February 27, 2013 By Kristy Fifelski
If you’re like most public-sector employees, you don’t have much time for watching videos. I took that into consideration and tried out a new format for this video – “GovGirl’s Trending Topics” – quickly covering top stories in government innovation.
We start off talking about the tiny city in Texas that entered a sweepstakes and won a new tech center full of tablets, voting technology and more. If that story gets you motivated, I mention a contest where you can win part of $5 MILLION – the Knight Foundation’s OpenGov News Challenge!
Let me know if this quick rundown style resonates with you, and I’ll work more of these videos into the regular lineup. Watch the YouTube channel every Wednesday for a new episode.
February 20, 2013 By Kristy Fifelski
The fun part about doing a website redesign is designing and creating mockups. Tempting – but don't skip a very important first step! Collecting data sounds boring, but it can give you a lot of helpful information about your existing website that will make your redesign more meaningful.
Unfortunately, some agencies skip this step. Remember, your government website is important to citizens – and with great power comes great responsibility! Learn some of the vocabulary you'll need to talk to your Web administrator about collecting data.
In this week's video, I cover reviewing Web analytics, transactional data, user and internal feedback, and conducting a quick usability study.
February 13, 2013 By Kristy Fifelski
The city of Los Angeles, Calif., announced a new website last week via a unique press conference on a Google Hangout. As a former city government Web manager, I was eager to see their new site! I put together this quick video review.
I gave the new city website props for a clean design, cool mega-menus and a neighborhood lookup tool. The site boasts many places for users to give their thoughts, so I figure they wouldn’t mind some candid feedback. I talked a lot in the video about “responsive design”, which I would have liked to see on Los Angeles’ site. I think any new government websites should consider their approach to responsive design as an important foundation.
Hear more of my thoughts in the video, and watch the end for a bonus anniversary montage – celebrating two years of fun in GovGirl videos!
February 6, 2013 By Kristy Fifelski
The new Vine video app is the next big thing in social media.
Vine was developed by Vine Labs Inc. and was acquired by – guess who – Twitter. It's a mobile service that allows you to record and upload 6-second looping videos. You can record something for the full 6 seconds, or several shots within that time, effectively making a poor man’s stop motion animation video.
Celebrities and average Joes are setting up Vine accounts, but should government agencies cozy up to the platform, too? I put together this short GovGirl video to explore the idea.
I always encourage government to simplify their messages. If you had to communicate in 6-second pieces, it leaves no room for boring! A video encouraging business license renewal online gets right to the point. People are using the platform for entertainment rather than hard news, but that could change if governments use it to communicate things like weather conditions and emergency notices.
I would have liked more features – like being able to edit my videos – but the app was simple to use and integrates well with Twitter. Right now it’s only an iOS app, but Twitter plans to offer Vine on more platforms in the future.
After I shot this GovGirl video, Vine released an update warning about age-restricted material and requiring users to confirm 17+ status. Something governments should be aware of, but keep in mind that other popular platforms like Tumblr have done this recently as well.
Kristy is known as "GovGirl" in the government technology industry. She is a former city government web manager who has a passion for social media, technology and the lighter side of government life.
Catch weekly GovGirl videos here on GovTech and follow hashtag #GovGirl on Twitter for more conversation.
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