BRASILIA, Brazil, March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- In its latest move to increase engagement with the global public and promote democratic access to information, the federal government of Brazil today launched 'Portal Brasil' (www.brasil.gov.br) -- the new official website of the Brazilian State.
"The world has entered a new era of open, interactive, real-time communication and with the launch of Brazil.gov.br, Brazil is ready to harness the opportunities presented by digital media to apply those qualities to official State communications," said Secretariat for Social Communication Minister Franklin Martins.
"Portal Brasil underlines our institutional beliefs in social equality and transparency. This website is one of the largest open-source undertakings ever attempted. We will use its flexible platform to quickly, efficiently and dynamically inform and communicate with local and foreign citizens of the world," he added.
The new e-government portal was launched in a ceremony held today in Brasilia headed by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and senior members of the Secretariat for Social Communication (SECOM) of the Presidency of Brazil.
The launch of Brasil.gov.br was overseen by SECOM with a total investment of US$ 4.1 million.
Dynamic Content for Dynamic Audiences
Portal Brasil aims to be a one-stop-shop for information on Brazil. Available in Portuguese, English and Spanish, the site's content is designed to meet the needs of both Brazilian citizens and foreign audiences, including: analysts, investors, private sector companies, media, academics, NGOs, students, tourists, and other groups.
To support these audiences, Brasil.gov.br is organized into 12 thematic channels covering: Brazil, Citizenship, Culture, Economy, Education, Environment, Geography, Health, History, Science & Technology, Sports and Tourism.
The site aims to not only inform, but also engage its users -- creating a collaborative platform that will be in constant evolution. To that end, Portal Brasil already includes 850 articles, a database of 6,000 photos, 40+ infographics, over 2,000 video and audio files, flash applications, user-generated content and customizable features.
New Multimedia Magazine
One unique area of Portal Brasil that distinguishes it from other e-government sites is its monthly multimedia magazine. This new outlet will provide informed insights into the heart of Brazil and its people, combining text, video, and infographic content to bring each story to life. User functions like voting and surveys and integration with social media platforms like YouTube and Twitter will further expand the reach and impact of the magazine.
Portal Brasil is built on an open-source CMS platform -- Plone with Zope application server -- that offers maximum functionality and security to the site. In order to fully realize Brazil's vision, the information architecture and programming of Portal Brasil had to be extensively customized, leading to unique programming technologies not yet seen anywhere else in the world.
This functional framework means that users can interact and impact the site in a number of ways, including: sending messages, questions, suggestions, complaints and/or compliments to Portal Brazil, commenting on the news and other content, uploading pictures to the collaborative photo gallery, reporting technical and content errors, sharing content with friends, integrating with other social media platforms like YouTube and Twitter, syndicating via RSS and bookmarking pages using the 'My Brazil' application.
The Right Time to Embrace the Web
"Portal Brasil is a central part of the State's efforts to provide information quickly and efficiently in the digital age, and the timing could not be more right for us. Domestically, we are responding to the tremendous growth of Internet usage and broadband penetration in Brazil over the past decade. Brazil currently has the largest online audience in Latin America, and the ninth largest in the world," commented Secretariat for Social Communication Minister Franklin Martins.
"Externally, we are aware of the increased global interest in Brazil -- not only in terms of investment, but as also as a result of the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, which we will host -- and so I hope our international friends and colleagues will take a moment to visit us at Brazil.gov.br. We look forward to increased connections with the world," he added.
About SECOM: The Secretariat for Social Communication (SECOM) of the Presidency of Brazil is responsible for coordinating the public relations activities for the government of Brazil.