Photo courtesy of Piqua, Ohio.

Piqua sets the civic example for cities of all sizes

GovFresh 2013 Small City of the Year Piqua, Ohio, is a shining example of the old adage “small is beautiful.” With its multi-pronged approach to engaging citizens, Piqua is proof that it doesn’t take a big city budget to execute big civic ideas.

2011 GovFresh Awards entries and voting now open

Every day, tech-minded citizens across the country are doing good by their communities, literally geeking out about how they can help re-define the relationship government has with its citizens, using technology as a democratic tool to empower both.

photo by freephotouk

USDOT in the social media slow lane

The U.S. Department of Transportation is officially nowhere to be found in social media circles, but DOT Secretary Ray LaHood is everywhere, including Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

Brad Fitch, Congressional Management Foundation

Social Congress and the 21st century legislator

How is it possible, in the 21st century, that I can Skype with friends in China, keep up with my friends across the country via Facebook and exchange messages with the CEO of a startup I admire on Twitter, but yet when I try to communicate with my members of Congress, it seems like everything I do is swallowed up by the black abyss?

311 Facebook

Best in SF government social media

The City of San Francisco over the last two years has aggressively embraced social media for marketing of government programs and initiatives, citizen engagement, and two-way communications. An important task for the next mayor is not only to preserve the vibrant ecosystem left by one of the U.S.’s most tech-savvy mayors, but to continue to advance government innovation in one of the world’s most tech-savvy cities.

Are the reasons for using Twitter different across party lines?

This post is meant to summarize a recent and well-publicized study of ours for those in the Gov 2.0 community who are interested in the key results, but do not have the time to read the paper.

It has been well documented that Republicans have a greater affinity to Twitter; despite the leading Twitter user being President Barack Obama, a Democrat. Our study asks: are the reasons for using Twitter different across party lines?

Social media, local gov and the National Association of Government Webmasters

Gov 2.0 Radio discusses social media and local government with Morris County, NJ, webmaster Carol Spencer, treasurer of the National Association of Government Webmasters. A veteran of IBM, Spencer calls social media the biggest revolution in technology since the personal computer. On government agencies blocking social media, she says, “You’re blocking access to the way people live.”

Why Twitter’s government outreach is a big win for the Gov 2.0 movement

For at least that past two years, a tiny yet fast-growing group of folks who call themselves “Gov 2.0 advocates” has worked tirelessly to spread a message that emerging technologies, low-cost communications and digital culture can reshape government to be more collaborative, transparent, efficient and connected to its citizens.

Guide to using Twitter

Gadi Ben-Yehuda, Social Media Director for the Center for the Business of Government, shares his insights into how government can better leverage Twitter.

Can Twitter reimagine democracy?

Twitter’s plan to hire a government liaison (its first DC employee) has set off a a tweetstorm from the U.S. Capitol to London to Tokyo, and likely a flood of resumes into the Web 2.0 firm’s SoMa offices. Some of the Gov 2.0 community’s brightest have already offered great suggestions for how this new Twitter position can serve official government social media, and, with Facebook’s recent stumbles, the lighter social network may have a real opening here.I look forward to commenting and continuing the discussion on Twitter and on friend’s blogs (check out the hashtag #twitgov), but here I wanted to offer a few thoughts on the political side of the equation.

Leveraging Social Media for Change

Stephen Goldsmith’s new book, The Power of Social Innovation: How Civic Entrepreneurs Ignite Community Networks for Good, written with Gigi Georges and Tim Glynn Burke, offers tools for innovative government and nonprofit professionals to develop and scale their new solutions to public problems. The book is based on Goldsmith’s experience as chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service for nine years under Presidents Bush and Obama, mayor of Indianapolis, and Professor of Government at Harvard Kennedy School. Relying also on interviews with more than 100 top leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, The Power of Social Innovation features illustrative case studies of civic leaders and entrepreneurs and the catalyzing role each plays in transforming a community’s social service delivery systems. The excerpt below—taken from Chapter 5 “Animating and Trusting the Citizen”—highlights innovative ways that private citizens, nonprofits and government officials are using digital media to “crowd source” or otherwise engage their communities in decision making and actual participation in solving their shared challenges.

Are you being social in real life?

Microsoft Director of Social Innovation Mark Drapeau discusses the importance of ‘real’ relationships in social media and asks government, ‘Are you being social in real life?’

A sound, simple government Twitter follow policy

Because there isn’t a consistent strategy around government Twitter follow lists, I’ve been thinking more about how agencies and municipalities can better leverage this feature to support citizens.

Some government agencies/municipals follow only related agencies and departments within the agency, as well as elected leaders and appointed executive officials. Others appear to follow whomever might be affiliated with the person managing the account or, worse, whomever follows them. Following everyone that follows you isn’t scalable and could potentially be perceived as an endorsement of that person or company’s product and services.