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Ranch State and CitizenSpace: Digital Democracy and Web Strategies for the United States and the United Kingdom
Unformatted Document Text:  18 United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office Accessing Information: Much like the Department of State Website, the FCO website provides a comprehensive link to information on international issues, the administration of the organization, and the overall foreign policy strategy of the FCO. The site differs, primarily, in its functionality. First, the primary contact information is listed directly on the front page of the site. Second, the site allows for the customization of website layout, so that a viewer can tailor the information he or she wants to see depending on information preferences. The website also provides a link to a sitemap – offering a detailed list of all the websites content and functions. There is no sitemap for the State Department website (although, interestingly, there was a site map for the State Department website under the Clinton administration.). Links Between public officials and citizens: Nearly all points of contact offered through the FCO website consist of phone numbers, email, and physical addresses. The graphically more appealing site also guides viewers to accessible links to public officials and services that pertain to specific functional and topical areas of the FCO. Like the State Department website, the FCO website is linked to a national web presence (known as UK Online) – which offers a comprehensive list of public services available electronically. There is also feedback section – for users to comment on the FCO website, as well as to acquire technical assistance with the use of the website. Forum for Political Discussions: At the time of this writing, the Public Forum functionality that earned the FCO website its Profile Awards has been removed from the FCO site, pending a major web presence revision. Nevertheless, concerned citizens who wish to communicate with other citizens can still access public forums on the main UK website – UK Online. Of the thirteen main topic headings in the online discussion forum known as “CitizenSpace” – the International Relations heading was fourth highest in postings with over 1180 postings listed at the time of this paper writing (postings are kept for roughly a week). The highest number of postings, 6466, was logged for the Government and Public Administration

Authors: Hayden, Craig.
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18
United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Accessing Information: Much like the Department of State Website, the FCO website
provides a comprehensive link to information on international issues, the administration of the
organization, and the overall foreign policy strategy of the FCO. The site differs, primarily, in its
functionality. First, the primary contact information is listed directly on the front page of the site.
Second, the site allows for the customization of website layout, so that a viewer can tailor the
information he or she wants to see depending on information preferences. The website also
provides a link to a sitemap – offering a detailed list of all the websites content and functions.
There is no sitemap for the State Department website (although, interestingly, there was a site
map for the State Department website under the Clinton administration.).
Links Between public officials and citizens: Nearly all points of contact offered through
the FCO website consist of phone numbers, email, and physical addresses. The graphically more
appealing site also guides viewers to accessible links to public officials and services that pertain
to specific functional and topical areas of the FCO. Like the State Department website, the FCO
website is linked to a national web presence (known as UK Online) – which offers a
comprehensive list of public services available electronically. There is also feedback section – for
users to comment on the FCO website, as well as to acquire technical assistance with the use of
the website.
Forum for Political Discussions: At the time of this writing, the Public Forum
functionality that earned the FCO website its Profile Awards has been removed from the FCO
site, pending a major web presence revision. Nevertheless, concerned citizens who wish to
communicate with other citizens can still access public forums on the main UK website – UK
Online. Of the thirteen main topic headings in the online discussion forum known as
“CitizenSpace” – the International Relations heading was fourth highest in postings with over
1180 postings listed at the time of this paper writing (postings are kept for roughly a week). The
highest number of postings, 6466, was logged for the Government and Public Administration


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