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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Pay your tax bills online! Yay! Oh…wait… – GovLoop.com

Read the full post with comments here. Originally posted 8/15/12 at 2:00 pm.

Last weekend I received my personal property tax bill from my friendly county treasurer. (Argh. Car tax!) A day later I received an e-mail reminder about it, with a link to pay online at the Arlington Customer Assistance Payment Portal (CAPP) here https://capp.arlingtonva.us/

From the site:

Sign up now! With your own CAPP profile you can:

  • Receive email reminders for bills
  • Sign up for automatic bank payments
  • View your assessment and payment history
  • Provide us with a new mailing address or other info.
  • Pay and file business taxes, renew dog licenses, and more!

To sign up online you must have a valid email address and be an Arlington County taxpayer (owners of real estate, vehicles, businesses, or licensed dogs).

I signed in, brought up my bill, and paid it. Almost painless, aside from having the car tax in the first place. I’ve mentioned before that I’m glad I live in Arlington, and this is one of the reasons. Easy access to online services. Several months ago I asked about your last non-tax interaction with your local government. Well, now I’m asking about taxes!

Does your county or city offer online bill payments or other online services and if so, do you take advantage of them? If you’re not sure, take a few minutes to go to their web sites and share what you’ve learned in the comments below.

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What is the citizen’s responsibility? – GovLoop.com

Read the full post with all comments here. Originally posted 7/26/12 at 10:39 am

I’m in Winchester, Kentucky now, visiting my friend Commissioner Rick Smith and his lovely wife Suzy. Rick has been an elected official in Clark County for more than twenty years. They are lifelong residents; Rick is a cattle farmer, Suzy is a former speech pathologist and they are involved in the community. We had a nice chat last night over dinner about citizen involvement and responsibilities.

Most people know, or think they know, what the elected official’s responsibilities are to the public. They serve the public good and provide services that will benefit the community in an honest and open manner. I asked Rick what he thought the citizen’s responsibilities to the public are in this context. Quite simply, he feels that it is everyone’s duty to vote. How sad that around 40% of eligible voters nationwide and 20% of eligible voters in Clark County come out to vote. Rick would like this to change. Voting determines leadership and future projects. With a population of approximately 34,000, decisions in Clark County are made by those individuals voters trust to act responsibly for the fiscal and social health of the county. More voices might make those in office nervous, but greater public involvement in the democratic process will lead to a better community.

What do you think? Do you agree with Commissioner Smith that an increase in voting will lead to overall improved citizen experiences? What is the public’s responsibility?

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