The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) now has its own channel on Youtube: youtube.com/fema and its own twitter feed: twitter.com/femainfocus. And, of course, it has a number of RSS feeds, fema.gov/help/rss.shtm.
FEMA In Focus: Where FEMA Was, Is Now, and Where FEMA Is Going, FEMA Press Release HQ-09-004, January 7, 2009.
FEMA starts channel on YouTube, By Alice Lipowicz, FCW.com, Jan 08, 2009.
grants.gov, "a central storehouse for information on over 1,000 grant programs and provides access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards," started a blog back in August. It is available at at the commercial, (not dot-gov) site: http://grants-gov.blogspot.com/
I found both the grants.gov site and the blog a bit confusing. It was not clear to me who the audience was. Maybe I should have spent more time evaluating it. But this site has had its problems being user friendly. See Should Grants.gov Be Abolished? and Grants.gov is Windows-only.
Smithsonian: Blogs is a good place to find all the blogs, podcasts, and RSS feeds from the Smithsonian Institution.
Did you know that The Smithsonian Institution Libraries is participating in Library Thing? I didn't until I read it on the Smithsonian Libraries blog. (SIL Joins LibraryThing, Oct 1, 2008.) It is one of a dozen SI blogs.
And the podcasts look great! The Folkways Collection, Global Sound Live Vodcast Series, and more!
And, there are almost two dozen RSS feeds in addition to the feeds from the blogs and podcasts!
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics now has a page of "Latest Numbers" RSS feeds. There are feeds available for: BLS Principal Federal Economic Indicators, Business Employment Dynamics, Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (National), Consumer Price Index, Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey, Employment Cost Trends, Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities, Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Productivity and Costs, Mass Layoff Statistics, Import/Export Price Indexes, Producer Price Indexes, and regional statistics.
Two new blogs appeared on the USA.gov Blogs from the U.S. Government page recently:
- Arctic Chronicles, by Jessica Robertson, Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Geological Survey. She will be documenting her journey to the Arctic as she accompanies scientists on an expedition to map the seafloor.
- The Energy Savers Blog, which aims to provide "a place for consumers to learn about and discuss energy efficiency and renewable technologies at home, on the road, and in the workplace."
While the Energy Savers Blog is apparently provided by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), it is hosted on a .com website. That creates a variety of problems for long-term access and preservation. (See more examples of government information on .com sites here.)
Both blogs have RSS feeds.
One of my favorite web sites is The Memory Hole, which exists "to preserve and spread material that is in danger of being lost, is hard to find, or is not widely known." It has been offline for a while, but is back with a new URL. This is a project of one person, the dedicated Russ Kick, winner of the Project on Government Oversight’s “Beyond the Headlines” Award 2005. Check out his first new post.
We have updated the FGI blogroll with the new addresses and items from the Memory Hole feed appear again in the FGI aggregator of feeds and in the category of Blogs from organizations of interest to FGI.
MultiMedia RSS Feeds - State of California State of California.
From the Air Resources Board to the Legislative Analysts Office, to New Opinions from the U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, lots of RSS feeds!
I had not seen this before, but it looks like a model for open government. The District of Columbia provides free access to "city operational data" (e.g., Demographics, Health Care, Environment, Human Services, Education, Economic Development, Public Safety) in a variety of formats including RSS (Atom) feeds, XML, CSV, and ESRI Shapefiles. The feeds are drawn from more than 150 data sets, ranging from the all- important crime reports to pothole complaints.
Wow, today is a convergence day of holidays! Not only do we have May Day, International Workers' Day, and Loyalty Day, but now there's also RSS Day! RSS (aka "rich site summary") is the little XML file that could; that is, RSS can help librarians and readers in general collect and read the stuff in which they're interested. See the video below for a really good, straighforward description of RSS. And don't forget to register for the GODORT preconference at ALA Annual '08 entitled, Docs2.0: emerging web technologies for the government documents community. FGI will be there with Jim Jacobs presenting about RSS and James Jacobs moderating and presenting about del.icio.us.
Here is a great example of "Government Documents 2.0" in action: OpenCongress.org offers several Web 2.0 tools such as the OpenCongress Facebook application, where you can put bills that interest you on your Facebook profile. You can show your support or opposition to each bill, or simply remain neutral by selecting the "just following" option. Each bill links back to OpenCongress, so your patrons or friends can get all the information they need in order to understand and become involved with the issues themselves.
One of their Web 2.0 tools that I use for my GovGuides Wiki (a work in progress, mind you!), is the "Bill by Issue Widget". I created one for the Environmental Law GovGuides Wiki page I'm working on. It displays the latest bills introduced in Congress on anything to do with environmental law enforcement.
If you are not familiar with OpenCongress, it's a free, open-source, non-profit, and non-partisan web resource "with a mission to help make Congress more transparent and to encourage civic engagement". OpenCongress is a joint project of the Sunlight Foundation and the Participatory Politics Foundation. It uses data provided by GovTrack.us, which collects data from official government websites, such as Thomas. For more info, see previous FGI posts about OpenCongress: My OpenCongress, Congress Remix, and FGI's "Remixes page".
OpenCongress makes it easy to understand each bill by giving a brief summary, who sponsored it, its status, and related bills. And yes, there are links to the full text of the bill and its voting history from Thomas. However, I do encourage students in my instruction classes to cite the original sources that OpenCongress leads them to, such as the full text of the bill from Thomas, congressional record references, or the homepages that OpenCongress links to for various committees and congressmen, etc. And of course I remind them that not everything is online, especially older government information, so they must turn to the print sources that I show them how to locate and use. By that time, the students are much more apt to pay attention and understand the importance of the exotic experience of handling/using the 1945 volume of the Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications or a Congressional Record volume from 1918. ;-)
I find OpenCongress to be a very user friendly and a convenient "one stop shop" for learning about legislation. Students in my library instruction classes seem to love using it, so if it gets them excited about government information, then I love it too!