Have you heard? The White House says there are too many government websites. Redundant websites are a particular problem, says the President.
A recent observation of the Recovering Warrior Task Force found that wounded warriors were not getting the information that they needed, were confused by all of the information out there, and that the government needed to do a better job of connecting them to the information in the National Resource Directory.
A potential solution? Simple, and one all of government could use. Stop building websites, and free the data.
Put the information into the hands of the end-user and advocates like Veteran Service Organizations, Non-Profits, Military Service Organizations, members of Congress, and niche bloggers.
That is exactly what the Department of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs hope to accomplish with the development of a new application that will seamless integrate access to over 13,000 vetted resources for Wounded Warriors, Veterans, Military families, Caregivers, and those who support them.
In 2007, when several commissions and task forces starting taking a hard look at how we care for wounded warriors, they noted again and again that the sheer number of resources for wounded warriors made it difficult to find the right ones. The Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Labor all wanted to help. Instead of each department building its own site for wounded warrior resources, Congress mandated, and they collaborated and developed the National Resource Directory.
How do we get the information into the hands of people who need it? Give it to them in a way that fits the way they already communicate in their online communities. A widget is a simple online application built by one website that can be displayed on another website. Our widget has all of the information on the NRD, searchable by State, but can be embedded into your webpage like it is embeded into Colorado Senator Michael Bennet’s Veterans issue page below:
This State specific resource directory can be embedded in personalized home pages, blogs and other sites. Once the organization, blogger or individual has added the widget, there is NO maintenance required – as our NRD team updates the resources and content on the site, your state widget content is updated automatically.
What do you get? Access to tens of thousands of entities partnering with the National Resource Directory and connecting with target audiences by State, all for free.
Free the data, kill the URL, and connect people to resources where they already go. Sounds like a winning strategy? There is more.
The Directory screens all non-governmental resources before including them on the site, and users are able to indicate which resources they find helpful and which they don’t. We check to see if they are legitimate non-profits, properly registered with the federal government, and whether they actually do provide benefits or services to Wounded Warriors, Service members, Military families, and Caregivers.
If you’re considering developing yet another directory of resources for our wounded warrior, Veterans, or military family community, consider partnering with the National Resource Directory instead.
Have a website site and want a Wounded Warrior resource widget? Just drop me a line – firstname.lastname@example.org.