Federal Register Web Site Gets Open Government Facelift

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Open government advocates like Carl Malamud are celebrating the relaunch of the Federal Register's website. The compendium of the government's daily activities has been redesigned to make it easier for non-insiders to understand, navigate, and share.

The Register is the federal government's weekday compilation of new and proposed policies, regulations and public meeting notices. The first edition published in 1936, and its first Web site launched in 1994. An essential resource in Washington's legal and lobbying circles, the Register is rarely used by most Americans unfamiliar with its legal and bureaucratic jargon.

But Monday's relaunch should make the Register even easier to navigate: Its new Web site will divide the thousands of federal rules and regulations into six main categories: money, environment, world, science and technology, business and industry, and health and public welfare. (Editors will add other sections with public feedback.) Register employees will highlight items on the home page that relate to the day's headlines or topics of Washington debate. Each notice will appear on an individual page with a plainly written summary, links to agencies seeking formal public comment, and the ability to share items on Facebook and Twitter.

Read the full story at Washington Post.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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