4.3 Secondary Content

Secondary content is generated from the assortment and packaging of primary content to suit the requirement of different audience, events and occasions Examples of such content are advertisements/banners/spotlight/media gallery/related sites.

4.3.1 Special Interest Group Corner

In case of an event or on special occasions, Government departments may introduce a section for a particular target group e.g. during result time a special section for students may be put up or the Department of Social Welfare may open a section for senior citizens on its website. It must be noted that the original content that is sourced from various sections of the website to make up this section should remain as such so that it may be referred to, once the section has been removed.

4.3.2 Events and Announcements

Government websites should have a section to cover various Events & Announcements such as:

  • Announcements having International/National/State level importance.
  • Announcements related to important upcoming Government events being organised by a Ministry/Department/State/UT.
  • Announcements related to schemes/grants/scholarships/fellowships etc.
  • Warnings of Natural disasters/Epidemics etc.
  • Calls for relief funds during disasters. Other help from citizens or civic agencies.
  • Display of important helpline numbers in case of crisis.

Guidelines relating to events and announcements are as follows:

  1. Announcement must be taken off/archived once it loses its relevance or after the expiry of the time period attached to the event or happening.
  2. All important announcements should also be published on the National Portal for wider access.
  3. Announcements should be worded in simple English/Regional language depending on whom it is meant for.

4.3.3 Discussion Forums & Chat Rooms

Discussion forums are becoming an increasingly popular tool for sharing viewpoints and information. Discussion Forums could be initiated by a Department on any relevant topic of public interest and can prove quite useful in obtaining opinions and viewpoints of the citizens on issues important for policy making. Departments should use MyGov platform to conduct discussions.While initiating an online discussion forum through any platform, the following should be kept in mind:

  1. The purpose and objective of the Discussion Forum should be clearly defined. Preferably, an initiating document or background paper explaining the topic of the forum may be provided on the site.
  2. Clear-cut Terms and Conditions for posting content in the Discussion Forum should be indicated. Policy related to content that must not be posted in the discussion forum (see box) should be defined.
  3. The discussion forums on a Government website should be moderated so that there is some control to avoid publishing unwanted content on the website. All the inputs submitted by the users may be reviewed by the moderator for context and appropriateness of the language or a provision for marking the post as spam may be provided to the users of the forum.
  4. The discussion forum should be open for a limited period of time and the validity of the same should be prominently indicated on the site. However, rather than closing the forum abruptly, it is advised that a summary of the inputs received as well as an Action Taken Report, if possible, should be provided on the website so that the visitors are assured that their inputs are being seriously considered and valued by the Department.

Chat Rooms

Chat rooms on a website could be used by citizens to exchange their viewpoints on some common topic amongst each other as well as by the Departments to facilitate an online conversation between a senior functionary and citizens. Like Discussion Forums, Chat rooms should also follow a Policy related to content that must not be posted by the users (see box). It is desirable that the participants of an online chat through a Government Department’s website be registered before they are allowed to login and post their messages. Permanent chat rooms should be monitored frequently. In case of temporary or special occasion chat sessions with a senior functionary, it is advised that questions be submitted to the interviewee, before being published in the chat room.

Online Discussion Forum: Usage Policy

A Usage Policy should be established and published alongside all online discussion forums and chat rooms on a Government website. This policy should be prominently displayed to any new user who should be made to pass through a page with this information before being able to input data. The usage policy should clearly specify that the following is forbidden:

  • Insulting, threatening or provoking language.
  • Inciting hatred on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality or sexuality or other personal characteristics.
  • Swearing, using hate-speech or making obscene or vulgar comments.
  • Libel, condoning illegal activity, contempt of court and breach of copyright.
  • Spamming, i.e. adding the same comment repeatedly.
  • Impersonating or falsely claiming to represent a person or organisation.
  • Posting in a language other than the language of the website.
  • Invading people’s privacy or Posting off-topic comments.

4.3.4 Related links

For every content topic in different modules of the website, a section should be provided for ‘Related Links’ to the concerned information.

  1. Each content topic covered in the website may have some Related Links to other Government websites which provide further details on the topic.
  2. For every Related Link, the complete URL of the Homepage/Concerned webpage should be provided correctly along with the complete title of the Website which shall appear on the screen.
  3. The validity and accuracy of the URL should be checked on a regular basis to make sure that the information is relevant and the linked address is correct.

Only Government websites/webpages should be provided as ‘Related Links’ for further information since there is no control over the veracity and availability of information on private websites.

4.3.5 Spotlight

The website may have a section called ‘Spotlight’ which focuses on a certain issue of importance and highlights it. The guidelines with regard to this section are:

  1. Every Spotlight topic should be chosen keeping in mind the relevance and significance of the topic in today’s context. It should be ensured that the chosen topic is of significance and should interest a diverse group of audience.
  2. The content for the Spotlight Section should have the following essential elements:
    • Brief introductory text to appear on the Homepage of the website.
    • Detailed text on the topic in the Main Page of the Spotlight section. This content should comprise key highlights of the topic and the facts ought to be sourced from authentic and official sources related to the topic.
    • Address of the Webpage/Websites which have detailed information on the topic addressed in the Spotlight.
    • Graphical Banner highlighting the Spotlight topic and linked to the webpage providing further details.
  3. Once the new Spotlight is launched, the older one should be shifted/ moved to the Archives section along with the date for future reference.