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Re: Multi-Channel Section First Draft from Ken

From: Jose M. Alonso <josema@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 19:33:07 +0200
Cc: eGov IG <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <32789E6F-D1AC-4FDD-96F7-20FE9CFBD079@w3.org>
To: "Ken Fischer ClickForHelp.com " <ken@clickforhelp.com>
Forgot that this closes ACTION-51.

-- Jose


El 14/04/2009, a las 18:11, Ken Fischer ClickForHelp.com escribió:

> Hi Everyone
>             Sorry it seems I missed my deadline of last week.  I  
> didn’t see the announcement of the deadline and assumed it was  
> before the next call.
>             This is my first attempt at contribution, so I would  
> like to get feedback before posting on the appropriateness of it.
>             I don’t deal heavily with standards but focus on  
> concepts so I know that might need some work.  It seems technology  
> formats change so fast, that it is more important to create the  
> framework for why standards are needed than to focus on the standard  
> itself in the case of something like eGov and social media which is  
> still in an experimental phase.
>             I welcome your comments.
>                         Thanks
>                         Ken
>
>
>
> Multi-Channel Distribution Standards.
> In an age of connected data, standards are not just about the format  
> of information but are also about accessible and fair distribution.   
> That having been said, a balance must be achieved so that  
> distribution of information does not become a barrier limiting the  
> amount of information which is distributed.
>
> In the digital age, information is key to both economic and social  
> development of societies. Therefore, governments need to prioritize  
> making more as much information available through broadly  
> distributed channels over limiting information in order to make it  
> most broadly accessible and distributed.  This is a classic 90/10  
> effort issue, where the last 10% of effort to broaden distribution  
> and accessibility to near perfection would make 90% of the effort.   
> Too often governments have opted for an all or none method in  
> information distribution and it has resulted in less distribution  
> and a lesser good for the public as a whole.  The amount of  
> information is too vast given the current state of information  
> storage formats and technology to make all information accessible  
> through all conceivable methods and channels.  Accepting this fact  
> and letting data go needs to be the priority.
>
> That having been said accessibility should be discarded but rather a  
> system should be in place to determine which information warrants  
> the broadest, most accessible distribution and which information  
> should be posted but does not warrant effort to increase  
> accessibility except in that the format chosen should be a non- 
> proprietary one so that the public may redistribute the information  
> if it chooses.  Concern for accessibility may be handled by  
> providing a government sponsored service which can provide specific  
> data in more accessible formats on demand.
>
> This is not a radical departure from traditional accommodations but  
> rather a continuation of choices which have been traditionally  
> made.  An excellent example to understand how this is an extension  
> of existing policies is to consider library books and the blind in  
> the US.  Library books for the sighted are more widely available and  
> more easily accessible at libraries across the country, but Braille  
> versions of books can be accessed on demand through the Library of  
> Congress’ National Library Service for the Blind and Handicapped.  A  
> similar program could be developed for on demand access of  
> multimedia material for the handicapped. That having been said,  
> basic accommodations which can easily be built into websites to  
> promote accessibility should be addresses with social media  
> providers by encouraging broad accessibility to their material and  
> links should be provide on multi media home pages on how to request  
> versions such as closed captioned videos.
>
>
> Accessibility
> Accessibility is determined by 3 factors: device, bandwidth, and  
> user disability in using the device (commonly known as 508 standards  
> in the US).   Device and bandwidth issues are typically talked about  
> as the ‘digital divide’.  Both wider broadband distribution and  
> accessibility of information on mobile devices can help to solve  
> this issue.  One of the ways in which governments are broadening  
> broad band access is through free internet enabled computer  
> availability at libraries and kiosks.  The type of access widely  
> available to citizens for free at public locations as well as those  
> available at the lowest price points should  considering when  
> choosing  data standards, platforms, devices and websites for the  
> bulk of information through social media channels.  If broadly  
> available access is not compatible with methods which the majority  
> of citizens of a country use the internet, then clearly public  
> internet access is not providing adequate access.
>
> In considering the choice of media outlets, determining whether a  
> website or platform makes text based information available on low  
> cost mobile platforms should be taken into account.   The  
> availability of multimedia information should also be announced and  
> searchable through text based services so that users who have  
> limited access to multimedia enabled workstations, can find out  
> about resources they need and go to a kiosk or library which access  
> is available.  To prevent those without full access even to discover  
> what is available would effectively block its use, since time and  
> context when accessing the public internet is limited.
>
> Fair distribution.
> Fair distribution refers to the issue if government distributed  
> content through selected websites, platforms or devices creates an  
> unfair advantage for a particular device, platform, distribution  
> network, or website.  It seems appropriate for governments to not  
> have to expend resources on wide distribution if the bulk of the  
> intended audience is on one platform or website, but some  
> consideration should be taken so that governments do not become  
> unintentional monopoly makers through their social media  
> distribution choices.  Again this consideration should not take  
> priority over wide distribution of the bulk of information.
>
> The nature of social media information is to be posted on locations  
> which are not on government servers or control and is distributed  
> though social connections not through formal organizations.  Social  
> media information is distributed on websites which choose whom to  
> allow access to the website and which behaviors are acceptable. Also  
> a user’s activity and connections on a social media website  
> determines to some extent how much exposure they receive to  
> information available on that site. For instance, someone is who is  
> a friend of a person who participates in government discussion  
> boards will be more likely to be exposed to government distributed  
> information and the fact of its availability than someone who is not  
> similarly friended. Likewise, people who belong to groups who choose  
> to participate in smaller online communities will not be exposed to  
> the government distributed information.   For instance, what about  
> the parent who blocks Youtube on the household computer because of  
> objectional material?  Some consideration to the unevenness of  
> social media distribution should be nade..
>
> Multi-media central feed.
> Therefore a government using social media to distribute multi-media,  
> should create standard public locations which announces distribution  
> of documents and content with links to their openly accessible  
> location.
>
> A central text feed of all distributed info will serve four purposes:
>             1. Provide the public with a completely open and highly  
> accessible index to content provided through social media channels.
>             2. Provide the government content in a form isolated  
> from other content to broaden distribution to those who prefer to  
> avoid mixed distribution sources.
>             3. Provide other smaller content providers and websites  
> methods to have the same content as larger providers.
>             4. Provide a central reference location for any on- 
> demand accessibility service requests for government sponsored or  
> partnered services such as closed captioning or braille.
>
> These media index locations could be in the form of a searchable  
> text feed which link to original documents. The text feed should be  
> searchable from text based mobile devices as well as web browsers.   
> Search should be provided through a tagging mechanism which at the  
> least allows those posting the information to create new search tags  
> and categories.  It also may allow the public to tag items to create  
> a folksomy based search.   Documents should be in a freely  
> accessible format such as PDF, so long as that format allows for the  
> same distribution both in context and content to other websites as  
> was carried by the government itself.  For instance, if a document  
> was association on a social media website with certain search tags  
> attached, those tags should be indicated in this feed. If a document  
> had hyperlinks or embedded content placed in it by government  
> officials, those hyperlinks and content should be preserved in this  
> format.
>
> Video and audio should be in an instantly playable format such as a  
> progressive player linked to cloud based storage so high demand will  
> not slow distribution, as well as a downloadable format which can be  
> used to replicate the distribution on other websites.
>
> In the case of virtual world information distribution, some capture  
> of the virtual world experience should be attempted to replicate the  
> primary message in some way such as a video of the experience. If it  
> is possible to store in an open format 3-D objects or actions, that  
> content maybe also be considered for placement in this central data  
> store.
>
> To the extent that an industry standard is developed to allow easily  
> subscription or importing of documents, audio and video content to  
> alternate media websites and platforms, governments should adopt  
> these methods to support their central feed.
>
> Conclusion.
> Governments should clearly prioritize distribution and accessibility  
> options which do not pose significant barriers which would decrease  
> the amount of information distribution.  At the same time some  
> consideration to disabled users, users without high bandwidth and  
> high cost devices, as well as devices, platforms and websites with  
> smaller audiences should be taken.  A low-barrier method to do would  
> be to create a central multi-media text multi-media index feed,  
> which is searchable from both text based mobile and internet browsers.
Received on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 17:34:18 GMT

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