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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Blogging the debates

You can tell we’re coming down the home stretch of the 2008 presidential election as we’re being bombarded with ads, and more information than we can read even if we’d aced the Evelyn Wood [w:Speed reading] course! Luckily, there are more and more sites popping up to help us sift through those info-mountains. A couple of weeks ago, we posted about some mapping tools based on publicly available polling data.

now, VoterWatch (5/25/14 link updated to archived copy at Internet Archive) has released the 2008 Presidential Debates Project. On September 26, the night of the first Presidential debate, Dick Morris, Cynthia McKinney and many others will provide commentary and perspective surrounding the debates. Best of all, they’ll use the VoterWatch media player, to comment and blog within footage of the U.S. presidential debates. So, feel free to get your analysis from the paid presidential supporters in [w:spin alley] (which John Stewart aptly renamed “deception lane!”), OR check out the analysis from across the political spectrum from the likes of Brett Winterble of Covert Radio, Green Party Presidential Candidate, Cynthia McKinney, Political Author and Commentator, Dick Morris, Political Strategist, Sophia Nelson, Public Agenda, Reason Magazine, The Bob Barr for President Team, The Heritage Foundation, and VoteGopher.

Cloud of McCain’s acceptance speech

Last week I posted a tag cloud of Barack Obama’s speech accepting the Presidential candidacy of the Democratic party. Today is John McCain’s turn. I got the transcript at zimbio, the same site I used to get the Obama speech. Tag Crowd was again used to analyze the transcript. Enjoy!

created at TagCrowd.com

Cloud of Obama’s speech

We’ve played around before with tag cloud word analysis (using a tool called Tag Crowd), so I thought I’d do a cloud for Barack Obama’s convention speech on thursday night. I’ll post another cloud for John McCain’s speech on Thursday.

created at TagCrowd.com

Consumer Satisfaction with E-Government on the Downturn

Recent statistics released by the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) show that consumer satisfaction with federal government websites and e-government in general have fallen in the first quarter of 2008 as compared with the final quarter of 2007. The score represents the third quarter of decline in consumer satisfaction in a row and is the lowest level of consumer satisfaction with e-government websites in three years.

There are a couple of possible factors in the decline. Consumers seem to be dissatisfied that government websites are not evolving into more than information dumps. Consumers want to see government websites that allow them to do business online, to take care of required paperwork, and to control their experiences of the website — which is something that many commercial websites allow, at least on a limited scale. So far, that is not happening with government websites as much as consumers expect.

Another factor: presidential candidates on the campaign trail are mentioning transparency in electronic government and improving citizens’ experience of e-government either minimally or not at all. Consumers aren’t getting the sense that e-government is a priority, or even a secondary interest, among any of the presidential candidates.