Wednesday, February 09, 2011

National Park Service seeks tech ideas via new blog

The National Park Service is looking for individuals, tech companies and "emerging media providers" to submit information about products they thing could help the service improve interpretation in the parks. And they're making it transparent and easy: Just post your idea to TechThinkTank, NPS's blog for this purpose. From the blog:
For anyone who has ever had an idea for the National Parks or want to present to the National Parks - post to our blog We are collecting submissions for emerging media providers in service to the National Park Service.
We are looking for short articles that tell us how they see their products helping the National Park Service and to give an example of this use. We are looking to feature media and technology providers who offer a unique solution to the interpretive needs, as well as accessibility, safety, and building community. Please join us in coming up with tomorrow's education solutions for park interpretation. Post your ideas here:  
The blog accomplishes a number of worth goals for this government agency: It brings transparency to a submission process, makes the proposals instantly public so everyone can consider them, and creates a blog whose entire purpose is action, in the form of submissions and, presumably, later comments on them. It's a government echo of a trend in philanthropy to make grant proposals transparent--which allows outsiders to see proposals before they're selected, make comments or suggestions on them, and ultimately see which ones are successful in gaining funds. (Check out The Knight Foundation's blog and very public resources for its news challenge grants as a working example of this trend.)

Put this new blog in your "ones to watch" file. Have you made a blog that's a call to action? Share relevant links in the comments.

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