The Federal Communications Commission announced the Beta launch of MyFCC, a project we have been working on for the last 6 months. MyFCC is a personalized dashboard for power users that provides a simple way to access a broad range of content coming out of the agency. MyFCC content is powered by the Content API module, and is built using our very own Cumula Framework.
Solving A Common Problem
MyFCC seeks to solve a common problem: many website users who know exactly what they want, but can't easily access that content. By providing a clean interface that enables the user to customize blocks of content, called widgets, they can create customized pages that are a single point of access for anything of interest published by the FCC. Widgets are collected on a user's dashboard, allowing them to create fully customized pages containing multiples streams of information. The initial set of widgets include a Topic Watcher, Latest News, the FCC Twitter feed, and a version of the FCC Daily Digest. Lots of content can be intimidating for users, but the Dashboard and Widget approach creates a manageable experience where users control how the information is displayed.
An API Approach
MyFCC utilizes a content API published by FCC.gov. Because we were able to leverage the FCC.gov content through the API, the time and cost to develop MyFCC were radically lower than alternative approaches. This is a great example of how a Web API Platform architecture can help to reduce development cost while supporting cutting edge applications.
Social Sharing Tools
MyFCC includes a series of innovative social sharing tools designed to help make FCC content accessible to a wider audience. Each widget inclues an embed code, allowing users to take a widget and embed it natively into another website. Each user dashboard also includes a 'Share' button that generates a unique URL they can send to others. When clicked, the link opens up an exact copy of the dashboard. This is a great tool for creating a dashboard that monitors a series of topics for specific content coming from the FCC.
MyFCC is a new approach to open government — making the content easily available to everyone, everywhere via APIs. Using the Content APIs, the public can create their own tools like MyFCC. An exciting time for technology and government!