Everyone wants a more powerful search engine, and that includes the United States Government. As anyone who watched School House Rock knows, our law-making system can be fairly convoluted. That’s why this week the U.S. government is rolling out a new search engine to help the politically minded population research legislation being discussed in the House and Senate.
The old site, reverently named THOMAS (http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php) after Thomas Jefferson, is quickly becoming dated. As you can see, the search is broken up into a bunch of little criterion. This hails back to the old days of searching. The new site, Congress.Gov, is in its beta and already looks sleeker and more modern. Congress.gov takes it’s cues from today’s successful search engines (namely, Google) and allows you to search for anything you want in a single box. This streamlines things immensely and should make it easier for everyone from Senators to students to find the information they need.
The new site is also being designed from the ground up with our smartphone-based world in mind. It is being launched with full mobile site accessibility. It may seem obvious that ANY new website should have a mobile version, but this is the U.S. Government we’re talking about. It’s impressive that you don’t have to submit to a full cavity search before they let you get at the info.
No one can accuse the Government of moving quickly, but at least they are adapting. Business has driven the technology this far, and now one of the most important infrastructures in our country is able to take advantage of it. Now, let’s all be good patriots and give the new site a stress test before the election this November!