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Before Sandy hit, I wrote briefly about Google’s use of a crisis map to help residents and responders.
Since then, we have seen actions across the social media boundaries that have helped those affected by Sandy.
- The Fire Department of New York had a one-woman Twitter response team. Emily Rahimi responded to cries for help when residents were unable to get through to 911 or 311.
- New York utility provider Con Edison also used social media to get out pertinent information and respond to customers.
- Philly311 greatly helped Philadelphia respond to questions and disseminate information.
And then there is Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey. I’ve written before about Mayor Booker’s use of Twitter. During Sandy and the ongoing recovery, Booker has tirelessly worked to respond to citizens and deliver necessary supplies to those in need. And when a woman messaged him that her power wasn’t on, he invited her and any other residents to stay at his home. He provided wi-fi, his DVD collection, power outlets to charge phones, heat, and food. Pretty incredible in this day and age. For a collection of his best tweets, check out this link.
I think folks, and governments and companies, are really seeing that social media is a two-way street that can work in their favor. But in most of these cases, it seems as if one or two dedicated individuals go beyond the call of duty to help people. And I wonder if the responses would have been the same without these vital employees.
Tidbits from the Transforming Local Government Conference by the Alliance for Innovation. A great read.
The Washington Post has a great article on the retirement of Tony Griffin, Fairfax County’s county executive:
As Fairfax County’s county executive for more than a decade, Griffin has quietly managed one of Virginia’s most diverse and dynamic jurisdictions, a suburb of more than 1 million people that covers nearly 400 square miles. Only one person has held the post longer.
I’ve had this link sitting in my inbox for a long time, and I’ve been meaning to post it. An Edmonton, Alberta, blog posted this interview with the City Manager on his year anniversary. I really like a lot of what Simon Farbrother implemented in Edmonton and his general mindset.
Yesterday Google announced that Kansas City, Kansas, would be the first city to participate in the Google Fiber project. The Google Fiber project seeks to bring 1-gigabit internet access to every house.
Google will have to reach an agreement with the Unified Board of Commissioners, but when that is completed they will work to roll out access to 50,000 to 500,000 residents of Kansas City, Kansas, at a competitive price.
You can read about the news from the New York Times, Government Technology, and the press release from the Unified Government of Kansas City, Kansas (pdf file).
I couldn’t be happier for the residents of Kansas City, Kansas. I worked for a year at the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, and it is a place with great citizens and great workers. Kansas City was hit pretty hard by the end of the industrial boom, and the city has never really recovered. I think Google Fiber will give them a leg up on other cities in attracting new businesses and great residents. I am extremely proud that Mayor Joe Reardon and the staff at the Unified Government won this project for their citizens.
“UGAKey.com is one of the most widely used sites in this category, particularly for the course registration process,” Hatfield said. “It is a popular tool with solid data.”
UGAKey.com Announces Acquisition by Koofers
Georgia Alumni Thank Users, Ensure Grade Data for Future
February 14, 2011
University of Georgia students have a new resource for choosing their courses and professors.
UGAKey.com, a website containing grades for most University of Georgia courses since 1999, will now be available from Koofers.
The eleven years of grade data previously available on UGAKey.com, along with several thousand syllabi, will now be accessible through Koofers.com, along with course textbook listings, professor reviews, and other services that Koofers brings to over 2,000 campuses nationwide.
UGAKey.com was developed by UGA alumni Chris M. Lindsey ‘08, Noah Mink ‘08, and Paul Ruddle ‘09. An original version of The Key was available on a Black Tie Party website in March of 2006, while UGAKey.com officially opened its doors on August 11, 2007.
“We created UGAKey.com to provide a service to UGA students,” said Chris Lindsey, UGAKey.com co-founder. “We’ve had a great time building and maintaining the site. But, as we’ve graduated from UGA, we’ve found less time to add the new features to the site that we’ve always dreamed of. Koofers will provide more great services to UGA students, at no cost.”
Fellow co-founder Paul Ruddle added, “We want to thank all the UGA students who have made UGAKey.com an invaluable part of their course registrations for more than five years. We know Koofers will continue to provide the important information you’ve come to expect from us, and we look forward to seeing what exciting new things they have in store.”
Chris M. Lindsey
Koofers, Inc. is a social learning company transforming higher education through student-driven, intercollegiate collaboration. Founded in 2008, Koofers empowers students to help each other learn by providing open and free access to: course materials, class and professor ratings, study aids and more.
GCN noted yesterday that the U.S. House of Representatives is moving to the open source Drupal content management system. The White House recently moved to Drupal also, which I have discussed here and here.
The founder of Drupal, Dries Buytaert, talked about the House move to Drupal and mentions the requirements:
- Accommodate hundreds of independent websites, each with different sets of features.
- Provide the ability to deploy new sites quickly and efficiently.
- Enable House Members to use the web designer or developer of their choice by leveraging the Drupal community.