July 28, 2011 •
Another Opportunity to Interact with the White House Through Social Media
Similar to President Obama’s Twitter town hall, participants can ask a question by including the hashtag #WHChat with their tweets. Replies to questions will come from the @whitehouse Twitter account.
As could be expected, most questions asked were relating to the budget and raising the debt ceiling.
July 20, 2011 •
Report Problems and Request Services From Local Governments on Facebook
True to the recent trend that can be observed in both local governments and the federal government, the city of Burleson, Texas has released a new Facebook app named the Citizen Request Tracker soon to be spread to other communities nationwide that makes it easier for citizens to report problems and request services from its local government.
This app can help alert the local authorities about such issues such as pot holes, graffiti, barking dogs and malfunctioning streetlights.
Read more about the Citizen Request Tracker Facebook App in “New App Connects Social Media Users with Municipal Services” by Brian Heaton posted on GovTech.com.
July 19, 2011 •
Mobile Gov Designing Government Smartphone Apps
Mobile Gov is an interagency group that has the mission to discover information and make the case for mobile in your agency, discuss with the public the challenges to mobile gov, and design this mobile future.
An article titled “Government Apps Should Be Task-Oriented and Mission Driven, Mobile Gov Director Says” by Joseph Marks posted on NextGov.com indicates that Mobile Gov is charged with culling best practices for agencies as they begin developing mobile apps, and they hope to leverage the government’s website experience to make the mobile transition more orderly.
The article also discusses smartphone apps that have already been created which include apps such as IRS2go and MyTSA. A really cool one that I downloaded onto my Android phone is called the NASA App which collects, customizes and delivers an extensive selection of dynamically updated information, images and videos from various online NASA sources.
A full list of all 68 official U.S. Government smartphone apps can be found here. To read the full article which includes much more information on government smartphone apps and Mobile Gov, click here.
July 18, 2011 •
An Increasing Number of Lawmakers Connecting to the Public
It seems that following Obama’s Twitter Town Hall, politicians across the nation are following suit and making the effort to use social media to connect to their followers more than ever. Hopeful Republican presidential nominee Newt Gingrich, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont are three examples of such politicians.
Being one of the first politicians to utilize the new Google+, Newt Gingrich hosted his first Hangout, posting the 13 minute long video of him having a conversation with up to 10 regular Americans at a time onto YouTube. TechPresident published an article written by Nick Judd providing the video and more information here.
July 7, 2011 •
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have posted letters between themselves, the president, and their colleagues onto Facebook.
As the federal government is utilizing the internet in more and more ways to connect with the public, members of the U.S. House of Representatives are following suit by displaying official letters between themselves, President Obama, and other colleagues on Facebook.
Such House members such as Pete Olson from Texas, Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Washington, and Justin Amash from Michigan have posted letters sharing their concern about actions committed by Senator John Rockefeller of West Virginia, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, and President Obama.
July 6, 2011 •
Today, July 6th, at 2PM EDT, President Obama held an hour long Town Hall meeting on Twitter.
By using the hashtag #AskObama, Twitter users could ask any question about jobs, the economy, and other important issues with the possibility that it would be answered by the president himself. Questions that were retweeted by other users stood a greater chance of being answered by the president because Twitter Search algorithms identified the most engaged-with Tweets. The questions were read live to the President by Twitter’s Executive Chairman Jack Dorsey, and were retweeted by @townhall.
With the Open Government Initiative issued by President Obama when he came to office, he stated,
“My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.”
This first ever Twitter hosted Town Hall @ The White House is just the tip of the iceberg concerning the access that social media sites are going to be able to grant ordinary citizens into the federal government.
President Obama started off the Town Hall by making history as being the first American President to live tweet.
Questions that were answered include:
What mistakes have you made in handling this recession, and what would you have done differently?
We definitely need to get more vets into jobs. But when are we going to support the troops by cutting oil dependence?
Immigrant entrepreneurs can build companies and create jobs for US workers. Will you support a startup visa program?
Other questions covered a wide variety of subjects such as the debt ceiling, promotion of alternative energy, American participation abroad, and collective bargaining rights.
A stab at President Obama made by Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner also made it through asking, “After embarking on a record spending binge that’s left us deeper in debt, where are the jobs?”
President Obama’s answer to this question as well as all others is summarized on @whitehouse. Learn more about the process that was used to choose which questions were answered at the official site for TownHall @ The White House.
July 5, 2011 •
Latest Govtech news
An article titled “Feds Creating Mobile Government Model for Agencies” by Brian Heaton posted July 1 on govtech.com talks about a program launched in June called Making Mobile Gov that will establish a community-generated wiki and toolkit on how to implement mobile websites and applications that better serve citizens who need information from the government while on-the-go.
To read the full article click here.
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