Utah portal integrates social media

Utah.gov has a new underlying infrastructure that automatically integrates data and information into a portal and delivers it in real time without the need for a Web content management system, according to David Fletcher, Utah’s CTO.

Now with Utah.gov Connect Utah residents can more easily use mobile and social tools to connect and interact with agencies and government services.

Utah.gov is built on data and a new Master Data Index that indexes all kinds of data: from online services, social media streams, raw datasets, agencies, locations, and mobile applications, Fletcher said during an interview May 10 at the National Association for Chief Information Officers 2012 Mid-Year Conference in Baltimore.

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Prior to the development of the Master Data Index, aggregation of content from agencies was more of a manual process, Fletcher said. Now, data flows into the master index, which automatically indexes content such as over 850 Twitter feeds. The index aggregates and integrates streams on topics like tourism, business, and education.

For instance, within the education topic category, residents can see all of the jobs within that field the state has posted over the last 30 to 40 minutes or the most recent blog posts from state and local government officials.

“Utah.gov 2012 is built using a parallax scrolling technique to create a more immersive, three dimensional experience using layers that scroll at different speeds,” Fletcher wrote in a blog post on May 1.

Citizens have more ways to connect to government besides the Web portal. A goal of the Utah Web development team is to enhance users’ experiences and drive more visitors to the sate portal, Fletcher said.

Since they are finding much of the information they are looking for in places like Facebook and Scribd, the index integrates agencies' Facebook pages and postings to Scribd to the portal. For example, Utah residents can download the Utah Transportation Department’s annual plan from Scribd.

“One of the best ways to access Utah.gov data is using mobile platforms such as Flipboard and connecting to Utah.gov Twitter lists,” Fletcher wrote in his blog. Anyone can subscribe to @UtahGov Twitter lists for government or education, and then pull them up on Flipboard to get the latest information delivered to their Apple iOS device, Fletcher said. 

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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