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Our mission

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.

Government Tweets

Did you know that the first announcement of the discovery of ice on Mars was by NASA on Twitter.com? Did you know that the Joint Forces Command and the Office on Women’s Health in the Health and Human Services Department are using twitter to announce speaking engagements and deliver medical news and advice?

Did you know that you can receive Twitter messages on your cell phone, or your instant messaging client, or by e-mail, or via other Web 2.0 applications, such as Facebook?

Welcome to the new world of government communication.

See also Government Agencies Tweet @ Twitter, and Twitter Fan Wiki USGovernment, and Members of Congress who Twitter.

Big Privacy Problems of Facebook?

I have not verified any of this and would be interested to hear if others have.

XNEWS from rixstep says:

Get this: they want to help you find your friends on Facebook. That’s nice of them, isn’t it? So what do you do? Easy.

You go to their contact page and give them your webmail account name and password. And then they log into your account, pluck up all the contact addresses you have in there, and then walk out without touching a thing.

Facebook is unfriendly to library search applications

Facebook Shuns Some Library Search Tools by Brock Read. Academe Today, July 5, 2007.

Some librarians designed software intended to let students search library card catalogs, but were told that Facebook prohibits applications with “Web-search functionality of any kind.”

Lunchtime Listen: Social Networking in plain English

This quick (under 2 minutes!) lunchtime listen is another “lunchtime watch” and a great introduction to “social networks.”

  • Social Networking in Plain English By leelefever CommonCraft.com, June 27, 2007
    “This video is for people who wonder why social networking web sites are so popular. We think one reason is because they help solve a real-world problem. We’ll let the video explain how it works.”

Why do many people use FaceBook and MySpace and LinkedIn? This will help you understand…

New Poll – Social Software

It’s a new month and so time for a new poll. Please stop by the front page or go directly to the poll and let us know what your favorite social software is. There’s an option for people who think social software is a fad, and we’d like to here from you too, especially if you have comments.

Last month’s poll taught us that most of you don’t have time for commenting and that’s fine. But do vote in our poll.

We at FGI believe that raising public awareness of government information is key to keeping access to it private, free and of course fully functional. Social Networks and other “Web 2.0” tools give us a whole new tool set to spread the word as far and wide as possible.

So we’d like to get some feedback on the Web 2.0 tools we’ve heard of and maybe learn about a few more.

As always, if you really love looking at old polls, they are still available.