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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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Feds are bullish on government apps, but few have downloaded one

September 27, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Almost half of federal managers use a mobile software application more than once a day, but only 15 percent of federal smartphone users have ever downloaded a government-built app, according to a recent survey. About two-thirds of federal officials didn't know whether their agency had built or planned to build ...

Obama's Online Town Halls: Is it the Medium that Matters?

September 21, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow After wading throughthousands of 140-charter-or-less Tweets and retweets lobbed at President Obama during July's Twitter Town Hall, there's something satisfying -- almost indulgent -- about reading the lengthy LinkedIn questions posted in advance of that social networking site's presidential town hall set for Monday. Tweets, by design, are straightforward, uncomplicated ...

Cuts to E-Gov fund could slow federal cloud transition

September 21, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Current funding levels for electronic government initiatives in the House and Senate Appropriations committees could cripple the government's ability to modernize federal information technology and thereby save money in the long run, a General Services Administration official told lawmakers Wednesday. That includes new security and certification projects aimed at helping ...

Cuts to E-Gov fund could slow federal cloud transition

September 21, 2011 Current funding levels for electronic government initiatives in the House and Senate Appropriations committees could cripple the government's ability to modernize federal information technology and thereby save money in the long run, a General Services Administration official told lawmakers Wednesday. Read the full story on Nextgov.

White House releases open government action plan with new initiatives

September 20, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated. The White House on Tuesday released its National Action Plan for Open Government, part of a 50-nation Open Government Partnership officially launched on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The action plan recaps many transparency initiatives from the first three ...

Task Force Asks Public How To Dot-Gov

September 19, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A White House task force charged with reforming the federal web presence launched a discussion board Monday to gather citizen feedback. The most popular suggestion by the end of the day was imposing stricter standards for what constitutes "plain language" on federal websites. Too much information is poorly written and ...

Technology, Revolution and the Wisdom of Crowds

September 19, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow While the crossroads between foreign policy and information technology has been preoccupied with the still largely unresolved question of whether social media can spark revolutions, a few committed technologists are examining traditional media's ability to predict when revolutions will occur. In a Friday post on the Foreign Policy blog, Joshua ...

White House defends transparency initiatives

September 19, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House used a status report on its open government initiative released Friday as an opportunity to showcase the Obama administration's progress on transparency goals and to counter criticism that agency efforts to better inform the public haven't lived up to the president's campaign rhetoric. The report hits back, ...

Social media's role in Arab spring still unclear

September 16, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Something extraordinary happened at the nexus of social media and political action during the Arab spring uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, experts agreed during a panel discussion Friday. But just what happened is less clear. Certainly Twitter and other social media became a "megaphone" that disseminated information ...

On Press Releases, Contractors and Hyperinflation

September 14, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A gentle note to contractors: A little spin may be all too common in press releases, but beware of jumping the shark entirely. An April 5 press release from Compu Dynamics, which describes itself as "a leading provider of mission-critical infrastructure solutions and services," said the company had been selected ...