GSA launches NOW to offer Feds new citizen engagement tools

Will a platform for citizen engagement help federal government employees reach their open government goals?

Today at Fedtalks in Washington, the General Services Administration’s director of citizen engagement, Gwynne Kostin, talked about its new open government platform, NOW. NOW launched in August but the Gov 2.0 community hasn’t heard much about it until this morning.

The new platform, available at, allows federal employees to choose from technologies that enables them to create blogs, challenge tools, wikis or forums. Kostin talked about how employees can then upload a banner, add plug-ins or traffic reporting, and import data feeds. It’s essentially turnkey technology, with the regulatory compliance backhaul simplified for usage. 508 compliance for disability is particularly relevant to many feds.

“We cleared away a lot of the issues with policy,” said Kostin. “We expect this tool to be especially important to small agencies or for projects that need to get market fast.”

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