On Tuesday, October 23, 2012, content managers and technologists from NASA, HHS, Energy, Education, USDA, Commerce, FDA, the Census Bureau, and GSA got together to draft a roadmap to help the federal government unlock and share government content.
A recent report by Tech America Foundation stated that around 85% of information published today is unstructured, meaning it’s in a format that’s not always easy to ingest, analyze, manage, store, or distribute. One of the goals of the Digital Government Strategy is to move federal agencies to a new publication model – so agencies create structured, tagged, machine-readable content that can be easily found, shared and reused.
We’d planned to hold two tracks for the day, but decided to combine the tracks into one session, to bring content managers and developers together in the same room to work on this problem. We started with a demo from the USA.gov team on their Apps Gallery, which is a collection of mobile apps from across government, and the API they created around the Gallery.
Participants discussed what open content means to government, how it can be used to create things like APIs to share information within, across, and outside government. We discussed issues around sharing code between agencies, and how to facilitate government participation in developer communities such as GitHub.
The afternoon started with a case study from NASA outlining their experience researching and selecting an enterprise-wide content management system (CMS), which they plan to implement to bring many disparate sites under one centralized CMS. Open Content Day wrapped up by outlining a roadmap to help agencies move to Open Content.
Is your agency already producing structured, open content? Do you have lessons learned that you’re willing to share? We’d love to post your story as a Case Study on HowTo.gov, so if you’re interested, please contact Rachel Flagg email@example.com.