NASA’s Open Government Initiative Websites powered by WordPress

“We use WordPress as a flexible platform – it’s a CMS that we adapt to a whole bunch of needs,” – Sean Herron, Technology Strategist, NASA.

The NASA Open Government Initiative team is responsible for fulfilling the Open Government directive, which challenges federal agencies to become transparent, participatory, and collaborative.

“We’re dedicated to making it easier for citizens to interact with NASA and engage in what NASA is doing; to understand our mission and all the programs we have, and to leverage government data and technology in novel ways,” said Nicholas Skytland, Program Manager for NASA’s Open Government Initiative.

To accomplish this mission, NASA’s Open Government Initiative team hosts a series of related websites, many of which are powered by the Open Source WordPress Content Management System.

“Open Source is a core part of the agency’s Open Government Plan and we knew we wanted to base our site off of open source technology.” – Sean Herron, a NASA contractor and Technology Strategist on the NASA Open Government team. “We use WordPress as a flexible platform – it’s a CMS that we adapt to a whole bunch of needs.”

open.NASA.gov: Sharing and transparency

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WordPress Powers Politics

WordPress is the most powerful content management system in the world – today it powers just under 17% of the top one million websites in the world. Millions of people from across the globe turn to WordPress to build websites of all shapes and sizes and across all different categories.

Now that the political conventions are over and we have officially turned the corner towards the November election, WordPress.com VIP is proud to release this infographic which clearly shows that WordPress is now the backbone that powers websites from across the political spectrum.

Check it out!

This research project started when we began to notice that more and more political websites were being built on WordPress. We focused on a couple of key categories: state parties, U.S. House races, U.S. Senate races, and Gubernatorial races. We looked at all of the major-party candidates across these categories and manually checked to see what content management system was being used. We were excited by the results and thus, they became the impetus for this lovely infographic.

If you want to learn more about WordPress for your political website, or any other purpose, get in touch with the WordPress.com VIP team here.

Spread the Word

Copy the embed code below to share the infographic on your own site:

<a href="http://vip.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/wordpress-powers-politics/"><img title="WordPress Powers Politics -- compiled by WordPress.com VIP: Enterprise Hosting and Services for WordPress" src="http://vip.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/wordpress-com-vip-politics-infographic-final-1.png" alt="WordPress Powers Politics - Infographic" width="759" height="1896" /></a>

House Committee On Oversight And Government Reform

Have you seen the House Committee On Oversight And Government Reform’s new website? It’s built on WordPress and it’s pretty awesome. Here’s what the Committee has to say about the relaunch:

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today launched a reimagined Oversight.House.Gov, built to increase taxpayer access to the Oversight information that supports their participation in the committee’s work securing a government that spends less and serves better.  Oversight.House.Gov is the American people’s primary source for information on the committee, and the new WordPress site is a step towards increasing the accessibility of committee investigations and hearings, while delivering the customer-oriented Internet experience taxpayers should expect.

On Capitol Hill, there is a movement afoot to build websites that are user-friendly for citizens, but also flexible and intutative for staff, many of whom don’t have the technical know-how to manage their web presence. After all, these are policy wonks, not techies. WordPress is a great option because it’s so easy to use, even a Congressman can us it. Don’t believe us? Check out this video:

Interested in learning more about how WordPress can power your Congressional office or political campaign? Drop us a line.

FCC contributes back to open source

Earlier this month, the FCC explained why they use and contribute back to open source software:

Here at the FCC, we’re always excited when we can contribute to open source software. Open source software is just like any other software, except the creator publishes the underlying source code that powers the application, allowing others to improve upon or adapt the project to their own needs, and hopefully, contribute those improvements back to the community to do the same. Think of it as the software equivalent of the “give a penny, take a penny” jar at your local convenience store.

The FCC contributed back to the WordPress community in the form of a faceted search widget available in the WordPress.org plugin repository and we hope they’ll continue to contribute more code back in the future.

It’s worth a read and sending to anyone you know using WordPress who could contribute something back to the community via code, support, documentation or more.

Want WordPress for your site? Get.WP.com

National Broadband Map on WordPress

In February of this year the NTIA, in collaboration with the FCC, launched the National Broadband Map, an interactive website that allows users to view broadband availability across every neighborhood in the United States with the goal of encouraging local economic growth by facilitating the integration of broadband.

“The structure of the WordPress API allows us to develop much faster than any other CMS we’ve tried.”

—Ivan Djordjevic, National Broadband Map

They chose WordPress to power this colossal project for several reasons: they wanted a platform that could support +25 million data records without sacrificing performance and scalability; speed of development was a high priority; and they needed a flexible architecture to support their vast number of content types.

The project makes extensive use of Custom Post Types and core APIs, and is a great example of WordPress’s flexibility as a development platform.

[ Visit the National Broadband Map ]

Want WordPress for your site? Get.WP.com

NOAA Mission Log on WP.com

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is now blogging on WordPress.com, with their new site missionlog.noaa.gov:
http://missionlog.noaa.gov

The goal of the site, as articulated in their first post is to provide:

… regular updates to give you an inside look at our vessels and their crews, describe the work on board and the observations being made by the scientific personnel. Beginning today the NOAA Ship Pisces, operated by the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations will report from the Gulf of Mexico. Stay tuned!

Recently they’ve been posting updates from the scientists at sea in the Gulf of Mexico. Those scientist are performing subsurface monitoring as part of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response.

[ Visit missionlog.noaa.gov ]

SEC Launches Investor.gov on WordPress.com VIP

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) announced the launch today of Investor.gov – a site focused on helping and educating investors:
sec-investor-gov-vip

Investor.gov is hosted in the WordPress.com VIP program, and uses a custom theme based on the GPL licensed Vibrant CMS theme.

Be sure to check out the video welcome message from Chairman Mary Schapiro for more details.

[ Visit Investor.gov ]

NASA Glenn Research Center WordPress Users Guide

NASA has been using WordPress for a few years now, and recently the NASA Glenn Research Center launched a resource guide for WordPress development:
nasa-glenn-research-center

The site’s goal is to be “the guide to implementing and using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) with the NASA Web Accessible (CSS) template design on Glenn Research Center websites.”

With a strong emphasis on 508 accessibility compliance, it’s very impressive to see how NASA has built its own custom theme, and is successfully empowering its team to build feature-rich, accessible, and easy-to-maintain sites.

[Visit wordpress.grc.nasa.gov]

Brazil’s Culture Ministry Selects BuddyPress

Thanks Cátia Kitahara for lettings us know about a new BuddyPress site which is being used to enable and foster debate about various aspects of today’s digital life in Brazil. Built by the Brazilian Culture Ministry, the beta site is now live at culturadigital.br:
Brazil-Culture-Ministry-BuddyPress

The site describes itself as “an open public space destined to democratically create and build a public policy of digital culture, integrating citizens, government institutions, state companies, civil society and the market.” Making use of all the “Facebook-in-a-box” features of BuddyPress, this site is off to a great start and could be a model for other organizations and companies looking to build this kind of community engagement and interaction.

[Visit culturadigital.br ]