Center for American Progress

Recommendations for the Obama Administration’s Use of Web 2.0
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Recommendations for the Obama Administration’s Use of Web 2.0

The Obama administration should continue its high-visibility use of new media by adopting a conditional approach that allows it to remain open in its use of new technology, but also leverages the federal government’s power to help make Web 2.0 technologies more compliant with federal regulations that will make these technologies safer and more accessible for more Americans.

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President Obama was forward-looking with regard to Web 2.0 technologies both during the campaign and the transition. The Obama administration should continue its high-visibility use of new media by adopting a conditional approach that allows it to remain open in its use of new technology, but also leverages the federal government’s power to help make Web 2.0 technologies more compliant with federal regulations that will make these technologies safer and more accessible for more Americans.

The Obama administration’s conditional use policies should stay fairly close to open use, but include the following recommendations:

  • The Obama administration should release a policy statement that encourages federal agencies to experiment and innovate with Web 2.0 technologies.
  • Whitehouse.gov should act as a model for the use of innovative Web 2.0 technologies within the federal government.
  • Implementation of Web 2.0 technologies should include a public comment feature so that the public can provide feedback to agencies on how to improve their use of the applications.
  • Policy guidance should encourage agencies to consider a list of relevant issues when adopting Web 2.0 technologies, including: privacy; security; Section 508 compliance; total cost of ownership; interoperability; use of open standards; and excessive advertising, endorsement of commercial products, or display with inappropriate content.
  • GSA should work with the White House new media team to negotiate terms of use with prominent Web 2.0 providers. Federal adoption of Web 2.0 technologies, however, should not be contingent on completion of such negotiations.

A fairly open conditional approach would enable federal websites to experiment with and rapidly use Web 2.0 technologies. At the same time, it would allow high-visibility sites, such as whitehouse.gov, to move forward on Web 2.0 technologies while using their leverage to help secure improved licenses for all federal websites.

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