08 5 / 2013
“Small towns themselves are not silent prisoners of old technology – many of the most innovative communities I’ve worked with have fewer than 20,000 people. These communities are the BEST positioned to try technology, fail, pivot and settle upon working solutions because of their size and the familiarity of their residents. It is our job to make making these steps forward painless.” - Caitria O’Neill, Co-founder and CEO of Recovers
Read more about “thinking small” on the Recovers blog
04 5 / 2013
“To keep up with the needs of citizens, governments need to be able to keep up with technology and move at the speed of the internet.” - Jed Sundwall (@JedSundwall), Co-founder of MeasuredVoice (@MeasuredVoice)
Read Sundwall’s post, Navigating Procurement, Startup Style on the Huffington Post.
29 4 / 2013
“Contrary to what a few cynics might believe, the name ‘Excellence in Government’ isn’t meant to be ironic.” - Excellence in Government Staff
29 4 / 2013
Civic San Diego is pursuing a pilot program to spur economic development in targeted areas along transit corridors.
See on voiceofsandiego.org
25 4 / 2013
If government wants to be forward-thinking, it will adopt strategies to deal with a range of technology trends businesses are already taking into account.
See on fedscoop.com
24 4 / 2013
We live in a hyper-connected world. It’s no surprise that in the wake the Boston Marathon bombings, the media is discussing the implications of using social media as a disaster unfolds. As I consider the experts’ opinions, I can’t help but to reflect upon how the advent of social networks has changed how I respond to emergency situations.
I grew up in the New York City enclave of Fairfield County Connecticut. On September 11, 2001, I was a junior in high school. More than half of my friends and classmates had parents who worked in or near the World Trade Center. It isn’t hard to imagine what happened after the Principal announced over the loudspeaker that despite learning of terrorist attacks in New York, we should go about our day as normal: chaos ensued.
I immediately tried to contact my mom on my cell phone to no avail. In fact, I remember the exact words of the pre-record message I heard over and over as I pushed redial: “all circuits are busy. Please try your call again later. This is a recording. Two oh three, one two oh.”
It was the same story for virtually all of my peers. The phone lines were jammed throughout the day and the only option for many was to wait at the commuter train station for hours, praying for loved ones to arrive on the next train.
At the same time, town officials were scrambling to provide the public with information. Hundreds of residents tried to contact local law enforcement to report missing persons and to ask for instructions on what to do next. My parents, both police officers in our town of about 18,000, were part of a coordinated response, but because citizens were having trouble connecting with emergency responders, it was a long and frustrating process. There was simply no way to quickly and efficiently disseminate information to citizens.
Fast forward to August 23, 2011. I was in my apartment in Northwest Washington DC and felt the earth shake beneath my feet. Aside from the two pictures that fell off the wall, I was fine. But I didn’t have any idea what was happening. Was it a terrorist attack? A really large dump truck? Were my friends and family okay? Just as it had been ten years earlier, my first instinct was to make a call using my cell phone. Again, the phone lines were jammed. So, I logged on to popular social media sites.
I learned through tweets posted by both official and unofficial sources that I had just experienced my first earthquake. I turned to Facebook to post the message that I was okay, and then scrolled through my newsfeed until I was certain that pretty much everyone I knew was safe as well. Ten minutes after the earthquake I knew what was going on, had connected with friends and family, and headed downstairs to the local watering hole to enjoy a cocktail and watch the news.
The aftermath of the September 11th attacks was much different from that of the earthquake. Still, for me the first few moments of both felt very similar: the panic, the fear, and the sense of urgency to connect to loved ones. On September 11th I did not have an easy way to connect and there was just no easing that initial wave of panic. When confronted with a possible disaster situation ten years later I was quickly calmed by the information I obtained and to disseminate via Facebook and Twitter.
There’s no denying the value of social media when it comes to quickly and efficiently sharing and gathering information in the first few minutes of a crisis. There’s also no denying the complications that arise; but that’s a different story.
14 4 / 2013
So interesting to read the many Government 2.0/Open Government quotes that are decades and even centuries old.
See on openinggovernment.org
11 4 / 2013
10 4 / 2013
“To a generation that takes it for granted that they can do (and should be able to do) most things easily and immediately online, the traditional structures of civic participation can feel byzantine, and the potential impacts of participation can feel too distant and too small given the effort and time required to produce them. But that doesn’t mean we don’t care.” - Tamir Novotny
Read Novotny’s post, “Millennials, Civic Engagement and Civic Tech: Report-Back on Louisville Kickoff (Part I of II”) on Living Cities The Catalyst