Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Watching Ohio's Recovery.Gov

Like a number of states, Ohio has set up a state version of the Obama administration's, offer the promise of Web 2.o interactivity with the stimulus bill. The website/blog SocialGovernment offers an assessment of various state efforts, opining that Illinois has the best. Ohio's isn't metnioned (Ohio has yet to merit a mention on SocGov, generally btw), but Ohio's appears close to on par with the apparently gold standard Illinois site.

The reviewer/blogger Alexander Muir on SocGov graded Illinois highly on "interactivity" -- the website tools that allow users to communicate with the government recovery workers. Ohio has two of the same tools as Illinois -- a form for submitting proposals and another for submitting questions generally. I'd give Ohio extra points for including a feedback/question form on the FAQ page with the promise to post answers to questions submitted. An FAQ based on Questions that are actually Asked Frequently is in itself a welcome throwback.

As Muir notes, the real test will be online transparency as projects are selected and shovels start digging. I'm particularly interested in seeing how much of the decision-making process we will see online. And as is true with pretty much any website, it looks good when shiny and new, but the real test is whether the web team can keep it updated and fresh.

H/t to Governing Mags' 13th Floor blog.