Sacramento opens web, social archive

Sacramento opens web, social archive

As more government outreach and communications take place online or over social media channels, agencies can struggle with freedom of information and open records compliance. In Sacramento, Calif., city officials have created a web and social archive that makes current and historical websites and social media accessible to the public.

The web archive was built by PageFreezer, a Canadian company that focuses on archiving online content. The firm’s PageFreezer Public Portal lets citizens easily browse and search across all the city’s social media accounts using a simple “Google-like” page, according to a company blog post.

This makes it easy to find a tweet from the Sacramento Police from a year ago saying a missing person was found or a May Facebook post by the city’s economic development office talking about “10 reasons why Sacramento is an up-and-coming city.” The Sacramento’s PageFreezer portal includes six websites and 75 social media accounts.

The PageFreezer portal aims to reduce the costs of open records requests, company officials said. The Washington State’s Auditors Office recently reported that its state and local governments spent $60 million to fill more than 285,000 public-records requests during a recent 12-month period. Making more records available online can help reduce the expenses agencies face in filling records requests.

The archive also contributes to the city’s transparency initiative, which aims to get more of the city’s data into the public eye. “We want to ensure that all useful public city data can be easily found and used by citizens,” Sacramento CIO Maria MacGunigal said when the city launched its open data portal. The portal, which runs on the Junar cloud-based open data platform, features datasets on public safety, lobbying, crime, animal control and many other topics.

Additionally, the city has an OpenGov-based Financial Reporting Platform,through which citizens can  explore budget and historical finances in a simple graphical interface.

Editor's note: This article was changed Oct. 10 to correct the link to the Sacramento portal.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at mleonard@gcn.com or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

Click here for previous articles by Leonard.


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