GSA launches NOW to offer Feds new citizen engagement tools

Will a platform for citizen engagement help federal government employees reach their open government goals?

Today at Fedtalks in Washington, the General Services Administration’s director of citizen engagement, Gwynne Kostin, talked about its new open government platform, NOW. NOW launched in August but the Gov 2.0 community hasn’t heard much about it until this morning.

The new platform, available at, allows federal employees to choose from technologies that enables them to create blogs, challenge tools, wikis or forums. Kostin talked about how employees can then upload a banner, add plug-ins or traffic reporting, and import data feeds. It’s essentially turnkey technology, with the regulatory compliance backhaul simplified for usage. 508 compliance for disability is particularly relevant to many feds.

“We cleared away a lot of the issues with policy,” said Kostin. “We expect this tool to be especially important to small agencies or for projects that need to get market fast.”

About Alex Howard

Alexander B. Howard is a DC-based a technology writer and editor. Previously, he was the Washington Correspondent at O'Reilly Media, where he covered the voices, technologies and issues that matter in the intersection of government, technology and society. If you're feeling social, you can follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook or circle him on Google Plus In addition to corresponding for the O’Reilly Radar, he has contributed to the Huffington Post, Govfresh, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, National Journal, The Atlantic, CBS News and Forbes. He graduated from Colby College with a bachelor's degree in biology and sociology. Currently, he is a resident of the District of Columbia, where he lives with his greyhound, wife, power tools, plants and growing collection of cast iron pans, many of which are frequently used to pursue his passion for good cooking.

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