Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category

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Hartford Police Department’s Social Media Experience

July 18, 2008

Speaker: Nancy Mulroy – Hartford Police Department’s Public Information Officer

Topic: From the past to the present: How to gain social media success

Nancy is a former attendee of the social media conference and in a very short amount of time after attending she has been able to bring social media to the Harford Police Department. She emphasized the “one step at a time” approach. At first the Dept. brought RSS feeds to the websites and she sold the local press and media on their use vs. conventional listserv technology. It took approximately a week to develop the RSS feed with a few hours from an internal developer.

As the possible benefits of social media became apparent, police chief Daryl Roberts started a blog to gain trust with the community, work with people and address the need for help solving certain crimes in the area.

Nancy recommended using a three E approach when changing your organization:

  • Explore
  • Engage
  • Enlighten

Nancy’s involvement came in part with the Web Governance Committee and gaining buy in. By taking a lead in web governance Nancy was able to apply her new knowledge and guide discussions on development.

Key Points:

  • Use multi-purpose content
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel – add social media (e.g., comment features) to existing sites
  • Maintain Service Relationships and safety

Resources:

Chief Roberts’ Blog

Harford Police Website

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DoD Social Media & Outreach Efforts

July 18, 2008

Speakers: Charles Holt & Jamie – US Department of Defense

Topic: How to integrate social media (blogging, podcasting & other new media) with traditional channels to maximize your communication efforts and results

Summary:

The DoD is becoming more attuned to digital natives; those aged 18-25. Along with being raised in generation “me” the DoD recognized many of their incoming recruits were intermediate to advanced users in social media. The traditional military hierarchy had to adjust. Paraphrasing the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates stated in the featured video clip, “It is a sad state of affairs when Al Qaeda is better at communications than the US.”

Charles and many of his colleagues have started creating a culture within the DoD where social media is not only accepted, it is embraced like traditional media. Of course the DoD is similar to many other organizations. They tried many social media applications and test them for their functionality before committing resources to their upkeep.

Their outreach efforts were very similar to DHS by conducting blogger roundtables. In addition the DoD has their own blog as well as their own online video channel where they post as many military videos as possible.

DoD Link Blog: http://www.defenselink.mil/Blogger/Index.aspx

Benefits:

As a result of the social media presence, the DoD is maintaining a presence in the blogosphere even when they are not on the national news. As items become more popular they are getting new requests for information that may have been disseminated days and months ago. For video they use feedroom.

A key lesson learned is to always upload linkable source information. By doing this, members of on-line communities can argue over the facts and not opinions that very well could be based on inaccurate information.

Key Thing to Remember:

The DoD has experimented with many social media applications and found what works best for their organization. Perhaps your organization should take on a similar mentality.

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Active government blogs

June 24, 2008

Looking for an avenue to share a great idea with the Federal government? Help is here! USA.gov keeps a running list of all the Active Government Blogs. It’s a great directory, containing a brief description of each to help narrow down the 30+ listed.

I have been to a few of these on the list but not all. I know blogging and blog strategies will be a big component of the conference. Of all these blogs, I wonder:

  • How many of them link to each other on their blogroll?
  • How many moderate their comments?
  • How long it takes for comments to get a response?
  • Who are the authors? Do they allow employees to blog or is it used solely for leadership?
  • Does each one have a clearly defined policy and purpose statement?
  • Does each one contain an email address to provide story idea tips?
  • How is the blog connected to the overall communications strategy?

We will discuss these questions and more at July’s conference.

BTW, need to find a bigger list of blogs outside the government realm? Check out the blogged directory.

Have a favorite government blog? Least favorite? Let us know in the comments.