Would you pay for Facebook? – GovLoop.com

Read the full post with comments here. Originally posted 10/3/12 at 4:54 pm.

Facebook has announced that it is starting a trial service that allows personal posts to be more visible…by paying $7.

Read the full article here on the Wall Street Journal online. (Also see within the article a link to the Facebook release.)

This service has been available for pages for a few months now, but it’s new to personal accounts. I’m thinking now we might formally begin to separate “classic” social media, whereby you connect with friends and other actual humans, and “commercial” social media where you connect with businesses. Where would government fit in?

What do you think? Is there ever a circumstance in which you’d pay for social media that has so far been free?

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The 4th of July was so much better in my day! – GovLoop.com

Read the full post with all comments here. Originally posted 6/27/12 at 10:30 am

I really wanted to write a post about Independence Day next week, but everything I thought of wound up being either really corny or already an article on Huffington Post, like what’s the connection between mattress sales and July 4, how do other countries celebrate their Independence Day without buying new lawn furniture on special, etc….

Then I thought about how I’ve celebrated July 4 in the past…free of home goods specials, limited time auto lease rates, and cell phones.

The internet tells me that most July 4 celebrations haven’t changed since the first official observance in 1777…patriotic speeches, fireworks and red, white and blue bunting. There’s something quaint about that kind of consistency.

As a child in summer camp in upstate New York we wore red, white and blue for the day, had a special hot dog and hamburger picnic cookout with those awesome rocket pops, and watched fireworks from the shore of the camp’s lake. In 2000 I was in London for the summer, and my traveling companion and I bonded with other Americans while we toured the home William Shakespeare may-or-may-not-have-lived-in. Two years ago I camped over night on the Appalachian Trail in a national park and feared the bears that probably were more afraid of me. Last year I watched at least 6 sets of fireworks with my neighbors from the roof of my new building right outside of DC.

(Fireworks on the right from the second of my obligatory 4th on the National Mall experiences in 2007)

Is there a “right” way to celebrate?

What are some of your favorite memories of July 4th celebrations from your past?

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Colorado Counties: Success and Challenges to New Media Use – GovLoop.com

Read the full post with comments here. Originally posted 6/21/12 at 1:30 pm

In April I wrote briefly about Commissioner Audrey Danner from Moffat County, Colorado and her efforts in using social media to connect with her constituents.

I had a chance to sit down with Commissioner Danner earlier this month at the Colorado Counties, Inc. summer conference and talk a bit more about Moffat County using Facebook and some of the challenges surrounding social media in general. Moffat County is in rural northwest Colorado. The county is almost the size of the state of Connecticut, yet has a population of only about 13,000. (Connecticut’s population….3.5 million.)

For the most part, Danner is alone in her use of Facebook at the county level. The two other county commissioners do not currently use social media tools to communicate, preferring to stick with more traditional methods for now. Though electronic communications do work for large segment of population, the commissioners feel that the kind of interactions that come from face-to-face communications still can’t be replicated online. County residents are encouraged to interact with the commissioners and have an opportunity to publicly address issues at the beginning of each commission meeting. The commissioners make other public appearances known so that residents can chat with them.

For Danner, her Facebook experience started as just a personal page a few years ago before her last campaign. She allowed citizens to be her friends online, and they got to know a bit about her. She said it made her “real” to her constituents, not just another elected official. She regularly shares county events and happenings, as well as what she does as a county commissioner, including budget meetings, economic development presentations, discussions on bringing broadband to Moffat County, etc. She sees it as an easy way for people to talk to her, make her easily accessible, encourage back and forth discussion in a more friendly manner than a formal commission meeting. The discussions on the page page are still professional, however, and if necessary she recommends discussion at county meetings or an e-mail message to discuss issues that might be better handled offline.

She is currently running for a second term as county commissioner and is considering a separate page for her upcoming reelection campaign to make the online separation between her current position and her campaign.

In the county offices, most Internet activity, especially social media, is prohibited by county staff while at work, mostly because of bandwidth issues. The biggest issue facing the county in this case, and many others like it, is rural broadband access. We talked at length about access issues gong back to the mid 1990s.

In my next piece, I will discuss rural broadband access, specifically in Colorado.

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Logos & Identity Part 1: Not just for your clients – GovLoop.com

RBM graphic designer Jack Hernandez and I teamed up to write this piece about the importance of logo and identity when promoting your business or government.


Read the full piece here on GovLoop.com

Have you considered logo and identity as a part of your agency’s or government’s brand?


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It’s hip to be square…when you’re a QR code – GovLoop.com

You know what QR codes are, right? They’re those little, weird looking squares that marketers are putting absolutely everywhere now to get you to check out their service, visit a web site, enter a contest, or get product information. When used correctly, they’re super cool.

I’ve seen a number of local governments using them recently with several different functions.

Click here to read the full post.

What are some interesting uses of QR codes that you’ve seen governments use? (Share a link or photo if you can.)

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