California state portal gets social media facelift

The state of California launched a redesigned Web portal yesterday with social media-friendly and widget-ready interactive designs. According to State Chief Information Officer Teri Takai, the redesigned portal is meant to be a “one-stop destination” for the over six million visitors per month.

“I am pleased to launch this updated portal, designed to make it easier for visitors to navigate through all of the valuable resources and learn more about our great state,” Ms. Takai said in a statement released yesterday.

The website’s social media and real-time features are leading the already award-winning portal through its renovation. A featured section of the website called “Connect With Us” allows users to follow California government tweets, Facebook pages, YouTube and MySpace updates. Meanwhile the “Subscribe CA” section allows interested parties to follow California media releases and official alerts via RSS, podcasts and widgets that can be integrated into personal homepages, like iGoogle.

According to the CIO’s office, the portal provides access to more than 4 million pages of information, services, and online-transactions from 155 state agency Websites.

Some of the real-time features include

  • Over 1000 live highway traffic camera feeds
  • N11 directory services for traffic, traveler, repair, community, health, disaster, emergency and other local information
  • A live help line operator to handle questions and requests
  • And more than 100 state social networking websites, with access to near-real-time videos, tweets and RSS feeds

Lastly, the site integrates with and further promotes Governor Schwarzenegger commitment to publishing information on the Internet to improve transparency and accountability. In April, he launched the Reporting Transparency in Government Web site to make publicly available the statement of economic interests, Form 700s and the travel expense claims for the Governor’s office senior staff and deputies, agency secretaries, agency undersecretaries and department directors.

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