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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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White House launches federal digital strategy

May 23, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated. The White House’s long-awaited Digital Strategy, released Wednesday, aims to ensure agencies manage mobile devices safely and affordably and to give citizens mobile access to everything from government websites and applications to raw survey and satellite data. The strategy, titled “Building a 21st Century Platform ...

Getting More Out of Technology

May 23, 2012 All About Face Time Since 2009, Brandon Friedman, director of online communications for the Veterans Affairs Department, has helped launch a VA blog, 150 Facebook pages and 70 Twitter feeds, all of which have garnered a wide audience of veterans. Though Friedman, a former Army infantry officer who served with ...

A Sweet Spot for Geolocation Apps

May 22, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow About three-fourths of smartphone users are taking advantage of mapping services to find their way around and nearly 20 percent are using “geosocial services” such as Foursquare to “check in” at stores and restaurants, according to a new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The rise in ...

The Fine Print on Open Data

May 21, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Gartner analyst Andrea Di Maio filed an interesting blog post recently pointing out some pitfalls of the new open data revolution. The most interesting part of Di Maio’s argument, at its most basic, is this: if government isn’t analyzing the data, then you’d better start worrying about who is. Under ...

USASpending moves to big data cloud

May 21, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The General Services Administration has moved its USASpending.gov site, which tracks and analyzes federal expenditures, to a privately owned big data cloud, officials announced Monday. A big data cloud essentially is a computer cloud with a built-in way of crunching big data using the Apache Hadoop system. Hadoop is the ...

What Kind of Market Dominance Does Facebook Have?

May 18, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The latest in a series of articles about the poor performance of Google+ raised two big questions for me this week: First, just what kind of dominance does Facebook have in the social marketplace? And, second, what does that mean for agency public affairs staffers? The article, from Fast Company, ...

Initiative aims to reform government services around life events

May 16, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A cadre of former federal information technology leaders has a novel plan for how to reduce billions of dollars in overlapping information technology services governmentwide: They want to look at the recipients of those services rather than at the agencies where they originate. The project, known as Smart Lean Government, ...

Senators Give the Nod to a New Maternal Health App

May 15, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Did you miss Mother’s Day? You’re not alone. A bipartisan group of senators announced Tuesday they’ll be honoring Mother’s Day Thursday with a briefing on the text4baby app, which texts prenatal tips to expectant mothers based on the stage of their pregnancy. Most of us wouldn’t get a pass on ...

Think before you tweet

May 14, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Tweets may take just seconds to compose, but before they go out federal agencies should devote substantial time to figuring out who their audience is, their rules of engagement and who will be managing their Twitter accounts, a report released Monday urged. Social media strategies should address how deeply agencies ...

A Single Federal Email System is Interesting, but Unlikely

May 14, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Friday marked the second time in as many weeks Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel has publicly pondered a major Canadian initiative to pull the government’s entire information technology staff into a single agency and, perhaps most impressively, launch a single governmentwide email system. VanRoekel first mentioned the Shared Service ...