for those who would make a difference

Month: November 2010

Calling All Politicians: Stop Being Anti-Social! Be Social By Design!

What does the term “PC” mean to you? Politically correct? Wrong! “PC” means POLITICALLY CONNECTED! How connected are you to your constituents? The number one way to get real feedback and converse with the folks who elected you is through SOCIAL MEDIA!

The number one fail in political social media right now, and I don’t mean to be harsh, is @JoeManchinWV. The man who made me fall in love with politics isn’t following a soul on Twitter. I spoke with Senator Oliverio (Mike_Oliverio) last night, a future U.S. House of Reps member, and mentioned he might want to change his Facebook picture. Delegate Doug Skaff (dougskaff) asked me how much he should tweet.

With the youngest and sexiest United States Senator in office right now, West Virginia politicians need to know how to better utilize social media (or new media, whichever), to communicate with their constituents. Goodwin doesn’t even have a Twitter account.

The most recent political social media development in West Virginia, in my opinion, has been Speaker Thompson (@RT4WV) using his Facebook page to post statements regarding his views about what’s going on at the Legislature (@wvlegislature). Mannix Porterfield, a reporter, even asked the Speaker a question on his page and Thompson replied! He’s effectively using social media to communicate with both the media and constituents.

So all you politicians in the great state of West Virginia and across the United States, when you’re ready for my class on political social media, give me a call, 304.993.8464.

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We Need Governmental Transparency, Now More Than Ever

“Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.” -President Obama, 1/21/09

After reading a past Charleston Gazette (@wvgazette) article by Kate Long, it is extremely evident that this openness is exactly what West Virginia government is lacking. House of Delegates (@wvhouse) member Nancy Peoples Guthrie (@nguthrie4me), who is the chairwoman of the House stimulus committee, said, “There’s no reason for this to be cloaked in secrecy… it’s gotten beyond the point where ‘trust us’ is a sufficient answer.” (See full article here:

As an advocate of social media being a connection vehicle for politicians and their constituents, I’m alarmed I just might need to take my stilettos two steps back before taking another step forward. It appears elected officials from different branches of government need to be more social and communicative with each other. Long’s article clearly points out the lack of information sharing from the executive branch to the legislative branch.

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Sir Bonar outlines the forthcoming UK Government ICT Strategy at the Institute for Government

Sir Bonar Neville-Kingdom addresses an invited audience at the Institute for Government on the occasion of the launch of the publication “The Twitters of Sir Bonar Neville-Kingdom”. He spoke about the G-Cloud and the proposed Government Apps Store. Sir Bonar is accompanied by his secretary Patricia.

Gov 2.0 will make the world of government ICT Faster, Cheaper and Greener!

A bit more about Sir Bonar and his book according to Ideal Government: “The British civil service has taken to social networking like a duck to water, a new book to be launched this week proves. In another world first for British public-sector ICT, Permanent Secretary at Large Sir Bonar-Neville-Kingdom has allowed a year’s worth of his office’s output to the social networking site Twitter to be published in book form at

Formerly HM Government’s technology outreach Czar, Neville-Kingdom is currently data sharing Czar. He was also a former Ideal Government contributor, becoming in the process the first serving Permanent Secretary to blog in an open forum, before taking to Twitter in July 2009. He now has close to 1000 followers, including many women of a certain age with unusual names and a taste for lingerie.

His book has received a mixed reception. Internal research suggests it has an approval rating of 147% among Cabinet Office staff. And former Minister Tom Watson says that “understanding his mindset is among the most important tasks facing the British Government” Meanwhile Yes Minister author Antony Jay, whose latest play is currently touring, says Sir Humphrey would have envied the immense powers technology has put at Sir Bonar’s disposal, but appears to doubt whether the latter is able to use them wisely.”


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Event Review: GW’s Gov 2.0 Startup Lab

George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs hosted the Gov 2.0 Startup Lab on Friday, November 19, 2010. The free event was built around stimulating innovation and ideas around Gov 2.0, described by organizer Peter Corbett of iStrategyLabs as “a new methodology for governance and civic engagement based on transparency, open data, and citizen-driven innovation.”

After Corbett’s opening remarks came two Ignite-style presentations on competitions aimed at increasing development for open data:

The World Bank’s Gail Davenport discussed the Apps for Development competition, which challenges the public to create new software applications to help solve some of the world’s most pressing issues, as defined by the Millennium Development Goals.

John Rollins presented The George Washington University Business Plan Competition, that will award students a total of $50,000 in cash prizes. The competition is open to business plans of all types, though part of the stated goal of Gov 2.0 Startup Lab was to inspire business plans around citizen engagement goals. Link to full post on GovWin site.

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Video Highlights from 2nd Annual Adobe Government Assembly

Government employees and contractors gathered for the second annual Adobe Government Assembly on November 3rd to discuss the challenges and opportunities of implementing new technologies for open government. The theme for the event was Engage America and attended by roughly 450 people.

Please find below a listing and links to all of the other presentation videos from this event.

  • Morning Keynote – Shantanu Narayen, Adobe.
  • Blue Ribbon Panel – Alan Cohn, DHS; Tom Davis, Deloitte; Craig Kaucher, DoD; Gwynne Kostin, GSA.
  • Mobile Devices – Kevin Brownstein, McAfee; Andy Blumenthal, ATF; John Landwehr, Adobe. (spotty audio due to equipment issues)
  • Cloud – Thomson Nguy, Amazon; Avi Bender, U.S. Census Bureau; Mitch Nelson, Adobe; Marion Royal, Data.Gov.
  • Maximizing Your Web Presence – Loni Kao Stark, Adobe; Selene Dalecky, GPO; Ronnie Levine, DOI; Steven Webster, Adobe; Andrew Wilson, HHS.
  • Social Media – Bobby Caudill, Adobe; Wayne Moses Burke, Open Forum Foundation; Megan Kenny, DHS; Kay Morrison, EPA.
  • Afternoon Keynote & Awards – Barry Leffew, Adobe; David Plouffe, Author, The Audacity to Win, and Campaign Manager, Obama for President, 2008

Hope you find all of these interesting especially those focused on the web presence, social media, mobile and cloud aspects of Gov 2.0 deployment and citizen engagement.

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Open Gov West Recap: Change, Connect, Contribute

This week I took some time off and headed out to Victoria British Columbia so I could be a part of Open Gov West BC.

It was an absolutely amazing experience

I had the privilege of sharing the opening keynote with friend Walter Schwabe. Walter and I have an excellent rapport and wanted to shake things up a little bit, we wanted to try something different, we wanted to inspire immediate action. We didn’t just sit at the front of the room and talk down to audience from the riser. We walked among the crowd, armed with microphones, iPads, and a surprise.

Under the cover of darkness a few nights before the conference we created a group blog and invited everyone in the room, and those watching remotely to engage right now by changing, connecting, and contributing. We drove the theme home by telling everyone why we thought these things were so incredibly important.

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Introducing No Labels – Not Left. Not Right. Forward.

A new political movement called No Labels is preparing for launch in the United States.

Put the Labels Aside. Do What’s Best for America.

We are Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who are united in the belief that we do not have to give up our labels, merely put them aside to do what’s best for America.

Here’s a link to the No Labels website

Seems to bear resemblance to some of the ideas Ken Dryden is putting forward in his new book Becoming Canada…maybe there’s a No Labels North in the cards?

And below we have posted the No Labels Declaration

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Governments listening to what you say, and how you feel

Image by williamcho via Flickr

In many countries you vote as a method of expressing your opinion on your leaders, and on certain key issues. In some countries surveys, ideation platforms, and other methods are used to understand opinions without the requirement of implementing changes, simply as a tool to hear what citizens are thinking.

Singapore, however, is launching an effort to mine sentiment from social media, using tools developed by IBM.

This will enable the government of Singapore to gain a deeper understanding of how people feel about various topics through passive listening. Of course, it is important to remember that automated sentiment analysis is imperfect, but so too are manual surveys. It is also important to fully understand the demographic being monitored as it may not represent the right cross-section of citizens, and manual surveys may still be required.

However, it’s a good first step and certainly something that, balanced with other solutions, should help governments better understand how citizens feel about key issues.

John F. Moore

Government in the Lab

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Without Engagement Gov 2.0 Will Fail

For people who are on the cutting edge of the Gov 2.0 movement, we often forget that a majority of government employees are still not enthusiastic about the potential of the new social networking technologies in their workplace. Now many of these folks are using Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc. to keep up with their family and friends but haven’t made that conceptual leap from using these tools at their job (“Surveys see developing use of gov 2.0 tools in state and local government”; Human Capital Institute Study). There are several reasons for this but I argue that the largest cause is due to lack of engagement by government employees. Link to entire article

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Gov 2.? – Call it what you will. Labels, language, and the need for a compelling vision

It is emblematic of the times that nascent Gov 2.0 is without adequate descriptors readily accepted and simply described. This has less to do with the availability of labels than the fact that Gov 2.0 is a ship without a rudder— it still lacks a unifying theme and clearly articulated purpose behind the Gov 2.0 transformation. Gov 2.0 still means many things to many people—often different.

Social media, Gov 2.0 —going, going ……….?

It was bound to happen. “Social Media” an often-used term for all things Gov 2.0 is about to get the RIP. The influential Chris Dorobek started the mudslide last year with his Dorobek Insider column at Federal New Radio. Echoing his comments from the Sweet and Tweets Event from the night before, Chris challenged the term “social media” as the most appropriate representation of the Gov 2.0 movement. In his event commentary Chris asked: “Isn’t social media simply collaboration but in a different form? “

Dr. Mark Drapeau’s view was that “social media” might not be descriptive but that Gov 2.0 is about much more than simple “collaboration”. Jeff Levy weighed in on twitter questioning whether it all makes a difference at the moment while Andrew Krzmarzick authored on his govloop blog to suggest that the flagship term should be “knowledge media”. No More Social Media: It’s Knowledge Media. Then Nahon Gershon opined that more appropriately the rally moniker should be “new media” to connote neutrality. See, Social Media, What is in a Name?

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