Aggregation + Geocoding + Community Engagement = eGov formula for success

New D.C. Site to Rely on 3 Things for Delivering News on Every Block

People who visit Allbritton Communications’ still-unnamed metro D.C. news site when it launches in June will see elements that have been employed elsewhere — aggregation, geocoding, community engagement — but not quite in this formula.

This article is focused on implementing a local government/news portal, but hits several major points relevant to eGovernment including:

  • shoot high and low — realize you can’t be all things to all people and prioritize content (in this case news) using a “top 10 percent” rule;
  • aggregate heavily — find and surface good content…data, data, data;
  • geocoding as personalization — key to delivering the “bottom 10 percent”; localization helps surface content the user otherwise wouldn’t know exists;
  • get people to come when there’s nothing going on — build hooks into the site so users come whether there’s news or not (or whether they got a notice about their license renewal or not, etc.); compelling content is key.

With a staff of 50 (“including 20 reporters and seven members of a community engagement team”), I’m excited to see the final product.  Hopefully they are modeling EveryBlock in design as well as architecture.  It’s one of my favorite data portals on the web.