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California Launches News Aggregator Website

News hub scoops up and brings together real-time feeds from California agencies' Twitter, RSS feeds and YouTube channels.

California has launched a news hub that, in real time, compiles and updates its many agencies' Twitter, RSS and YouTube news feeds.

The news aggregator site, unveiled Friday, July 2, collects in one place content from more than 200 department and agency sources. With more official sources being added daily, the news hub scoops real-time feeds from agencies and already has 83 Twitter accounts, 40 YouTube channels and nearly 100 RSS feeds, an Office of the State Chief Information Officer (OCIO) press release said.

Launched by State CIO Teri Takai, the site is part of the newly redesigned Web portal that receives more than 7.3 million unique visits each month.

"The state is publishing a vast amount of news and information every day. With social networking sites and automated information feeds, state agencies are making it easier for news to reach the public," Takai said in a press release. "We have taken the additional step of creating this continuously updated news hub, a one-stop destination for Californians to see what is happening in state government -- all at a glance."

Some examples of news items available on the site Friday include information on what people can do about unsolicited ads sent illegally via fax (from the Department of Consumer Affairs' Twitter feed), the announcement of a new driving-under-the-influence ignition interlock pilot program (from the Department of Motor Vehicles' Twitter feed) and a YouTube video on equal rights and employment.

Clicking on topical areas such as business, education, government, health and safety, family and visit provides users a view into news items organized by category. The site was created using syndicated Web feeds and done so with virtually no additional employee resources to manage it.

"We wanted to create a resource for people to be able to keep up with all of the news coming out of state agencies," said OCIO spokesman Bill Maile. "We wanted to create a place for people to go and at a glance, see all the different announcements and press releases coming out of state agencies."

What helped streamline the process was the fact that so many agencies are already publishing RSS and Twitter feeds from their websites, Maile said. "It was just obvious that to pull them together into one place would be a great resource," he said.