Recommended Reading: Candi on Content, down with privacy, and job interview tips.

Improving Government Web Sites
Source: “Candi on Content” Blog

Let’s tip our hats to those public servants who continue serving the public even after they’ve retired. Candi Harrison, a retired federal Web manager and founder of the Web Content Managers Forum, writes an excellent blog on how government can better engage with people on the Internet. She provides a far more informed perspective than just what fonts and background colors work best on a Web page — though she does offer some spot-on pet peeves about Web design sins.

She might be a dedicated govie, but she is no company shill. Consider this recent post in which she takes year-end stock of the government Web landscape: “There are some worrisome things going on…pressure to push administration ‘news’ overwhelming the great need to improve online services; a surprising (disappointing) number of new Web sites — some that look redundant, some that clearly are vanity sites and many that show no real appreciation for usability standards — adding to the already enormous bloat of online government information.”

But critiquing is not her main fare. Instead, she fills her posts with plenty of timely advice and plans for action, such as a recent entry titled “Balancing Transparency With Volume and Accuracy.” Most important, throughout her posts runs a theme about the imperative to better serve people on their terms and meet their needs, not those of government bureaucrats.

Privacy Preferences? Pshaw!
Source: InformationWeek

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook, is not losing any sleep over the privacy concerns of Facebook users and other social-media denizens.

Interviewed earlier this month at TechCrunch’s Crunchie awards presentation, Zuckerberg said people were less concerned about privacy than is generally acknowledged.

"People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people," he said. "And that social norm is just something that has evolved over time, and we view it as our role in the system to constantly be innovating and updating what our system is to reflect what the current social norms are."

InformationWeek writer Antone Gonsalves notes that not everyone is buying Zuckerberg’s line — most notably the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which recently filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, saying Facebook shouldn't be allowed to "turn down the privacy dial" on its site.

How Not to Blow a Job Interview
Source: Bnet

You would think it goes without saying that checking e-mail or voice mail messages during a job interview is a bad idea. But apparently that is not the case.

Bnet’s Adriana Gardella interviewed hiring managers and career coaches about the most common — and appalling — mistakes they have seen job candidates make. Some faux pas were more subtle than others. For example, one unsuccessful candidate submitted a résumé highlighting his A-76 experience without ever explaining in the interview what the term meant. A short explanation of A-76 and its relevance — i.e., experience evaluating cost efficiency — would have gone a long way toward making that candidate shine.

Gardella also warns against taking a casual approach to social media-based exchanges. On LinkedIn, Facebook and other sites, users often treat punctuation and correct spelling as optional. But when it comes to communicating with a potential employer, it’s better to dot those i’s and cross those t’s.

One more piece of advice: Don’t stalk your recruiter, Gardella writes. An employer tells how a candidate called 15 times in one day before finally leaving a message. Such behavior suggests a lack of composure and professionalism, the employer said.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

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