a critical part of making this a reality. Also thanks to Chris Neff and Hillary Hartley for helping us clarify our strategy. Our climb won't stop here.


Unknown said...

Great example of an organization that understands new social media. I twitted it to the HHS social media team last night and they spread it quickly for you as well.

I would love to use something similar for the growing National eHealth Collbarative and the ONC as we are building a national outreach, education and engagement strategy for health information systems.

Who would be a good contact person?
Sherry Reynolds
ehealth Advocate

Mike said...

Hi Dave - it's great to learn how the new site came together. Well done. I'd love to hear more the balance of roles and responsibilities between the state and Utah Interactive/NIC in the redesign.

Unknown said...

Mr. Fletcher - I love the redesign of Utah.gov - very accessible and loaded with information. As a Utah resident, I can already see the site's usefulness.

As a Web Developer, I was wondering how you deal with such diverse content types and updates, etc.?

Are you using a programming framework (MVC-type) or a CMS to handle the updates?

Congratulations on the site and thanks for the hard work!


paulocanning said...

Well you know what I think ... :] thanks for the link.