Technicalities | Gifts of gab

Government agencies have glommed onto the social-networking aspects of the Web in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons, from military recruiting to updates on wildlife habitats. Last month, the General Services Administration marked the first anniversary of one of its forays, GovGab, a blog that mixes information from GSA's resources with the personal experiences and knowledge of everyday people.

The site, www.GovGab.gov, has attracted an increasing flow of readers since it was launched in September 2007, GSA said. A team of five bloggers at GSA's Office of Citizen Services and Communications file daily posts ' and invite comments ' based on their expertise and drawing on OCSC's sites, USA.gov, Pueblo.gsa.gov and ConsumerAction.gov.

GovGab's entries are divided into categories ' home and family, general, health, money, fun, and travel ' and include posts ranging from information on Lasik eye surgery and radon in homes to the transition to digital TV and great museums to visit. One recent post offers tips on how to find out if the government owes you money ' which is apparently more common than you might think.

The site is perhaps most attractive to readers because it's a two-way street, with GSA's bloggers and readers on equal footing ' a pure form of information sharing.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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