- Twitter (and really, social media in general) is the place to talk to the public.
- You have to “go where the conversation is happening” and “actively participate in it”.
- 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.
Design isn’t risky — change is. Good design mitigates that risk.
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.
From Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators:
Stallman’s free software movement was imperfectly named. Its goal was not to insist that all software come free of charge but that it be liberated from any restrictions. “When we call software ‘free,’ we mean that it respects the users’ essential freedoms: the freedom to run it, to study and change it, and to redistribute copies with or without changes,” he repeatedly had to explain. “This is a matter of freedom, not price, so think of ‘free speech,’ not ‘free beer.'”
We in the United States cannot come close to the return to leadership that the United States had 45 years ago, and shortly thereafter.
There is nothing more clear than an a unanimous Supreme Court opinion and a statement like this at the end of a decision (pdf file):
Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant.
And that was my single biggest frustration during my time at the city — we were constantly using 20th century answers to problems that required a 21st century solution.
In departing, I wanted to share what I’ve learned about coding for America. At the end of the day, it’s not merely about technology and cities; instead it is about the optimism technology confers and the meaning that cities make us crave. What defines this movement is an unyielding belief in the possible. A constant and a fervent desire to try new things, to push new boundaries, to do important work. That’s rare, and that’s special.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, on NSA surveillance allegations:
This is why I’ve been so confused and frustrated by the repeated reports of the behavior of the US government. When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we’re protecting you against criminals, not our own government.
The US government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat. They need to be much more transparent about what they’re doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst.