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Re: Congressional Websites Innovations 2015

From: Steven Clift <clift@e-democracy.org>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2015 10:42:24 -0600
Message-ID: <CAO9TZ0Uptu3Lt7fA2+g7Tk6zkOmSKOyrD4Lysk6hkYTocOZzfQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Daniel Bennett <daniel@citizencontact.com>
Cc: Adam Sobieski <adamsobieski@hotmail.com>, public-opengov@w3.org
Ben Kallos built this site on Drupal:

He is a new NYC Councilmember and a Drupal developer by trade.

Also, NDI released these tools:

Check out these folks too:

I'd also dig into politicians on WordPress and highlight the best.

So, perhaps you could explore how to build on this work and do
something that provides something to politicians looking proactively
for what you want to promote.


Steven Clift

P.S. Check out http://poplus.org
Steven Clift  -  Executive Director, E-Democracy

* Support E-Democracy. Pledge drive to raise $10,000 US:
      http://e-democracy.org/donate?ft  - Only $1400 to 2015 Goal

On Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 9:50 AM, Daniel Bennett
<daniel@citizencontact.com> wrote:
> Dear Adam,
> Although your heart is in the right place, I am not sure this is the right
> approach to improving member office web sites. I am saying this based on
> having been one of the main innovators of hill web sites, from creating one
> of the first, from being the first to bring RSS to sites, to pushing to
> automate getting CRS reports onto member sites (failed), to ....
> First, you should know the legal rules about how website technology can be
> applied on the hill (different for House and Senate, from hosting issues to
> gift ban to ethics rules). Then you should learn what office resources are
> in terms of staff and money. Perhaps learning what Members of Congress and
> Senators roles and requirements prior to this. Also, there is an ongoing
> revolution in XML document and data standards that would allow for amazing
> new possibilities you and other should be aware of (see the yearly
> Legislative Document Transparency Conference:
> https://cha.house.gov/2014-legislative-data-and-transparency-conference ).
> And I say this as someone who would love to see more and better technology
> use, and is working on this issue. Perhaps putting together a contest for
> using Congressional data or making apps for them. Or a contest for best
> ideas for congressional sites.
> But building CMS systems for the Hill from a technical standpoint is fifteen
> years old (helped build the first one). And without knowing the rules or
> requirements this might not be the best use of outsiders time.
> But I do hope that anybody that wants to help, let us know and if you have
> any questions about how hill offices work with technology (worked in this
> area since 1993) feel free to ask.
> Good luck,
> Daniel Bennett
> On 1/20/2015 10:26 AM, Adam Sobieski wrote:
> Open Government Community Group,
> Greetings.  I would like to describe to you a new idea for congress.gov,
> *.senate.gov and *.house.gov, pertaining to contest(s) for web software, web
> designs of use to up to all of the 535 congressional teams.  The ideas
> presented could be of use for peoples in other democracies as well.
> The idea is for nationwide contest(s), with prizes, to percolate innovations
> in the areas of: (a) modular, configurable, themeable, web platforms
> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_content_management_systems), (b)
> plugins, (c) features, such that contestants’ entries, utilizing
> combinations of existing or new such components (a, b, c), would be website
> options for senators and representatives, their websites at: *.senate.gov
> and *.house.gov .
> Though newly elected congresspeople and their teams could opt to make use of
> other, custom, software, the contest would be for the software offered as
> option to newly elected congresspeople, their teams, by congress.gov .
> Envisioned is that the websites’ features would include interoperability
> with mobile apps (e.g. mailing lists, RSS, forums, opinion polls, et al).
> The broad, inclusive, contest(s) would be in the spirit of challenge.gov
> (http://www.challenge.gov/list/), however the contest(s) are envisioned as
> hosted at congress.gov and with a much larger prize budget for top-ranking
> entries.  The prizes, acclaim, as well as opportunities to advance
> democracy, e-democracy, the winning entries available to up to all 535
> congressional teams, are expected to entice a large number of Americans to
> participate in the contest(s).
> The web design community could be notified of the event(s) including by web
> design magazines, web design websites and web design awards websites (e.g.
> http://www.awwwards.com/).  Software vendors, Web platform vendors desiring
> for contestants to make use of their software, in particular with the
> visibility of winning contest(s) entries, could be of use to disseminating
> information about the existence of contest(s) to teams, broadening the
> number of participating contestants.
> Kind regards,
> Adam Sobieski
> http://phoster.com
Received on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 16:42:53 UTC

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