Promoting Transparency and Collaboration Online

U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)

Interact.gsa.gov -- a social media website that brings GSA customers, vendor partners, and stakeholders together

When President Obama took office, he issued an Open Government Directive requiring federal agencies to improve transparency and collaboration. GSA saw Web 2.0 or “collaborative” technologies as a way to achieve this goal through online information sharing and inter-agency interaction. GSA tasked Sage with developing a new social media website that would serve as a channel to engage and interact with their customers, vendor partners, and stakeholders.

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Objectives:

GSA wanted a new social media website that would help them engage and interact with their customers, vendor partners, and stakeholders and reinforce the FAS brand strategy and position of being “customer-focused and solutions-oriented.”

Our Process:

GSA selected Sage to develop the strategy, create the site architecture, interface design, and communication plan for the new website, Interact.gsa.gov. We began the process by assessing GSA’s business objectives and social media policies, evaluating their ability to host and support an open source website, and developing control measures for content creation, postings, and management. We also looked at open-source solutions with level of flexibility they needed, and examined the types of collaborative and interactive technology available to us in developing the site. Finally, with the groundwork completed, Sage created a detailed project plan with tasks and roles for all the project contributors. The content structure the agency eventually decided upon uses a wide range of collaborative technologies, including video through YouTube, webinars, knowledge sharing through wikis, discussion forums, and blogs. It also includes news feeds and postings of upcoming events.

Results:

Sage created the design templates for the portal page and then built out the content areas of the site using Drupal open source software. We were also responsible for making the site Section 508 compliant. The Interact site now serves as GSA’s hub for a wide range of collaboration, discussion and training activities. interact.gsa.gov

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