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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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On Town Halls and Social Media

January 27, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The social media town hall has become a staple of the Obama Administration with events conducted via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube in the past three years and a Google Plus hangout scheduled for Monday. Agency heads have followed suit, often taking Twitter questions during live streamed events. This month ...

Agencies Know When to Lead, but What About When to Follow?

January 26, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal agencies know they want Twitter followers but figuring out when and who to follow back is a thornier issue, based on questions during a webinar titled "Engaging Audiences with Twitter," sponsored by the General Services Administration's Web Manager University. "Some folks in the public aren't entirely comfortable being followed ...

Google says privacy policy doesn't apply to government email

January 25, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This article has been updated to include comment from Google and GSA Google's controversial new privacy policies will not apply to users of the Google Apps for Government enterprise email system, such as the General Services Administration, a Google official said Wednesday. The statement came after Karen Evans, the former ...

Number of questions for Obama town hall on Google+ approaching a record

January 25, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Google+ is still trailing Facebook and Twitter as a social networking site, but when it comes to government-citizen engagement the new online forum may have an edge. As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, four days before a post-State of the Union town hall event planned for Monday on the social networking ...

USA.gov, Data.gov Take Flight to the Cloud

January 24, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This article has been updated with new information from GSA The General Services Administration has begun the process of moving its public Web presence to a unified cloud, according to a press release from CGI Federal, which won the $21 million five-year contract for the transition. Among the cloud-bound sites ...

Queue Up the Next Social Media Town Hall -- On Google+ Now

January 23, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House plans to follow up the president's Tuesday State of the Union address with a "State of the Union interview" with the president conducted on Google Plus next Monday. The White House just signed on to the search giant's new social networking site on Friday though President Obama's ...

GSA course aims to train government social media leaders

January 23, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Every federal agency could benefit from engaging more on social media, but different agencies ought to engage in different ways, said Gadi Ben-Yehuda, who will be teaching a 12-week government-sponsored course beginning in February. Social media engagement can run the gamut from taking public input on new policies through Twitter, ...

USAID plans to map all its spending data in some countries

January 19, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow stock.xchng The U.S. Agency for International Development's new GeoCenter is working on a project to geographically code all agency program sites in selected countries with financial and other data, Administrator Raj Shah said Thursday. USAID gathered spending data for most of its programs onto a public database in September 2011 ...

A Space Treaty for the Junk Age

January 18, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The State and Defense departments plan to work with European Union officials to develop an "international code of conduct" to govern activities in outer space, the American Forces Press Service reported Wednesday. The conduct code was prompted by the recent crash of a failed Russian Mars probe into the Pacific ...

Shared services and 'bring your own device' policies top mobile dialogue

January 17, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Easy sharing, flexibility and common standards should be three major pillars of federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel's forthcoming mobile roadmap, according to an online dialogue among federal workers and the public. The 10-day dialogue, which closes Friday, is aimed at helping officials flesh out the bare-bones mobile strategy that ...