Joseph Marks

Staff Correspondent Joseph Marks covers government technology issues, social media, Gov 2.0 and global Internet freedom for Nextgov. He previously reported on federal litigation and legal policy for Law360 and on local, state and regional issues for two Midwestern newspapers. He also interned for Congressional Quarterly’s Homeland Security section and the Associated Press’s Jerusalem Bureau. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in international affairs from Georgetown.
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Agencies see advantages to open source content management systems

October 14, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Many people were terrified when the Commerce Department first considered moving to an open source content management system for its main website, the agency's new media director said Thursday. made the transition in mid-2010 to a CMS from Drupal -- among the most popular open source communities worldwide. Many...

My Experience Tweeting @ the White House

October 13, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In addition to dignitaries, media and Korean American leaders in attendance at Thursday morning's arrival ceremony for South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, the White House also invited several dozen Tweeters -- this reporter among them -- to chronicle the event. And, despite rain that soaked through my shoes, a cancellation...

Social media enables Occupy DC protests and defines them too

October 13, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The mishmash of different principles and goals floating around the Occupy DC protest's headquarters near lobbyist-heavy K Street is a lot like the near cacophony of Tweets streaming under the movement's #occupyDC and #occupyKst hash tags, said Kelly Mears, a leader of the group's social media outreach. "Twitter would be...

HHS aims to drive down health care costs with transparency

October 11, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Health and Human Services Department wants to use the "NOAA model" to bring down health care costs, its chief technology officer said Tuesday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration "collects tons of weather data and publishes it online in machine-readable, downloadable form for anyone for free," HHS CTO Todd...

A Brutal Self-Assessment of HHS' Web Presence

October 7, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Health and Human Services Department's Web footprint is "currently so fractured that no one knows the total annual Departmental investment in Web-related activities," according to a forthright self-assessment recently posted to the agency's main website. "HHS is an historically siloed entity, and its Web holdings reflect that legacy," the...

Government Internet Interference Spans the Globe, Study Finds

October 7, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An analysis by Brookings Institution scholars has found 606 incidents of governments interfering with some portion of their citizens' web content since 1995. Overall, 45 percent of the incidents occurred in democracies or emerging democracies while 52 percent occurred in authoritarian regimes, according to the study titled The Dictators' Digital...

Energy Department plans alternative funding model for data center consolidation

October 7, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Facing uncertainty about future congressional appropriations, the Energy Department is turning to alternative models to fund its part of the governmentwide data center consolidation initiative, including Energy Performance Contacting. The contracting vehicle allows agencies to update and remodel federal buildings without any upfront investment. Under an EPC, a contractor guarantees...

Administration increases data center consolidation savings estimate to $5 billion

October 6, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The government now expects to save about $5 billion total by closing and consolidating federal data centers, federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said Thursday. That's a significant increase over the Office of Management and Budget's previous estimate of $3 billion in savings from its data center consolidation program by...

Effort to require online governmentwide spending reports advances on the Hill

October 6, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Congressional supporters of a plan to pull all federal spending reports onto one uniform, searchable database believe they've put together a package of cost savings to offset the legislation's more than $500 million price tag, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Thursday. Issa would not reveal what's included in the offset...

Data center consolidation savings estimate increased to $5B

October 6, 2011 The government now expects to save about $5 billion total by closing and consolidating federal data centers, federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said Thursday. Read the whole story at

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