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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Will QR codes everywhere lead to a tourist boom for Gibraltar? – GovLoop.com

Read the full post with all comments here. Originally posted 9/19/12 at 3:51 pm

A colleague who knows of my love of properly used QR codes just sent me this article about the city of Gibraltar. They will be placing QR codes at tourist attractions around the city that link to Wikipedia pages about that location.

Volunteers will be writing articles in several languages about important locations around the city, and officials are considering offering free WiFi for those concerned about roaming costs.

Read the full story here on the BBC web site.

What do you think of this idea? How can Gibraltar’s local government leverage success to benefit city residents?

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The individual approach to social media – GovLoop.com

Read the full post with comments here. Originally posted 9/13/12 at 12:26 pm

Jack Hernandez, Red Boot Media’s Graphic Designer, shared some of his thoughts on designing a social media strategy for a client recently. We weren’t sure if it was his years of work with local government or his partnership with Red Boot Media that helped him craft this advice, but we thought it would be great to share either way!


Each client has a unique approach to social media and how they can use it, not just for the sake of social media but to benefit from it realistically. Here is how I approached a client recently when he asked me how relevant using social media would be for his business. His publicity manager had neglected to utilize Facebook effectively and because of that, he got the impression that Facebook had gone the way of Myspace.

Clients who aren’t social media savvy can easily be misled by others who don’t know quite what they’re doing themselves. My client asked me if Twitter was “good.” At that point I resolved to come up with a list of questions and suggestions that help him consider how Social Media would benefit him and which tools he would specifically find useful.

It’s not enough to come up with a basic list of questions and answers. The question “Who is your audience?” may be important, but it’s vague, and without pointing it out, a client may not realize who can potentially be his/her audience. Explain your suggestions and questions based on your client’s specific goals and product. Don’t be generic.

What do you personally hope to achieve through social media?
Ask yourself this without worrying about the limitations of technology and current social media capabilities. More than likely, there is a solution that will enable you to meet (and excel) those goals. Do you need a Facebook app that is effectively your web site? Do you want to link videos and open up a YouTube account? Really…anything is possible.

Who is your target audience(s)?
Your site is catered to a very niche clientele. Your Facebook page broadens the audience in that it makes your product more visible to others who are on Facebook, not just your friends but friends of those friends. People in the industry who start off on your official site also are drawn to your Facebook page for updates and developments. Through social media, you can update your audience with real-time developments and post images for visual impact. Twitter is a great if you intend to make very frequent real-time updates such as attending a conference or describing your activities throughout a big event.

Maximizing the social media coverage and broadening the target audience:
You have different sub-companies for each of your products. But you may consider having your Facebook business page represent all your products in general. The space available for your main graphic is large enough for to design something snazzy that will incorporate all your logos and a slogan. This will allow you to direct all your site visitors (from all your sites) to a central social media page where you can make more frequent updates.

Differentiating between your personal page and the business page:
It’s up to you to update your posts on the business page. If posts on your personal page highlight you receiving awards or going to conventions should be posting first on the business page, including images. From your business page, you can share your posts on your personal page, and potentially draw more “fans” to your business page.

Updating and maintaining:
In order to keep your Facebook page active, you need to be active. A few posts a week is a good way to update people and keep your product in their minds. More posts and gallery images if you’re attending a conference or receiving recognition for your achievements. Remember to reply to comments and questions that people post on your page. Social media is a dialogue!

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Thanks for the old news, Twitter – GovLoop.com

Read the original post with comments here. Originally posted 9/3/12 at 1:57 pm

A few weeks ago I noticed that Twitter kicked up their e-mail notifications. Because I have my “professional” Twitter account (@RedBootMedia….follow me and I’ll follow you back!), a personal account and an account I share with friends in a social group, I didn’t want to receive and e-mail each time I received a mention or direct message. That worked well until recently.

Now I receive not only a message about each new follower, but I have also been getting “@XYZ and 12 others have Tweets for you!” e-mails for all of my accounts. I’m sure they DO have Tweets for me, but most of them are either several days old or they are actually communications those accounts have with other users. I see almost no value to these e-mail round up messages.

Now, I’m a big fan of Twitter, so I’m a little confused by this move. Isn’t the point of this tool to have up-to-the-minute information? If I missed a week old “Top Tweet” what are the chances that information would be of value to me now? Does Twitter just want to send followers more e-mail?

Do you get these new messages from Twitter? Do you think the in-case-you-missed-it idea has value in the Twitter medium?

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Have you called or used emergency services? – GovLoop.com

Read the full post with comments here. Originally posted 8/9/12 at 6:42 pm

This morning a friend of mine saw a car on fire across from his office in Alexandria, Virginia. He was so excited to call for help that he posted about it on Facebook. (He’s a big fan of local government services.)

Late last summer I was driving on a major road immediately behind a car that was T-boned as it made a turn at a traffic light. I called 911 right away and Fairfax County police arrived within about 4 minutes and three ambulances were right behind them. I wound up there for over an hour, talking to the police with other witnesses.

Thankfully, I haven’t used emergency services for myself. I’m very grateful that we have access to these first responders should they be needed. Many local jurisdictions levy fees or taxes on everyone to pay for emergency services, such as an additional dollar or two on a (land line) phone bill, or a fee for usage. Montgomery County, Maryland recently approved the Emergency Medical Transportation Insurance Reimbursement Act that will charge for county emergency ambulance services, usually paid by private insurance or Medicaid or Medicare. The fee was initiated due to the rise in demand and rise in cost of emergency services. Read all about it on the county’s web site here.

Have you ever called 911? Does your jurisdiction impose an additional fee to use emergency services?

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