Did you know that there are now more than 40 no-cost social media providers with Terms of Service agreements for use by federal agencies? This means federal agencies can use these sites without having to negotiate federal-friendly Terms of Service (TOS). While this doesn’t mean that just anyone can just sign-up for WordPress and start blogging, it does pave the way for agencies to more easily take advantage of many free services.
There is currently a wide variety of “apps” available for use which are listed on GSA’s Apps.gov site. The apps are categorized and include blog, wiki, mapping, and analytics tools. Looking at the list, some definitely seem more “social” that other but you won’t hear me complaining.
Here’s the quick and dirty on how to get started:
- Go to Apps.gov to find a free app
- Click the Enroll button once you find the app you’re interested in
- Fill out the short request form to include a brief justification on how you intend to use the tool (Note: You’ll need to have a GSA Advantage! Account to do this, which can be easily created on the spot)
- There, you’re done. Next you’ll get an email from your agency POC after the request has been evaluated. Your agency POC can tell you if your agency is already using the product or service; if there’s a signed Terms of Service in place; and how you can coordinate efforts within your agency. You can find your Agency POC here or just look at the box on the right hand side at the top of the request form and your POC will be listed.
Be sure and also check out the handy-dandy FAQs page GSA put together specifically for TOS questions. It includes guidance on what to do for state or local agencies and other common questions.