Lights, camera, action: Agencies to launch Video.gov

Federal authorities are preparing to launch a governmentwide Video.gov platform within several months that would aggregate videos from all federal agencies on a single website.

White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer Andrew McLaughlin said the Video.gov plan was inspired by the work of the nonprofit PublicResource.org, and its founder Carl Malamud, who voluntarily have assembled an online public archive of 3,971 digitized government videos that have attracted about 7 million views on YouTube. The library includes material from the Defense Department, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and other federal agencies.

Saying he was both “inspired and shamed” by Malamud’s efforts in archiving federal videos, McLaughlin, speaking at the Gov 2.0 Summit on Sept. 7, said the White House and federal agencies intend to launch Video.gov and hope to garner millions of viewers within the next 12 months.


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“In a year’s time, if the federal government has not put up a Video.gov site that is capable of delivering or getting at least three times the number of view as whatever you [Public.Resource.org] are able to digitize during the course of that year, we would call that a failure,” McLaughlin said.

Many government agencies, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, currently offer videos on YouTube and on their own websites. Video.gov would aim to consolidate those video feeds and make them available from a single Web portal.

“We applaud efforts to improve access to government video; friendly competition with a nonprofit project never hurts,” Gavin Baker, federal information polic analyst with OMBWatch watchdog group, posted in his blog on Sept. 10.

Baker also encouraged Video.gov to include more live video of current activities, such as public hearings.

 

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