As part of a U.S. government-wide effort to expand the amount of information available to the public about its programs, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has created a channel on the video social networking site YouTube.
"This official YouTube channel is the first of several planned NIST Web sites hosted by the private sector," says Gail Porter, director of NIST's Public and Business Affairs office. "The effort is part of a broader, government-wide effort to encourage openness and transparency and to 'go to where the people are.'"
On the NIST YouTube channel, viewers can interact by sharing videos with their friends via email, posting links to the videos on their own Web pages, and writing comments below each video. About a dozen videos are now online, and additional videos are planned.
"We will be changing featured topics regularly," says Porter, "to highlight work from across NIST. If you click on 'Subscribe' you can be notified through your YouTube account each time a new video is posted."
The Department of Commerce negotiated a contract with Google that allows its agencies to establish YouTube channels. Other Commerce agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Census Bureau are also participating. Similar additional contracts are under negotiation with other social media sites.
The new YouTube channel can be found at www.youtube.com/user/usnistgov.