Open government feedback, peace corps for geeks, and jobs

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A two way street sign

We'd like to highlight a few blog posts from GovLoop about open government and technology. In a previous post, we talked about GovLoop and the diversity and experience their community offers. It's a social network for the government community, focused on connecting people and sharing information and boasting more than 45,000 members.

Here are a few posts that we think you'll enjoy about capturing public comments, Code for America, and a new job and career resource.

A useful open gov commitment? Focus and harness the winds of public comment

James Freemans takes a deep dive into—a website that focuses on engaging the public in the Federal rulemaking process. The White House is looking for feedback and wants user comments and suggestions on changes that could improve the federal rulemaking process.

" needs focus," Freemans writes.

I agree. In any situation where an organization is looking for feedback, you typically get higher quality responses when you ask specific questions. If you've designed any type of survey, then you know what I mean. People are more inclined to provide useful information when there is focus. It's great to have an open comment field--and you probably should offer one in addition to specific questions--but when you generically ask for feedback, it's harder on the target audience to provide you with good, useful data. A prompt tells the audience what you're looking for.

The post goes into much more detail, outlines his top three problems with comments received through, and highlights the downstream problems it creates.

Do things that matter

This is a great story by Ryan Resella, who was chosen to be one of the first 20 fellows for the Code for America Fellowship—what he calls the peace corps for geeks. He spent over five years as a successful web developer for the City of Santa Clarita. Ryan starts his story with the following:

"Tim O’Reilly once said, 'Do things that matter,' and for the last seven months of my life, I’ve been focused on just that."

Resella shares the decision he was faced with: uproot his cozy life and join Code for America or continue his career. He decided to...wait, I won't spoil it for you. Either way, it's great to know that he will continue to use his passion for technology to improve government.

Advancing thousands of government careers and announcing

The final post I'd like to share is a timely one considering the recent announcement by President Obama about the American Jobs Act (plus the economy and unemployment rates). GovLoop recently announced, which highlights 10 job postings on USAJOBs each week, shares other job postings, and puts career tips and tools from GovLoop in one convenient location. This looks like a great resource. If you use it, let us know what you think.

Jason Hibbets is a Community Director at Red Hat with the Digital Communities team. He works with the Enable Architect, Enable Sysadmin, Enterprisers Project, and community publications.

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