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Microsoft's Move Towards We-Gov Continues

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, April 28 2010

Yesterday, Microsoft launched a state-by-state directory of the social media accounts of public officials and agencies at the local and state level.

"We’re seeing a growing level of interest and adoption among state and local governments of Web 2.0 tools that support open and transparent government initiatives," Kristin Bockius, a state and local government social media marketing manager at Microsoft, wrote in the blog post referenced above. "However, we found a significant gap in how state and local governments and their citizens could connect online in a one-stop shop manner."

You may have seen this covered here, among other places. As GovTech observes — and Microsoft helpfully pointed out — this is another tool built on their Azure cloud platform.

Microsoft's product, called Gov2Social, is not the first one to this party. GovTwit, which already has 2,759 people listed and taxonomized, asks visitors to the site to recommend accounts to be added to the directory. It's international — from @downingstreet to @gavinnewsom — but includes non-government-types in the we-gov space, like Tim O'Reilly. Gov2Social is supposed to be strictly a directory of American public officials and agencies at the local and state level.

This is the second grand unveiling for Microsoft recently in the political/public-sector space. The company rolled out Microsoft Townhall, a Google Moderator-esque question farm, earlier this month.

Speaking of Google, I just saw this: It's a Google dashboard of tech offerings that might be useful to the public sector. This compares with Microsoft's cheerily named Bright Side of Government dashboard and CampaignReady spread for campaigns.

(h/t to @kathambleton on Google's public sector dashboard)