I’ve scored a truly great gig promoting the Camel’s Garden Hotel in Telluride, Colorado, on various social media platforms. Telluride is a magical place, a cosmopolitan oasis in the midst of rugged wilderness of the San Juan Mountains. No other town gives you easy access to so much adventure and comfort at the same time. And no hotel does a better job of positioning you to take advantage of all that Telluride has to offer than the Camel’s Garden.Continue Reading...
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With a population of less than 5,000 and a median household income of around $50,000, Manor, Texas, is an unlikely place to find the cutting edge of government e-participation technologies.
But thanks to a young and enterprising Assistant City Manager (Dustin Haisler, now of Spigit), Manor has attracted significant investment from a variety of firms eager to demonstrate the utility of their technologies. As a result, this small Texas town has a variety of e-participation tools that should be the envy of much larger communities. It also has the savvy to institute the policies and processes needed for Manor’s bureaucracy to effectively utilize the citizen input it receives through those platforms.
So, what makes the Manor e-participation system so effective, in addition to all the fancy tools?
Two colleagues and I tried to answer that question as part of our capstone project at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, in pursuit of our Executive Master of Public Administration degrees. For the project, we developed case studies of four city-run e-participation projects, one in the US (Manor), one in Korea and two in Germany. We then developed a set of criteria and applied it to the case studies. I focused on Manor. You can find our full report here. Or, for a summary of what we learned from Manor, Continue Reading…
Foursquare (which writes its name lowercase except at the beginning of sentences) allows users to connect with each other and to share their locations through a process called “checking in.”
You can use foursquare on a computer, but it is most powerful when launched on a smartphone, as it can tap into the phone’s GPS and help users determine exactly where they are and what’s around them. Foursquare ties into users’ Facebook and Twitter accounts, which makes it easier to find contacts who also use foursquare. Additionally, this feature turns foursquare into a blogging tool that can enhance posts to those platforms. There is also a foursquare plug-in for WordPress, which I have yet to play with.
As Rotolo explained to students in Ines Mergel‘s New Media Management class, foursquare has clear value to businesses, who tie it into their customer loyalty programs. Customers who “check in” at certain locations get discounts and freebies, which in turn motivate the customers to utilize foursquare more.
Check out my new post on CNYSpeaks.com on two initiatives that are utilizing the Web to make it easy for people to contribute to their efforts.
Headd’s presentation focused on a growing movement to make all sorts of data available online. Many people interested in open government and citizen participation, including myself, applaud these data releases, but worry about how to make the information easily digestible and useful to the average citizen.
Headd has a completely different take. He wants to see government release the data in the most complete and raw form possible, and then let Open Source programmers take care of the rest. He calls it, “the Democratization of Code,” and it is essentially a way for the marketplace to make the most of government data by finding innovative ways to make it useful to citizens.