It has been awhile since we’ve blogged, but the improvements have been flowing at GovLive HQ. This month we hit aggregated our 100,000 Tweet and by awesome coincidence it’s about government transparency!
Perhaps the biggest announcement though is the total redesign of the GovLive home page, providing an immediate real-time feed of national news without having to dig any deeper into the site. Add to that an amazing “Nearby” button which uses IP location to surface the news near you.
Other new features include a “Helpful / Unimportant” ranking system and the ability to share individual news items on Facebook and Twitter.
To keep up with our latest and greatest improvements, make sure to enter your e-mail address in the left column of http://GovLive.com
“It’s a small world” may sound cliché or remind you of a seemingly never-ending Disney ride, but I mean it this time. Soon after launching GovLive Tweets I was contacted by Steve Ressler of GovLoop, a bustling 20,000+ member social network for Government employees.
Turns our Steve and I are both Penn grads, are nearly the same age, met our girlfriends in University City and moved to the Tampa/St. Pete area where we run government information/community networks out of the same local coffee shops. How cool! We had the opportunity to sit down over a beer last night at Bella Brava in St. Pete to talk shop. In a town with a struggling tech scene, it was great sharing challenges and future plans with someone on a similar wavelength – and I wouldn’t rule out a collaboration on some level in the future.
If you are in government and somehow haven’t heard of GovLoop yet, I strongly suggest checking it out.
What is your government tweeting now? GovLive Tweets officially rings in the new year to answer just that – displaying official local, county and state government Twitter feeds all in one place.
The response so far has been great, with new agencies e-mailing us every day submitting their Twitter feeds. With 71,866 Tweets from 551 Agencies at the time of this writing, it wont be long before we hit 100,000 updates!
We’d like to thank JD Rucker for first covering GovLive Tweets and encourage others to jump in too (hint, hint).
Here’s a rundown of the features you’ll find at GovLive Tweets:
- Filter by your state and county
- Display where each tweet is coming from on a map
- Retweet and reply to your government’s updates
- Chart of activity over the past 24 hours (very cool!)
- “More tweets since you visited” feature, updating in real-time
- If (or when) Twitter periodically goes down, we keep on truckin
If you have any suggestions for us, we’re listening! Leave a comment below.
Today we’re pleased to release GovLive Keyword Search to our existing Zip Code Search functionality. This is an important addition to the site for obvious reasons, enabling users to quickly locate information in an emergency. We will continue to improve upon our search functionality in the future as our database grows. Try it out by visiting http://www.GovLive.com/ and search for whatever your heart desires.
Special thanks to Assaf Rozenblatt from Supercook for a dose of his magic search elixir in the development of this new feature.
Ah, the refreshing first post of a new blog. So what is GovLive? In three sentences:
- GovLive saves you time by aggregating all government news releases in one place. This helps you locate information quickly during an emergency.
- Once we have gathered enough information, GovLive will be the first comprehensive search engine for finding local government news in real-time.
- Each time disaster strikes, GovLive will publish a page showing all official news from that emergency as it comes in.
Don’t Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc. already do this? Well, sort of.
- We’re Fresher. Search engines like Google periodically visits websites (known as crawling and indexing) to update new pages that were released or changes that were made since their last visit. The keyword here is “periodically.” If an agency updates their news at 9am during a disaster, GovLive knows about it within minutes. Google may not until they revisit it days or weeks later.
- We’re Official. When you search for things like road closures, evacuations, tax law changes, etc. on other search engines, the results are listed based on popularity. The more popular a site is the higher it ranks. Well, government websites aren’t always all too popular, meaning the official link could be buried on page 12. Since GovLive only carries official information direct from government agencies, you can cut through the muck and get what you need right away.
- We’re Focused. Other search engines have the task of creating tools and interfaces that need to cover content from adopting puppies to building solar ovens (we’ve done both). We have the advantage of focusing strictly on government, which results in a better experience for our users.
- We’re Unbiased. We’ll aggregate news from any and every official government agency and present their information to you strictly on relevance. We do not edit news releases for content, promote articles that reflect our views or only approve user comments/reports that further a cause. Most search engines don’t either, but this sounded like a good time to reinforce that point.
What can you expect from GovLive in the weeks and months to come? In short, over 4,300 agencies in our network, real-time news from thousands of those agencies, live event pages during disasters, international editions and much more. Keep an eye on us and I promise we’ll impress you.