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 with Klout

December 11, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow I do a lot of eavesdropping on Twitter. That’s basically in a reporter’s job description these days. This morning I came across an interesting exchange between Mobilegov President Tom Suder and Federal News Radio Executive Editor Jason Miller about a MeriTalk study of social media influence by agency chief information...

Budget uncertainty puts federal IT dashboard in limbo

December 11, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Here’s one example of how budget uncertainty affects federal planning. The Federal IT Dashboard, which Office of Management and Budget officials launched in December 2009 to keep better tabs on government technology investments, won’t be updated until the president’s fiscal 2014 budget is out. The president’s budget proposal is used...

How to take the 'social' out of social media

December 10, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In an ironic coincidence the State Department’s communications staff is asking the public to help rename its official blog at the same time higher ups are reportedly considering new rules that could delay posts to that blog for up to five days for vetting. The new vetting rules would also...

White House joins Pinterest

December 10, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated. The Obama Administration joined the social media site Pinterest on Saturday by pinning a registration form to attend a White House “holiday social” scheduled for December 17. The White House will also post its first set of pinboards that day, according to a blog post....

Another kind of secession petition

December 7, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Among the folks using the White House’s We the People petition site to seek independence from the United States is Kevin Baugh, "president" of the “micronation” of Molossia. Molossia consists of Baugh’s home and yard and is entirely surrounded by the state of Nevada. Baugh declared the property a micronation...

Text-to-911 service to be available nationwide in 2014

December 7, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Citizens in danger across the country will be able to text distress calls to 911 by May 2014, following an agreement with the nation’s four largest wireless carriers, the Federal Communications Commission has announced. Major deployments of the text-to-911 service should be available through AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile during...

Could a hookup app help feds?

December 5, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Innovation often comes from unexpected places. Coke inventor John Pemberton was trying to develop a headache cure. The inventor of Teflon was trying to make a refrigerant. So I’ve got high hopes for the “approximate location” technology introduced Wednesday by the folks behind the SinglesAroundMe GPS-dating app. A SinglesAroundMe spokeswoman...

Apps aim to help citizens sort through complex economic data

December 5, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story is part of Nextgov’s Building Better Apps project. Government’s most important job is being a good steward of the economy, citizens told pollsters in advance of the 2012 election. With that in mind, Nextgov asked our private sector app reviewers to take a look at two recently-launched government... provides loan info on the fly

December 5, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story is part of Nextgov’s Building Better Apps project. The Education Department’s mobile website has a lot of information for current and prospective college students and the developers made a good decision to go with a mobile website rather than a native app, our reviewers said. The mobile...

America’s Economy app is as mixed as the economic indicators

December 5, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story is part of Nextgov’s Building Better Apps project. The Census Bureau’s America’s Economy app packs a lot of good economic information in one place but that may not be enough for a standalone app, our reviewers said. The app includes frequently updated figures for 16 key economic indicators...

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