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The newest entrant to our government podcasts directory is the AIDS.gov podcast from the federal department of Health and Human Services. The podcasts are short videos (3-5 min) that focus on news and conversations about AIDS. Despite the fact that these podcasts have been going out since February 2007, we seemed to have scooped our friends at usa.gov because I didn’t notice it on their Health Podcasts page as of October 16, 2007.
This is a decent example that publishing on the web isn’t the same as either distributing a document or proactively informing the public or press. Posting something to the web without further efforts means the content lays there until stumbled upon — in this case by my Google Alert that looks for podcasts in the dot gov domain.
In this particular case, I’m sure the aids.gov folks, far from hiding anything promoted their podcasts to their constituencies, but the effect for the rest of us was the same. We don’t find stuff like this unless we’re looking for it. Ideally, there should be some outlet – usa.gov, GPO, etc (I don’t know) where new content like this would be pushed out to people the moment it is published.
The Federal Digital System (FDSys) seems like it will promise this sort of functionality for government documents published with GPO’s knowledge. I’m looking forward to seeing how that promise holds up.