Last week the Whitehouse released their digital strategy “Digital Government – Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People“. It is an interesting document (and nice to see it being released as a Twitter Bootstrap powered HTML5 site rather than just another PDF!).
I think it is interesting just how big the US gov is betting on mobile – Government departments have essentially been ordered to ensure they have two significant functions available via ‘apps’ as soon as possible – certainly within 12 months. That will be interesting to watch and to see just what the take up of these apps will be like? I get the impression this somewhat goes against the government open data powered app economy that the UK government seems to think is going to spring up off the back of data.gov.uk etc.
Not surprisingly the thing I am most interested in is the idea of an open source, shared, ‘content delivery platform’. It seems like an aspect very much inspired by some of the work done by GOV.UK and just reinforces this as the model most likely. I’d speculate that any content platform coming out of the US Gov is likely to be built on a foundation of Drupal (perhaps an extension of Open Public or similar) which I think would be more ‘shareable’ in many ways than the direction GDS went in (though of course the InsideGov platform might yet become a package reusable by other teams – it just isn’t yet and I don’t know if that is the plan).
I particularly liked this line in the Code for America piece;
But it’s evident today that at least government has gotten clear on one important point: content delivery isn’t a hard problem in the outside world.
Now if only I get get a few more people to understand and accept that!
This is just more evidence that this is an incredibly interesting time to being doing digital in Government – and once again makes me wish I was more directly involved rather than feeling a little bit like a member of the Ressies watching the First team from the sidelines.