Chicago Tribune: For elected officials in Northwest Indiana, social media serves as a help line and a sounding board. “When I contacted Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik at 9:49 p.m. on a Tuesday, she was responding to a taxpayer via Facebook. The taxpayer sent Urbanik a message about a tax bill through the auditor’s Facebook page earlier that day. ‘Though I can’t access her tax information right now, I believe the issue deals with her assessed value, so I am explaining the appeal process,’ Urbanik told me.”
Museum 2.0: The Art of Relevance is Now Available For Free on the Web (and Here’s Why). “It’s finally here! You can now read all the chapters in The Art of Relevance for free online. I hope you’ll enjoy this resource and share it widely (with attribution)…. The chapters are short stories, and most can stand alone. Take five minutes and learn how the Science Museum in London created better experiences for deaf visitors. Or how Food What?! unlocks relevance for disinterested teenagers. Or how Felton Thomas fought the library union to make the Cleveland Public Library matter more.”
The Daily Pennsylvanian: Two Penn alumni launch VOHTE — a ‘one-stop shop’ for voters to get info on all candidates. “2014 Wharton graduate Sean Danowski and 2014 Penn Law graduate Dafan Zhang recently launched VOHTE — a mobile-friendly website that will act as a resource for Pennsylvania voters looking to learn more about candidates in their district. Zhang said he came up with the idea for VOHTE after running for State House in 2014 while simultaneously studying at Penn Law. Zhang, who said he did not have a large campaign fund, ended up losing the election, and said in an interview with The Daily Pennsylvania that he saw his inability to reach voters as a systematic problem.”
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya: Crisis Management through Twitter: The Case of the Barcelona Attacks. “This article explores how the Government of Catalonia managed the emergency scenario during terrorists attacks of August 2017 (from 17th to 22nd ) in Barcelona. Twitter was used for public services, Mossos d’Esquadra (the police force of Catalonia) and the Government of Catalonia Civil Defence, as an essential tool to broadcast information, secure people’s security and drive the investigation. We gathered the network of Twitter posts and interactions, with tens of thousands of users, who helped spreading the information, and applied a social network analysis (SNA) methodology to conclude how those users contribute on the crisis management. In this investigation, we have focused on two questions: How does information diffusion spread during this crisis? And who are the actors that contribute to the expansion? This article aims to inform and explore how public services can use social media to handle crisis of any kind, taking advantage of citizens for spreading information that could contribute to a safer and quicker crisis resolution.” The article is a PDF and is in English.
Eurasianet: Azerbaijani Government Taps Social Media to Woo Youth. “Last August, a new, Azeri-language media brand appeared on Facebook and immediately became a favorite among young Azerbaijanis. Bele Bele Ishler – roughly translated as ‘Stuff Like This’ – offers informative, lively social media videos on history and culture. In just six months, Bele Bele Ishler garnered 190,000 Facebook followers, a remarkable success by Azerbaijani standards.”
NextGov: The Unsung Heroes of Digital Government. “In the tech and startup world of massive companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google, this approach is second nature; meeting their users’ needs is built into their DNA. But in government environments, we’re just beginning to see how the discipline of product management is vital to supporting and accelerating the success of projects that can positively impact millions of Americans. The best part? The talent to make this happen may already be in your organization or department.” I know this seems a little weird for RB, but I love the argument that management of technology is absolutely critical to success, as opposed to “Oh look cool tech let’s throw it out there.”
MIT Technology Review: Social networks are broken. This man wants to fix them.. “Ethan Zuckerman studies how people change the world, or attempt to, by using social media or other technological means. As director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT and an associate professor at the MIT Media Lab, he tries to help his students make sense of these issues. Zuckerman is also writing a book about civic engagement during a time when we have a lot less trust in institutions—government, businesses, banks, and so on.”