Federal Register Gets Web 2.0 Makeover

Jul 26, 2010 (12:07 PM EDT)

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A long-overdue and anticipated update of the Federal Register -- the federal government's daily newspaper and source for information about federal legislation and presidential documents -- went live on Monday just in time for the site's 75th anniversary.

Federal Register 2.0 is designed to make the register -- long criticized for an archaic and user-unfriendly design in light of the current web technologies available -- easier to navigate and more in line with modern news-oriented websites.

The makeover also is part of the Obama administration's Open Government Directive, a government-wide initiative to make information about and activities by the federal government more easily accessible and transparent using modern technologies.

A video explaining the Federal Register 2.0 as well as providing a history of the register itself available on the home page of the revamped site.

The new site better organizes information about thousands of federal rules and regulations by putting them into six main categories -- money; environment; world; science and technology; business and industry; and health and public welfare. Under each category on the home page some of the latest regulations are listed with links to information about them.

The site also highlights daily items about legislation that are notable or newsworthy in a top-story format, much like any other newspaper website does.

For example, Monday's top story provided a link to legislation making clerical corrections to the NASDAQ rulebook.

The site also adds social-networking capability, allowing people to share news items they see on the site to Twitter and Facebook by clicking on the appropriate icon.

The White House is taking feedback about Federal Register 2.0, and aims to make changes and improvements based on that information.