U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Skip to page content

Lisa Nelson

Open Opportunities Task Creator Toolkit

Click the image to the right to download your own copy of this chart for reference. Preparation Brainstorm and Review: 10 Tips for Creating the Perfect Task Add Tasks to Open Opps Go to the Open Opps website: openopps.digitalgov.gov/tasks Click “+ Opportunity” in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Note: Task is reviewed by Open Opps staff. Note: You will receive an email when your task is approved and goes live.

Read More →

From Taste-Testers to Explorers: Developing Personas for Open Opportunities

Being customer-focused means doing the gumshoe work of research and rounds of analysis to find gold by understanding user goals. For the task-based innovation network, Open Opportunities for DigitalGov, that meant developing personas in order to overcome our own biases and learn about the different motivations of our participants. In this article, we’ll talk about how we created our personas and how we plan to use them to meet both innovators’ and program needs.

Read More →

Use Metrics to Drive Success

Would federal employees work on tasks outside their agency in order to support DigitalGov? That’s the question we wanted to answer as we created the Open Opportunities program. We had a built-in test case. When the Digital Government Strategy was released in May 2013, agencies were tasked with building APIs, launching mobile products, establishing digital governance and getting better customer feedback. Our team at GSA was chartered to support agencies, and we were looking for innovators across government to contribute.

Read More →

Getting it Done with Open Opportunities: The Case of the Mobile Code Catalog

Imagine open source code, publicly available to share, that jump starts your agency’s mobile development efforts. Pretty neat idea, huh? Well last year it became a reality with the Mobile Code Catalog. This idea was the brainchild of Mike Pulsifer, who, as the Technical Manager for the Division of Enterprise Communications, Office of Public Affairs, at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), is responsible for developing and publishing the DOL website and mobile applications.

Read More →

Hacking the Bureaucracy One Task at a Time

Are you having trouble getting training or professional development opportunities? Federal employees can gain access to a variety of professional development opportunities and work on digital projects across the government through the Open Opportunities program. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Mha-SnOfzo&w=600] Open Opportunities are tasks and projects that help you develop and strengthen skills, work with others across agencies to get stuff done and break down silos. Mike Pulsifer from the Department of Labor says Open Opportunities provided him the chance to do “really interesting work that cuts across the silos of government.

Read More →

Twitter Best Practices for Government

Last week, Twitter introduced media.twitter.com featuring best practices and success stories to help government leverage the power of Twitter. Many best practices were covered including: How to break the news with Twitter Alerts How to get the most from Twitter Town Halls, and Why live tweeting is important Twitter says: As Twitter’s role in the media world continues to grow and evolve, we wanted to create a place where people and companies from the worlds of TV, sports, journalism, government, music, faith and nonprofits could have self-service access to ways to increase their impact in the global town square.

Read More →

State CIO Top Ten Policy and Technology Priorities for 2014

Security, consolidation, cloud services and enterprise portfolio management top the list of critical state CIO priorities in 2014, according to state information technology leaders surveyed by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO). The prioritized rankings of strategies and technologies reflect voting by state CIOs and are available for download at www.nascio.org/publications/ This year, NASCIO’s annual top 10 ranking shows IT security strategies and tools are at the forefront of discussion around the states, with ‘Security’ topping the list of Priority Strategies, Management Processes and Solutions and ‘Security Enhancement Tools,’ such as continuous diagnostic monitoring, coming in second among Priority Technologies, Applications, and Tools.

Read More →

PEW Report: Trends in Digital News

A report by the PEW Research Center, 12 trends for shaping digital news, looks at how the internet and digital devices are changing news consumption habits. While half of all Americans still prefer to get their news from television and print, younger Americans cite the Internet as their main source for national and international news. Findings from the report include: 50% of the public now cites the internet as a main source for national and international news 71% of those 18-29 cite the internet as a main news source 19% of Americans saw news on a social network “yesterday” in 2012 64% of tablet owners and 62% of smartphone owners said they got news on their devices in 2012 31% of tablet news users said that they spent more time with news since getting their device, and 34% of the Twitter discourse about Hurricane Sandy was news and information The report also cites ‘grazing’ the news has become more popular with younger adults and online readers who get their news when they want on mobile devices compared to older adults who get their news at regular times.

Read More →

Civic Hacking at the White House: We the People, By the People

On June 1st and 2nd, more than 11,000 civic activists, technology experts, and entrepreneurs around the country came together for the National Day of Civic Hacking. Civic activists, technology experts, and entrepreneurs in 83 cities developed software to help others in their own neighborhoods and across the country. More than twenty federal agencies took part by submitting challenges for participants to tackle and opening up datasets for them to use.

Read More →

NASCIO Launches Mobile Apps Catalog

The federal government’s Mobile Code Catalog has company! This month, NASCIO released a new State Mobile Apps Catalog, a collection of over 160 state and territory native mobile apps that users can browse and download for smart phones and tablets. The apps are searchable by state/territory, by category and through an overall browse function. Visitwww.nascio.org/apps to look through the topics or upload your state’s native apps. “This tool offers a convenient way to see what other states are producing in terms of mobile apps, and allowing states to generate ideas for their own state or territory,” said Brenda Decker, NASCIO president and Nebraska CIO.

Read More →

Google Analytics and the New Healthcare.gov

The new Healthcare.gov will sort content according to user demand with a new plugin developed for the site. For a content-heavy site like healthcare.gov, this option will allow HHS to serve popular content to readers quickly. In April we told you about Jekyll. The new Healthcare.gov will use this free open-source solution to create flat webpages without the long load times associated with a traditional content management system (CMS). Developers created a new plugin to work with the system to make it possible for the Department to quickly and dynamically provide the site’s most popular information to visitors .

Read More →

What is a Civic Hacker?

The National Day of Civic Hacking is bringing together thousands of civic hackers on June 1st and 2nd. But what is a civic hacker, anyway? “Civic hackers” as we think about it for theNational Day of Civic Hacking are technologists, civil servants, designers, entrepreneurs, engineers – anybody – who is willing to collaborate with others to create, build, and invent to address challenges relevant to our neighborhoods, our cities, our states and our country.

Read More →

NIH Twitter Chats: Collaborations Multiply Successes

In helping support the social media team at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), we have been hosting monthly Twitter Chats since March 2012. The topics of these chats have covered a wide variety of complementary health approaches including: Yoga Meditation Acupuncture Dietary supplements Over the past six months, our Twitter Chat program has evolved to include partnerships with other NIH Institutes and Centers on topics that overlap with their research portfolios.

Read More →