More from Medium on Gov Tech

Medium is posting even more about government tech. After the post about the “Alpha Geeks” in the White House Chief Technology Officer’s office, they’ve followed up with one on the people behind the US Digital Service (titled Stock Options? Don’t Need ‘Em! I’m Coding For Uncle Sam!) and another on how they’re working (A Government Techie’s Promise on Improving the Immigration User Experience: Yes, We’re Serious).

Like I said, Medium is on fire recently. Also, I love their signup and login process (no passwords)!

The Importance of Social Media for Gov

Dan Pfeiffer, former Senior Advisor to the President, took to Medium yesterday to talk about the importance of President Barack Obama’s new Twitter account, @POTUS. He makes three key points:

  1. Twitter (and really, social media in general) is the place to talk to the public.
  2. You have to “go where the conversation is happening” and “actively participate in it”.
  3. The President will have to be active on Twitter for this to work. He also notes, “Anything that breaks down barriers and brings the public and politicians closer together is a good thing.”

These apply to governments and not just politicians. Maybe even more so. It’s about time to stop pretending that public hearings, press releases (and newspapers), and town halls are the best place to interact with citizens. Those are three ways to meet your residents. I mentioned on Twitter last week, I think govs should use both online and newspaper channels (and every other way possible) to reach citizens.

My Local Government Motivation

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If you work in local government management and ever need a motivational boost, these are the sources I look back to:

L.P. Cookingham on his management philosophy, originally published in ICMA’s Public Management magazine in 1956. Also see the ELGL’s post on the topic.

The Effective Local Government Manager from ICMA.

This City, This Man: The Cookingham Era in Kansas City by Bill Gilbert.

Gov Social Media Authenticity

https://medium.com/backchannel/the-man-who-made-obama-viral-1c06bc3c8760

On the need for authenticity in social media for gov folks:

It has to be an engagement strategy of actually, like, going back and forth with people, responding to people who disagree with you, or thanking people who say nice things or favorite their tweets. That’s not a natural thing for folks in government because it’s not really what people are trained to do. There’s risk involved and your goal as someone who works in the White House or anywhere in government is to keep yourself off the front page of the newspaper and not get unwanted attention.

The Queen Of Code, Grace Hopper

FiveThirtyEight has a great video about Grace Hopper, one of the first computer programmers or coders in the world. Her first tech related job title was actually “Computer”. Those were crazy times as modern computing was being founded. Hopper retired from the United States Navy as a rear admiral in 1986. She was the oldest active-duty commissioned officer in the United States Navy. She is also featured prominently in a book I recently read, the The Innovators by Walter Isaacson.

I wish I could embed the video here, but go watch it at FiveThirtyEight and learn about one of the pioneers of computing.