I remember a talk by Cary Coglianese, then of Harvard, now of Penn, where he demonstrated how it took him -- one of the country's leading experts on administrative law -- over an hour to find a government regulation online. And not some obscure regulation, mind you, but one that was the subject of a front-page New York Times article. His students had long before given up in despair and frustration.
This chase down the rabbit hole in search of information was despite the fact that the E-Government Act of 2002 was supposed to make agency information electronically available. But available means more than putting it on a server. It has to be findable to be useful to citizens in a democracy.
Hence the Web 2.0 and "search" gurus were on Capitol Hill yesterday talking to Congress about how to make government information easier to find. This comes just as the Center for Democracy and Technology releases its report, "Hiding in Plain Sight: Why Important Governmental Information Cannot be Found through Commercial Search Engines."
Video of the congressional testimony is here.