Bureau of Public Affairs
August 14, 2012
The Office of Website Management in the Bureau of Public Affairs launched My State Department, an optional interface that allows users to customize their view of the vast electronic collection that comprises www.state.gov, for targeted, quick, and easy access to the foreign policy topics that they find most interesting.
Easily found from the top banner on all www.state.gov pages or at www.state.gov/mystatedept, My State Department presents you with a collection of "widgets" from which to choose so you can populate your own page, including a Help and Feedback widget to get you started. We hope to continue to develop enhancements and new features for the interface to make My State Department even more useful.
Frequently Asked Questions About My State Department
Q: Why do I have to log in? Are you collecting personal information, such as my email address?
A: To make sure that your My State Department selections follow you no matter what computer you’re on, an OpenID logon is used. OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity, such as your yahoo, gmail, or aol account. (Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.) My State Department does not collect any personal information.
Q: Is there going to be a widget for travel warnings, passports, and other travel.state.gov information? How about career information?
A: My State Department pulls from www.state.gov. The content on travel.state.gov and careers.state.gov is in a different system, so can’t be integrated at this time. However, you can select some other content via the "RSS Feeds" widget. You can also add the widget for “Other Sites” to easily link to some of the other sites that you frequently visit.
Q: I'm interested in a foreign policy topic that I don't see a widget for.
A: Be sure to let us know specific ideas for improvement: http://contact-us.state.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/279.
Q: When I add new widgets, I end up with a lot of empty space on the right.
A: You can fill that empty space with your widgets. Just grab and slide into place.
Q: I’ve added the Twitter widget to My State Department, but nothing shows up in the Twitter frame.
A: Some network firewalls prevent Twitter from auto-populating onto My State Department as well as other pages that embed Twitter’s code. Try selecting the gear icon at top right corner of the widget frame, and then select "refresh."
Q: I'd like to see a widget for video. Is that coming soon?
A: A separate video widget is something we hope to develop in the near future. In the mean time, you can get to many videos through the Top Stories and Secretary's Remarks widgets by clicking on the text links.
Q: I have some ideas for making My State Department even more useful. How can I share these ideas with you?
A: Super! We're always happy to get fresh ideas. Send your thoughts to http://contact-us.state.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/279.