Back in January 2009, "open government" was the hot topic in Washington, D.C. In fact, President Obama's first memorandum on entering the White House proclaimed a new era of openness in government centered around the core mandates of transparency (making government data and operations more open), participation (driving
greater and more diverse expertise into government decision making) and collaboration (fostering cooperation
across agencies and with the public). This week, the spotlight is firmly back on "open government" as a host of federal government agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, NASA and Veteran Affairs were
"inducted" in the Open Government Innovations Gallery.
Already home to 12 agencies - including the SBA's Business.gov - this hall of fame, in its own words, "...celebrates the innovators and innovations who are championing the President's vision of more effective and open government". The Innovations Gallery lets the public browse examples of how agencies are using transparency, participation, and collaboration to achieve their mission. Highlights include Business.gov's first government-sponsored online community for small businesses, and the Veterans Benefits Administration's innovation initiative which enables employees to submit groundbreaking ideas to improve the claims process for Veterans.
Open Doors Enable
Small Businesses to Participate and Steer the Way Government Serves Them celebrations aside, Business.gov has long been a champion of open and collaborative government and was inducted into the Innovations Gallery when it first launched in May 2009. And this is good news for small business owners. Why? Business.gov not only makes accessible the disparate small business resources that exist across more than 20 government agencies in a one-stop shop format, it also allows business owners to interact directly with government and industry professionals, while sharing information about starting and running a successful business with each other via the Business.gov Community. Launched in March 2009, the community has more than 6,500 members and is constantly evolving - driven primarily by contributions and input solicited from business owners through open forums such as the Idea Exchange and a variety of discussion forums where small business owners can discuss and share information about starting and running a successful business.
In addition to providing business owners with an opportunity to steer the direction Business.gov takes to better serve their needs, the site's In the Loop blog provides insight into the planning process, content and features being considered and invites members to comment on direction and priorities. Business.gov also champions an integrated approach to citizen outreach, engagement and collaboration by combining everyday social media tools - such as the Business.gov Community Blogs which provide insight and information to help small business owners start, operate and grow (guest bloggers include experts Rieva Lesonsky, Tim Berry, Anita Campbell and more) - with popular channels for informing and engaging with citizens including *Facebook, *Twitter, *LinkedIn and *You Tube.
How Do I Participate?
Join the more than 6,500 small business owners who participate in the Business.gov Community. Member registration simply requires a login, password, and an e-mail address. It does not cost anything to join; it does not cost anything to participate. In fact, participating may help you save time and money as you gain new ideas and insights into how best to run your small business. And don't forget to follow Business.gov on the social media networks mentioned for up to the minute resources and information.
The Open Government Innovations Gallery - Celebrates the innovators and innovations championing the President's vision of more effective and open government. Browse examples of new ways in which agencies across the Executive branch are using transparency, participation, and collaboration to achieve their mission.
The Open Government Initiative - More on how this new public engagement program is unfolding and how you can participate.
*Note: Hyperlink directs reader to non-government Web site.
Message Edited by CaronBeesley on 12-10-2009 05:33 PM
Message Edited by StuartR on 12-11-2009 02:21 PM