GovLoop T-Shirt Ready to Roll
Ed: Update - on sale now. Note that you can customize the color and shirt style, which changes the price up or down.
Gov 2.0: Positive Engagement
So how should the government communicate now that newspapers aren't covering local news? It's not like the news has stopped because the reporters are gone.
Personally, I've very excited about this coming shift. And I'm watching corporations adapt long before government. It's time to get on board.
When I'm on Twitter and I mention a brand, often they will engage me right there. And brands don't wait for a journalist to write about what they are doing - they go out there and market and tell people about it. It's time for the government to market itself and get back into direct interaction with citizens.
We Need Journalism - Can it Change in Time?
What do you think? Does traditional journalism deserve to survive in some form, and if so, what form?
I recently read a great book called The Future of Work, which posited the professional associations something like the Screen Actors Guild were one of the forms of sustainable employment. In this kind of scenario, professional journalists wouldn't have to be out there solo but would work cooperatively to pay for things like marketing and benefits. (Whether the ego of the average big-time journo could fit in such a structure ... but, I guess if the actors can do it.)
Then the other day, I was talking to a good friend and lifetime journalists closing out his career as a corporate speechwriter. He is just beseiged by all the content forms on the Internet and unsure of its authority. A professional journalists seal of approval could solve that.
Are you on Facebook and Twitter? Finding that being active on both takes a bit of work and sometimes ends in writing the same things on both networks? There is a better way, and it's not using the Twitter app in Facebook to pull your tweets into your status bar.I recently wrote why I think it's a very bad idea to send Twitter updates to Facebook. For one thing, Twitter updates are multilingual - with their own funky vernacular and symbols, and lots of links, while Facebook statuses are generally informal and personal. But the nice thing is, Facebook statuses fit right into the Twitter stream. And you'll do fine sending your Facebook status updates there. I’m doing it now, using and . As an extra note, uncheck the "Include item link" box at TwitterFeed.
What do you think?
Quick Tip: Customizing your Profile Links
What Are Your Networks Accomplishing?
The biggest thing that hit me today is the short life of technology. Truthfully, I got thinking about that last night, when I saw someone refer to a Twitter hashtag as "the financial room." I saw that as a clear, if possible unconscious, reference to the old AOL chat rooms. I've increasingly seen signs that folks are using Twitter like AOL, and we know how much that company changed the world as we know it for the better. Yes, I kid.
My friend gently pointed out that any efforts to rise to the top of an online network are somewhat futile, because the technology is changing so fast that what we master now might not even be around in a few years. He also paraphrased the old Tip O'Neill line to point out that my most meaningful activities - in general - are going to be the local ones. He recommended using the things I'm learning and talents I'm developing through networking to help the people right in front of me.
I want to help and influence people, and I want to learn from them. Being popular on Twitter, LinkedIn, GovLoop, Facebook et al may not be the best way to accomplish those goals. I've got to remember that.
How Do You Use Your Networks?
My social networking is perhaps not as thought out at it could be, but let me open up a bit on which networks I actively use and why.
: I used LinkedIn as a open professional resume, a place to recommend people I've worked with, and to connect to colleagues, business partners, professionals with shared interests, and people who might want to hire my friends or who I think I might be good future service providers (attorneys, insurance agents and the like). I'm also active in several groups for private investigators, where we connect, collaborate and share strategy and key resources. If I've helped you out or worked with you and you'd like to recommend me here, I value that.
Facebook: I use this network to stay in touch with and reconnect with friends from my personal and professional life. I have many close friends here, so I am a bit selective with who I add. I also use this network to share interesting news and projects I am working on, and it has most of my local contacts.
GovLoop: I use this Government 2.0 network to get feedback on projects and to connect with other public employees. I find it to be a very valuable resource, and fun too.
: My Twitter practices really morph from month to month and week to week, and likely will continue to do so. I use Twitter primarily to connect with communities of interest, of which I have many. This includes Government 2.0 and social media folks, inspirational and spiritual people, trail runners, private investigators, journalists, and other niches. I use the network to get ideas, share what I'm up to, from the mundane to the serious, and to get feedback on my blog posts (it's very good for this, if used actively). I've linked my Facebook status to Twitter, and generally follow back anyone who fits my communities of interest. My Twitter contacts are people I've not met in person, but many of whom I interested in knowing better. I am a very active Twitter user, which means that people without at least a few hundred connections, or who like to read everything in their feed, find that my updates overwhelm their Twitter feed. If that's you, don't follow me but send me an invite on one of my other networks if you'd like to be connected.
According to popular lore, many people were to Twitter in April 2008, when a freelance journalist arrested while covering a demo in Egypt used his friends to alert the State Department, which quickly obtained his release. (he hit the for at least part of today) tells me he first started using the microblogging service as part of a local movie club he belonged to, using SMS messages to connect.
I first heard of Twitter while investigating the Christmas 2007 tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo. In early 2008, I was reviewing phone records and notices a bunch of SMS entries. Turns out they were Twitter messages.
I heard the Egyptian jail Twitter story on NPR, and in the latter half ot 2008 opened an account. I became active on Twitter during the Obama campaign, live blogging debates and such. My participation with GovLoop, the social network for Government 2.0, changed my usage as I met many innovative Twitter users, including Herzog.
One of the best descriptions of why I like Twitter I will there: "Twitter is about people you want to know better."