Friday, June 20, 2008

Networking Australian government websites

As the business manager of a government website I'm always interested in how much traffic arrives from other government sites.

I can directly engage other agencies, building relationships, sharing content and processes, to the benefit of our mutual customers.

I see a real opportunity for departments and agencies to work together to help ensure that citizens are directed to the right website and can progress seamlessly across departments to complete different tasks with government.

This isn't only at Federal level. Similar transparently should exist at all levels, allowing, for instance, someone registering a company, to then seamlessly obtain all the permits they require to do business in their state.

However what I find from the website I manage is that only a very small proportion of traffic comes from other departments and agencies.

This can be read in a few different ways
  • Citizens do not do all their government business in one sitting, therefore do not need to move between departments, or
  • Government departments are highly siloed and do not support easy transitions between agencies - or even tell citizens when they need to do this.

Hitwise, using the data they collect on 3 million Australian website users, has produced a visual chart of the connections between the most trafficked Federal agencies. This is a very interesting glimpse of where the government is today.

Chart reproduced with the permission of Hitwise. View the full version.

With the current push towards the Australian Government Online Services Point (AGOSP) it will be interesting to see how this develops over time - whether can emerge as a central portal for government; and whether this is what citizens actually want.

What connections does your website have to other sites - and how do you use these to increase awareness of use of your site?

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