Archive for the ‘RSS’ Category


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


Chief Roberts’ Blog

Harford Police Website


RSS: Insight from Scott Horvath

July 15, 2008

Speaker: Scott Horvath – U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior


Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds and readers are a common element found on many of today’s websites. RSS empowers users to pull in only the information they want to read to their desktops or browser based readers.

Utilizing RSS has many positive elements and few disadvantages.

Advantages include:

  • Viewing updates and news releases at a time of your choosing
  • Increase in web traffic
  • Increased work productivity
  • Integration across multiple websites such as social networks and blogs


  • Subscribing to too many RSS subscriptions can lead to information overload.
  • You might miss other important information on the site
  • Possible assumptions all news will go out in the RSS feed. This is not always the case and you might miss new RSS feeds from the same site

Tips & Tricks:

  • Keep all of your RSS feeds on one page for users to easily browse subscriptions.
  • Use FeedBurner to keep track of statistics

USGS Resources:

RSS Cheat Sheet:
USGS RSS/Podcasts:
USGS CoreCast:
USGS CoreFacts: