10 Years of Digital Government—A Retrospective

Birthday candles number ten isolated on white background

In December of 2004, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the first Policies for Federal Public Websites. Over the past decade, we’ve seen technology completely transform how government delivers information and services to the public.

On this 10-year anniversary, we’re taking a walk down memory lane to recap some of the pivotal moments that have shaped today’s digital government landscape.

Year
Activity
2004

February—Facebook launches (for colleges; opens to the public 2007)

<p>
  March—Interagency Committee on Government Information (ICGI) convenes to draft Web recommendations
</p>

<p>
  June—ICGI issues Recommendations for Federal Web Policies
</p>

<p>
  July—ICGI becomes the Web Content Management Working Group (predecessor to Federal Web Managers Council)
</p>

<p>
  August—HHS publishes its seminal <em>Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines</em> (foundation for Usability.gov)
</p>

<p>
  December—OMB issues M-05-04 Policies for Federal Public Websites
</p>
2005

January—NARA issues guidance on scheduling Web records

<p>
  February—YouTube launches
</p>

<p>
  September—Web community implements content &#8220;lanes&#8221; for disaster response (Katrina); First Web Manager Conference at GWU
</p>

<p>
  December—Small Business Administration is the first federal agency on YouTube
</p>

2006

April—Intellipedia, the first interagency wiki, launches

<p>
  July—Twitter launches; USGS provides earthquake info via RSS
</p>

<p>
  August—NOAA creates tsunami simulations in Second Life
</p>

<p>
  December—OMB wiki (future MAX community) launches
</p>

2007

January—FirstGov.gov changes its name to USA.gov

<p>
  May—HHS Womenshealth.gov is first federal agency on Twitter; NASA creates virtual rockets, space stations in Second Life
</p>

2008

January—First presidential blog from Air Force One

<p>
  April—Gobierno.usa.gov tweets in Spanish
</p>

<p>
  November—Web Council issues &#8220;Putting Citizens First: Transforming Online Government&#8221; white paper
</p>

<p>
  December—Web Council issues &#8220;Social Media Barriers & Solutions&#8221; white paper; WCAG 2.0 published as a W3C Recommendation
</p>

2009

January—Open Government Directive issued; weekly Presidential Address via YouTube begins

<p>
  February—First federal-friendly Terms of Service (TOS) signed (YouTube)
</p>

<p>
  March—DigitalGov Search relaunches using an open source technology stack; moves to gov’t (not vendor) owned
</p>

<p>
  May—Data.gov launches; USGovernment channel launches on YouTube to consolidate gov’t content
</p>

<p>
  June—IT Dashboard publishes data on IT spending
</p>

<p>
  November—CDC&#8217;s H1n1 YouTube video gets 2 million views
</p>

2010

January—Plain Writing Act; Social media used to locate Haiti earthquake victims, people text donations

<p>
  February—National Archives adds historic photos to Flickr Commons
</p>

<p>
  June—OMB issues Social Media guidance memos
</p>

<p>
  July—USA.gov launches Apps.USA.gov to highlight mobile apps across government
</p>

<p>
  August—First Fridays Usability Program conducts first test of Travel.state.gov
</p>

<p>
  September—Challenge.gov launches; USA.gov releases iPhone app
</p>

<p>
  November—HowTo.gov launches; First International Open Data Conference held in DC
</p>

2011

February—DigitalGov Search becomes SaaS; grows 500% to serve 1,500 government websites by 2014

<p>
  March—USA.gov URL Shortener launches
</p>

<p>
  April—Second Customer Service Executive Order issued (first was in 1993)
</p>

<p>
  June—OMB updates PRA guidance to allow Fast-Track reviews
</p>

<p>
  July—Tweetup with @NASA for the final shuttle launch
</p>

2012

April—Social Media Registry goes live

<p>
  May—Digital Government Strategy released (separate content from presentation; improve customer experience w/digital services)
</p>

<p>
  October—WCAG 2.0 accepted as ISO standard
</p>

2013

May—Open Data Policy issued

<p>
  October—NARA issues guidance on managing social media records
</p>

2014

January—DigitalGov.gov soft-launches

<p>
  March—Federal Web Managers Council provides &#8220;PRA Barriers and Solutions&#8221; recommendations to OMB; Customer Service Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goal issued to improve customer experience
</p>

<p>
  May—First DigitalGov Summit
</p>

<p>
  November— U.S. Digital Services Playbook released
</p>

<p>
  December—U.S. Public Participation Playbook released
</p>

What’s your most memorable Digital Gov moment of the past decade? Tell us in the comments.