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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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HHS Wants to Mine Social Media During Health Emergencies

February 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Health and Human Services Department’s emergency management office is considering buying a social media mining tool to help it assess public health threats during natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other health emergencies, contracting documents show. The proposed tool would complement traditional data analysis the office already uses to spot, ...

Cost of Obamacare Contract Has at Least Quintupled

February 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The cost of the computer cloud that supports back-end data sharing for HealthCare.gov and state Obamacare marketplaces grew to $60 million, more than five times its original value, by the time the troubled site was declared fully functional on Nov. 30, 2013, contracting documents show. While the site has performed ...

How Government Data Is Fueling a New Economy

February 20, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Nextgov is launching a new project today to profile the growing crowd of companies and nonprofits that are building their businesses with government data and helping to build the new data economy. This project was born out of a basic disconnect. Analysts predict that open data from the government and ...

U.S. Ranks 8th in Citizen Satisfaction With Digital Government

February 19, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The United States ranks eighth out of 10 countries surveyed about citizens’ satisfaction with digital government services, according to a study released on Wednesday by the consulting firm Accenture. The ranking trails the top-rated United Arab Emirates as well as Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Norway, the United Kingdom, India and Germany. ...

How Social Media Affects Diplomacy

February 19, 2014 One effect of the boom in online social activity in recent years has been a blurring of the lines between traditional diplomacy conducted by government officials behind closed doors and the realm of “public diplomacy” where diplomats reach out directly to citizens of another nation, State Department officials said on ...

Social Media Makes the State Department Nimbler

February 18, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow One effect of the boom in online social activity in recent years has been a blurring of the lines between traditional diplomacy conducted by government officials behind closed doors and the realm of “public diplomacy” where diplomats reach out directly to citizens of another nation, State Department officials said on ...

Should You Edit Your Agency's Wikipedia Page? Probably Not

February 14, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Wikipedia has become a go-to source for the online world with 30 million articles in 278 languages. The site can be a minefield, though, for government and its employees who want to ensure online information about their agencies is accurate but are wary of violating conflict of interest policies. Nextgov ...

Adult Literacy Program May Move to a Public Cloud

February 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Education Department’s program to improve adult literacy may be moving to a public computer cloud, solicitation documents show. The department’s Literacy Information and Communication System offers tools for adult literacy educators and learners including teaching strategies, interactive training and moderated discussions on adult literacy topics. LINCS tools are currently ...

Obamacare Enrollment Drops in January From a December High

February 12, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Enrollment in new Obamacare health insurance plans dropped by about one-third in January after hitting a high mark in December. After 1.8 million people enrolled in Obamacare plans in December, only about 1.1 million additional people enrolled in January, the Obama administration reported. Enrollment through the once troubled federal marketplace ...

How to Make Data-Based Hiring Decisions

February 10, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Even for potential tech hires, the job interview is still a pretty analog affair. You sit down, palms sweaty with a forced smile, and try to match the bullet points you crammed into your head last night to whatever your interviewer is asking. Or maybe you’re out to lunch, trying ...