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FSA: Using a Data-Driven Marketing Campaign to Inform Your Audience

For millions of Americans, federal student loans have made it possible to get a college education. For many, moving forward after college can become an overwhelming challenge. In 2014, the Department of Education had 41 million borrowers and a loan portfolio of $1.1 trillion. The stat alone speaks to the issue of loan repayment and its magnitude in our country. To make the repayment process easier, the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) runs campaigns that are meant to inform borrowers about the repayment options available to them.

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Hear My Tweet: National Museum of American History’s #HearHistory Tweetup

DC was the Silicon Valley of the 1880’s. And Alexander Graham Bell? He was more than just a telephone man. His Volta Laboratory was the premier 19th century innovation center. The work of Bell and his contemporaries is the focus of a new exhibition at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH), “Hear My Voice: Alexander Graham Bell and the Origins of Recorded Sound.” Included in the exhibit are never-before-seen lab documents as well as early recording discs.

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Social Video: Making Sense of the Facebook and YouTube Platforms

Updated: Added link to Twitter’s blog post on direct video uploads. Around the time that Tim Fullerton of the Department of Interior delivered his webcast to DigitalGov audiences about publishing video content to Facebook, we at the Broadcasting Board of Governors were comparing the differences in user behavior on the Facebook and YouTube video platforms (note: BBG is the federal agency that oversees all U.S. civilian international media, including Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.

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Interior and USDA Talk Social Media Success

When it comes to implementing a social media strategy, determining how to measure success can be challenging. Yes, knowing how many followers and likes you have is beneficial. However, to really get valuable results from the trove of social media data monitor, social media managers first need to understand what they are measuring and why. When you know your goals, you can determine what channels you will use to get there.

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The Federal Register: Improving Visitors’ Search Experience on Agency Websites

The Office of the Federal Register’s mission “informs citizens of their rights and obligations, documents the actions of Federal agencies, and provides a forum for public participation in the democratic process.” As the winner of the Bright Idea Award, FederalRegister.gov is clear and easy to use, but most citizens rarely frequent it. More frequently they start searching for information on Google or on agency websites, where it is more difficult to discover pertinent rules and regulations.

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Sharing is Caring, Adding Social Media Accounts to Search

Content is no longer limited to your .gov website. Social media accounts also contain a treasure trove of information relevant to your site’s visitors. Keeping that in mind, DigitalGov Search has worked to bring all your content, wherever it is, to your search results. Finding something you didn’t know you were looking for is the best form of discovery, so make sure there are ample opportunities to find your content in all its forms.

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508 Accessible Videos—Why (and How) to Make Them

Making Web content and video accessible to people with disabilitiesis the law. Ensuring a video is accessible requires planning. Taking steps from day one will save you time and money. To verify that a video is accessible you’d need to incorporate three elements: Captioning Audio descriptions An Accessible video player Why Accessibility Matters Many government agencies are taking advantage of the popularity of online video to further their missions and meet the Presidential mandate forincreasing the efficiency and effectiveness of government information to serve the American public.

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508 Accessible Videos – Use a 508-Compliant Video Player

When you watch a video on your computer, the window that displays your video is called a “video player.” It usually has start, pause, and other buttons. You might not be aware that you’re using a player at all—you just watch your video. A fully-accessible video player (e.g. Section 508-compliant) can be used by a person with disabilities, including, for example, someone who may be paralyzed and can’t use a mouse.

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508 Accessible Videos – How to Make Audio Descriptions

What are Audio Descriptions? Audio Description, also called descriptive video or video description, is an additional audio track that describes and gives context for essential visual information. Audio Description makes videos and multimedia accessible to people who have “low vision” (very poor vision), or who are blind, by capturing what is happening on screen into audible descriptions that are played during natural pauses in the audio track. Here is a video that explains why audio descriptions are important to include.

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508 Accessible Videos – How to Caption Videos

What are Captions? In a video, captions collect all audio information and describe them using text. They include not only spoken content but also non-speech information such as sound effects, music, laughter, and speaker identification and location (for example, audio spoken off-screen). Captions appear transposed over the visual elements in a video, and are synchronized so they appear at the same time as they are spoken or generated.

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4 Ways to Connect, Engage & Expand Your Community with Google+ Hangouts

When you think about your community, you may think about your neighborhood, your city, your office or the organizations and activities you’re involved in. The Peace Corps has many of the characteristics of a community, however our reach spans the entire globe. Because we need to regularly connect with national and international audiences, Peace Corps actively explores new and cost-efficient tools to help us achieve communication goals. Fortunately for us, the digital age has given federal agencies the resources to do exactly that.

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National Weather Service: Think Social Training

For the last several years the National Weather Service has been rolling out social media accounts for all of their 122 field offices. Each office now has a Facebook page, Twitter handle and YouTube account to better communicate our life saving messages to the public. As these accounts were being rolled the NWS did some basic training on how to use Facebook and Twitter, but it soon became clear that more in-depth training was needed to help NWS forecasters best use their new social media platforms.

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Empowering Forest Service Scientific Experts to Educate the World Using Live Video

In July 2013, U.S. Forest Service fisheries biologist Pete Schneider launched a YouTube Live video event from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center in Alaska. The goal of the project was to not only deliver a reliable 2-month long, 24/7, live video stream where an international audience could witness spawning Sockeye salmon, hungry Dolly Varden, cunning Cutthroat, and schools of disorientated Coho fry, but to also use the platform as way to collaborate and converse with viewers.

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YouTube Releases New Features

YouTube recently upgraded to the new One Channel design. The new design emphasizes responsive layouts for mobile devices, tablets, desktops and laptops, and TVs. A single banner on a white background replaces a customizable background and color scheme. YouTube recommends using a single 2560 x 1440 px image that fits its template. The featured video has been replaced by a Channel trailer for non-subscribers. Think of it as a short video that welcomes people to your Channel and tells them what it is about and why they should subscribe.

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