DigitalGov Year in Review: Our Top Blogs, Resources, and Writers for 2016

Feb 3, 2017

For most of us Gen X and Gen Y kids, 2016 was not kind to our childhood. The biggest blows for me were losing two music icons and Internet innovators, David Bowie and Prince [1], and everybody’s favorite space princess, Carrie Fisher. But, work-wise, I’m pleased to say that DigitalGov had a pretty great year, and that was largely due to a bevy of talented and dedicated writers from more than 50 agencies and departments across all three branches of the federal government (Thank you!!!). Below, we’ll review some program highlights from the last year, including our top-viewed articles and resources, and tell you how you, too, can contribute to DigitalGov in 2017.


Great things that happened in the DigitalGov world in 2016 included product and program announcements from some of the teams that we support here at the General Services Administration (GSA) — and there were a couple of really nice “shout-outs.”

Our readers got to learn about the creation of:

In June, the White House released a report that cited,, and among 100 top open innovation efforts in the federal government over the past 8 years — all 3 appear in the top 15. In December, DigitalGov was included in FedTech Magazine’s annual list of 50 Must-Read Federal IT Blogs for the 2nd year in a row.

Top Articles

Last year, most users searched DigitalGov to find information on: Terms of Service (TOS) agreements, plain language, webinars and training, our services (Digital Analytics Program (DAP), U.S. Digital Registry, DigitalGov Search), social media best practices, web and mobile content strategies, accessibility and user experience (UX), analytics, agile practices, governance, policy, surveys and customer experience (CX), APIs, data, and security.

Tan-colored cards pinned to a clotheline spell out Top 10 in red, with bokeh lights in the background.

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We published 394 articles in 2016 — here are the Top 10 most viewed:

10 GSA launches new AI, Virtual Reality, and Authentication ProgramsJustin Herman

9 An Introduction to Open Data and APIsJohn Paul

8 Now with Agency-Specific DashboardsTim Lowden, Gray Brooks, Gabriel Ramirez, Eric Mill, Julia Winn, Colin Craig

7 The Content Corner: Social Media Metrics and the Challenge of Effective MeasurementTy Manuel

6 Information Architecture vs Content Strategy — and Why YOU Need BothChristen Geiler

5 Trends on Tuesday: 10 Mobile, Government and Tech Trends for 2016Will Sullivan

4 Improving Internal Communications: Best PracticesAlison Sturgeon

3 Gettin’ Giphy With It: NARA Shares Online Library of Animated GifsDarren Cole, Mary King, Kristen Albrittain

2 Catch the Mall! With Pokemon and Public ServicesJustin Herman, Paul Ollig

1 Check Your Refund Status AND Pay Your Taxes With IRS2GoJacob Parcell

The 2014 Digital Gov logo in teal and salmon colors.

Expanding the metrics data, we found that our readers were also very interested in DigitalGov articles that covered:

Strategy or path concept illustration of multiple highway paths, with yellow road signs with black question marks.

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Policies, and Toolkits, and Guidelines — Oh, My!

DigitalGov’s searchable Resources section continued to provide federal employees with the necessary guidance for working on various digital government projects. The top 10 most visited resources last year are:

10 Federal-Compatible Terms of Service Agreements (information)

9 Mobile Statement of Work (SOW) and Developer Qualifications

8 Sample Position Descriptions for Digital Government Jobs

7 Customer Experience Toolkit

6 How to Get Your Open Data on

5 Mobile User Experience Guidelines and Recommendations

4 Improving the Accessibility of Social Media in Government

3 Content Management Systems Used by Government Agencies

2 Negotiated Terms of Service Agreements (list)

1 Checklist of Requirements for Federal Websites and Digital Services (updated 11/23/16)

DigitalGov University

This month, we also published DGU’s Training Trends for 2016. Check that out, too, to see what type of events had the most attendees, access webinar recaps in case you missed any, and learn how federal employees can contact the DGU team with event suggestions and/or to request information about creating an online or in-person DGU event.

The Road Ahead

Recently, a new group of writers have signed up to contribute articles for UX, content, DGU webinar recaps, and social media for DigitalGov via the Open Opportunities program. In 2017, we expect to share tech-related government news and digital trends, agencies’ success stories, best practices, and case studies; continue to create and update resources and guidelines for you; and whatever else 2017 brings to keep you informed on the work being done by those in government’s digital realm to serve the American public.

The words Join Us are spelled out with vintage metal letterpress blocks.

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Federal employees with a .gov or .mil email address looking to contribute to DigitalGov on a regular basis (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly) are encouraged to learn about and sign up for the Open Opportunities program. New writing tasks for DigitalGov will be posted next week (please note: supervisor approval is required for participating in any Open Opps task).

If you are a federal employee with a .gov or .mil email address interested in submitting a single blog post for DigitalGov, please review our article guidelines and contact us.

— Toni Bonitto, Innovation Specialist, and Acting Editorial Lead & Acting Platform Lead for DigitalGov

2016 blog contributors (Open Opps writers in bold): Abigail Noonan, Alex Casanova, Alice Chen, Alison Sturgeon, Allison Lantero, Alycia Piazza, Andrea Sanchez, Andrea Sigritz, Angela Bell, Angela Smithers, Anne Rancourt, Ashley Wichman, Benjamin Bloom, Bill Brantley, Bridget Roddy, CFPB Digital Analytics Team, Charlotte Stichter, Chris Noonan Sturm, Chris Rottler, Christen Geiler, Christy Choi, Cliff Tyllick, Colin Craig, Cory Benavente, Craig Chavez, Danielle Brigida, Darren Cole, David Fern, David Kaufmann, Dawn Pointer McCleskey, Dywane Boyd, Elizabeth Zeitler, Eric Beidel, Eric Mill, Gabriel Ramirez, Gray Brooks, Immanuel Lee, Jack Bienko, Jacob Parcell, Janet Linton, Jennifer Johnson, Joanna Karpinski-Widzer, Joanne McGovern, John Paul, Julia Jackson, Julia Winn, Justin Herman, Karen Trebon, Karla Blaine, Katie Chan, Kelley Holden, Kelly Olson, Kristen Albrittain, Kyle S. Richardson, Leah Stewart, Leonard Sipes, Limary Suarez Pacheco, Lisa Bari, Mackenzie Cummings, Mary King, Matthew Ford, Nathan Smith, Nicholas Skytland, Nick Marden, Phaedra Chrousos, Rachel Flagg, Randy Abramson, Ray Drake, Richard Morey, Rosario Méndez, Sara Cope, Sara Smith, Sarah Herrmann, Stacey Palosky, Stephanie Thum, Susanna Murley, Tammy White, Tanya McIlravy, Tim Jakubowski, Tim Lowden, Toni Bonitto, Ty Manuel, USCIS Staff, Victoria Wales, Will Sullivan, Yasmine Kloth, and Zohaa Ahmad.


  1. Genius artistry aside for just a femtosecond, both “Ziggy Stardust” and “The Kid” were Internet pioneers in the early and mid-1990s. They had the foresight to use the new medium to provide digital services and content to their customers; Prince in 1994, and David Bowie in 1998. Before their passing, each won web-related lifetime achievement awards that honor those who helped shape the Internet with their groundbreaking work, recognizing their influence and lasting impact on digital culture, communication, and technology.

Disclaimer: All references to specific brands, products, and/or companies are used only for illustrative purposes and do not imply endorsement by the U.S. federal government or any federal government agency.