Did you know the United States General Services Administration runs an Office of Citizen Services and Communications which, among other functions, maintains both a blog and a portal at USA.gov to all federal data online?
I frequently visit usa.gov to look up information. Until today, though, I never thought to use a web chat feature to type anonymously with a portal representative. It’s like talking on the phone to a reference librarian. If I can’t find something on the portal, the person on the other end of the chat window can tell me where to look.
Have you ever used this service?
Following Monday’s post on establishing a congressional Twitter wiki, I decided to double-check similar data did not exist on usa.gov.
Here is the transcript:
Danielle M.: Hi, my name is Danielle M.. How may I help you?
Ari: Hi Danielle. Does usa.gov have a central repository of social networking sites? e.g. elected officials who use twitter, or agencies with blogs, etc?
Danielle M.: I can provide you with a a listing of government blog sites. Please give me a few moments while I retrieve some information for you
Danielle M.: Numerous government agencies have created blogs to distribute government information and sometimes receive policy input. USA.gov features a resource page of active and inactive U.S. government blogs at:
You may also wish to view the Federal Citizen Information Center (FCIC) blog, GovGab.gov at:
Some members of Congress may have blogs on their web sites.
To obtain locate web sites and contact for state, local, and federal elected officials, please see:
Ari: I will take a look at those, thanks. Aside from blogs, do you know of an index for agencies, elected officials, etc who use facebook, youtube, twitter, etc?
Danielle M.: I do not have information regarding elected officials using non government web sites. You are best served to view elected officials web sites or contact them directly.
According to Will Riley who inquired about an online index for congressional email addresses with a different chat rep (and in a longer exchange), these transcripts are public information.
But it gets better.
Before closing the chat connection, I saw the following lines:
Thank you for contacting USA.gov. We would like your feedback on our performance. You can let us know what you think by copying and pasting following link into your browser’s address bar: http://www.info.gov/NCCsurvey.htm
I pasted that link; and watched my browser connect to an embedded survey at surveymonkey.com. Danielle indicated usa.gov does not provide information on elected officials using non-government web sites, but her office links to one?