Egyptian Streets: Why Egyptian Minister Rania Al-Mashat’s Social Media Activity Matters. “My lack of attention to the other political figures in Egypt and their work could be explained by their little to very much absent activity online. Each time I searched a name, it was mainly the ministry’s main page that would come up, or a poorly activated social media account….Yet Rania Al-Mashat’s social media activity, on the other hand, is active, managed, and distinctive from the official ministry’s account. Though I did not track her increase of followers or engagement over time, one can simply look at the comments and reactions to her posts and recognize how her social media activity is building a profile for her and her work.
New York Times: Why Random Government Accounts Are All Over Your Timeline. “Earlier this month… the San Antonio Water System, which regulates the water utilities for the Texas city, tweeted a joke about Baby Yoda reaching to flush the toilet. In October, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer fired off a tweet about clogging a friend’s toilet using an image of the widely memed Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Department of Transportation in Northern Virginia used a GIF of a confused German shepherd to ask drivers to refrain from speeding.”
Mashable: In the internet era, public libraries are more vital than ever. “Back in 2018, Forbes sent Twitter into fury with a now-retracted column. Its big idea: Amazon should replace libraries because it has ‘provided something better.’ The Kindles, Netflixes and Starbucks of the world have rendered libraries obsolete, the author suggested; monetizing libraries would not only save taxpayer money but also bolster Amazon’s stockholder value. Librarians and activists are fighting hard against this idea. In fact, they’re making the case for why libraries are even more important in a world redefined by companies like Amazon.”
KJZZ: New Website Lets Citizens Comment On Proposed Bills In Arizona Legislature. “A website maintained by the Arizona Legislature has a full rundown of proposed new laws, amendments to proposals, and even the roll-call votes in committees and on the floor. But it’s even more interactive than that. One function of the website allows people not only to watch hearings but even sign in to ‘testify’ for or against measures, all without making the trek to the Capitol.”
Route Fifty: A State’s Sassy Approach to the Social Media Game. “With a ‘your mom’ joke and a lot of state-specific content, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s digital team tackles Twitter in a whole new way (while also getting serious when the news is serious).”
The Regulatory Review: Making Guidance Available to the Public. “Regulatory agencies frequently issue guidance documents to help the public understand their policies better. But such guidance documents can only help those members of the public who can find them. Unfortunately, in some cases, guidance needs to be made more readily accessible to the public. That is the message of a recent recommendation issued by the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), a government agency dedicated to finding ways to improve administrative processes in the federal government.”
BBC: How a social network could save democracy from deadlock. “Whether it is the daily Brexit face-offs, the endless scandals on Capitol Hill or the yellow vests of France, the space for meaningful compromise has dramatically shrunk. Instead, it’s a time of digging in, fighting your corner, staying the course. No surrender. It signals a deeper malaise – as electorates become more polarised, democracies become more paralysed. Yet what if it doesn’t need to be this way? What if new ways can be found to break deadlocks and bring electorates back together?”