Austin

ArchiveSocial helps keep government social media on the record books

ArchiveSocial

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What

ArchiveSocial

Give us the 140-character elevator pitch.

ArchiveSocial enables public sector organizations to embrace social media by minimizing risk and eliminating compliance barriers.

What problem does ArchiveSocial solve for government?

Laws requiring “freedom of information”, and hence record retention, are critical for government transparency. Governments at all levels are struggling with social media records, and most are non-compliant. It is often cited as a top 5 technology issue, and many public entities are limiting usage or refraining from social media entirely.

ArchiveSocial eliminates the compliance risk that is (a) preventing some government agencies, especially at the municipal level, from having any social media presence, and (b) preventing those agencies that do have social media accounts from fully engaging with citizens and not just using these platforms as one-way communications tools.

Citizens benefit from increased engagement with their government, and the promise of government transparency (i.e. freedom of information) being fulfilled.

What’s the story behind starting ArchiveSocial?

In 2011, Anil Chawla was developing consumer social media applications when he stumbled upon the idea for ArchiveSocial. It was clear that social media had become an “official” communication channel for most businesses and government agencies, but that these organizations were struggling with record keeping.

He originally intended ArchiveSocial for private businesses in regulated industries, but while talking to a friend at a brewery, heard that some government colleagues were copying and pasting tweets in order to satisfy open records requirements. As it often happens with beer, he had a eureka moment: retention of social media records was becoming a major pain-point across the public sector, and ArchiveSocial had exactly the right technology to solve it.

ArchiveSocial started a pilot archive with the North Carolina State Archives — a leader in digital preservation efforts — in early 2012, and soon after we began reaching out to municipal governments. Within a year, ArchiveSocial had acquired state & local government customers across more than a dozen US states and was archiving social media for federal agencies such as U.S. National Archives. We also worked with government partners such as North Carolina, South Carolina and the City of Austin to launch Open Archives of their social media records. The strong need for our technology, and the overwhelmingly positive response in government, inspired us to focus on the public sector and ultimately led us to joining the Code for America accelerator this year.

What are its key features?

ArchiveSocial is a robust social media archiving solution that goes well beyond a simple data capture to ensure that records are maintained in a forensically sound fashion. It archives additional content related to the record such as high-resolution photos and background images. It preserves relationships between records and ensures that the necessary context is maintained in the archive. Most importantly, ArchiveSocial is designed so that government agencies can easily locate and make sense of the records when they need them.

ArchiveSocial is a pure SaaS solution, and allows any sized organization to start archiving in minutes with zero IT deployment.

What are the costs, pricing plans?

Customers pay based on the number of records they produce in a month, starting at $49 per month for up to 100 records. We offer a free 30 day trial (no credit card required) on our website.

How can those interested connect with you?

Video

2011 GovFresh Public Servant of the Year: Matthew Esquibel

2011 GovFresh Public Servant of the Year Matthew Esquibel

Photo courtesy of Matthew Esquibel

Fresh off off getting recognized as the 2011 GovFresh Awards ‘Public Servant of the Year,’ we asked the City of Austin’s Matthew Esquibel, Programmer Analyst Supervisor for Internet/Intranet Web Design in the Office of Communications & Technology Management, to share more about his work.

What are you working on in Austin that inspires you most?

We just launched a new Open Source website (austintexas.gov) and Open Data Portal (data.austintexas.gov) this week. It was the culmination of a lot of work between the city and the community and puts Austin in a great position to advance our goals of transparency, efficiency and collaboration. It is great to work with a variety of teams and individuals who believe so strongly in these initiatives. I am particularly excited about the City of Austin’s 2012 partnership with Code for America and look forward to working with them to bring great solutions to Austin.

What general trends do you see in government technology and open government that are changing the way government works?

I think there is a strong trend to try and learn lessons from the private sector and startup companies and to figure out how to apply those strategies to how government does business. It is clear that there is a large gap between the agility and innovation you typically find in a startup company and the business-as-usual approach often found in government. Focusing on open platforms, open data,agile project methodologies and collaborative community/non-profit partnerships–government is finding ways to do things smarter and we are starting to see the positive effect.

What big plans does Austin have for 2012?

2012 is all about building on the open platform and data initiatives we started this year. In many ways, our work in these areas is just beginning. We are obviously very excited about our partnership with Code for America and know that this relationship will really help keep the momentum going. We definitely want to show the world that being open to new solutions and partnerships will lead to great things for Austin and government in general.

Who gets a shout-out?

I definitely want to recognize the leadership at the City of Austin who have embraced open platform and data initiatives–it is crucial to have support at all levels to be successful. I also want to thank the web project team leaders Chris Florance and Charles Purma who never gave up on helping to push these initiatives forward–and the staff of the web team who did all the awesome work to implement them. Also, the Austin community, particularly OpenAustin, for being an articulate and energizing force. Raja, the Master Blaster! And finally, Mackenzie Kelly, a neighbor I have never met, but appears to be equally deserving of this honor.

Connect with Matthew on LinkedIn and Twitter at @escribbles and Austin Government at @austingovonline.

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