Two buildings away from the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., the Center for Digital Government held its Best of the Web awards ceremony in September. With the Academy Awards as its theme, the event honored excellence in state and local government portals. Team members from Virginia.gov beamed widely, accepting the top prize for state portals, while Carly Simon's Nobody Does it Better blared from the speakers.
"The portal is a labor of love, and this is the second time in the history of the competition that Virginia has scored first place," said Lynn DuBard, general manager of Virginia.gov, heaping praise upon her staff lined up on the stage.
Las Vegas won top honors in the city category for its portal that included a land survey benchmark tool, giving land surveyors the exact X and Y coordinates of property lines and topography.
Oakland County, Mich., snagged the top county award. The county caught notice over the past Labor Day weekend for its bLOGINcafé at the county's Arts, Beats & Eats festival, which attracted 1.5 million people. The bLOGINcafé enticed 2,300 people who used its computers to blog on various topics, like environmental issues, politics and the festival itself. -- Andy Opsahl, Features Editor
Sacramento, Calif. -- Sacramento County recently lured a CIO from the state's Department of General Services (DGS). David Villanueva is the CIO of the county and insists managing technology for a county isn't much different than being CIO of the DGS.
"It's the same, but just on a smaller scale because the budgets aren't as big," Villanueva said. "I was elected to the school board in my school district and it kind of got me into the local community activities, so that was why I thought this would be a good opportunity."
Villanueva spent 17 years at the DGS before joining Sacramento in July.
-- Andy Opsahl, Features Editor
Milwaukee -- In late September, dozens of state CIOs descended upon the nation's beer and brat capital to attend the NASCIO Annual Conference. This year's theme was A Focus on the Enterprise: Driving Efficiency and Innovation.
Attendees filled the Midwest Airlines Center to hear keynote speaker, former Pennsylvania Governor and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. Other sessions dealt with key issues CIOs face -- including a panel discussion on consolidation. VMware's Rock Regan moderated a panel that included Texas CTO Brian Rawson, Indiana CIO Gerry Weaver, Rep. John McCoy of Washington state and Dave Goetz, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration commissioner.
Another keynote speaker, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg School of Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, challenged CIOs to communicate to citizens what it is they do in terms average Americans can understand.
Watch GTtv's video report from the conference.
-- Chad Vander Veen, Associate Editor
Here are the 10 most popular stories on Govtech.com from Sept. 1, 2008 to Oct. 1, 2008.
1. Site Reveals Salaries of New York State Employees
Conservative think tank launches Web site with comprehensive state financial data.
2. Sarah Palin and Technology
Governor tries to expand technology use in Alaska.
3. Enterprise Architecture Demystified
What is it? And who is it intended to benefit?
Productivity tools for public CIOs on the go.
5. BlackBerry Apps for CIOs, Part 2
More mobile tools for busy CIOs.
6. New York City Enables Pictures, Video on 911 and 311 Calls
Callers can send images from cell phone or computer to real-time crime center.
7. Utah Tops 2008 Digital States Survey
State's four-day work week demonstrates e-government's growth.
8. Hospitals Aren't Ready for Crisis
Even with $4 billion in federal funding, mass casualties would overwhelm emergency rooms.
9. Project Management Strategies Reduce Troubled Government IT Deployments
Training programs and innovative approaches seek to boost project success.
10. Emergency Management Training
Web offers information on homeland security and emergency management courses.
Chad Vander Veen previously served as the editor of FutureStructure, and the associate editor of Government Technology and Public CIO magazines.
Andy Opsahl is a former writer and features editor for Government Technology magazine.