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.
January 30, 2013 By Kristy Fifelski
Every government agency isn't lucky enough to have video production staff in-house. But with a smartphone, you can easily shoot decent quality videos to upload to your YouTube channel and share on social media. Using tools like accessories from Schneider Optics and editing apps such as iMovie, you can quickly upload short videos without paying big bucks for an editing team.
I shoot most GovGirl videos on an iPhone! Paul Williams of Government Technology magazine talks about shooting video on smartphones in this interview. But no, the special effects weren't done on a phone.
January 23, 2013 By Kristy Fifelski
I like Mark Funkhouser, director of The Governing Institute. He's a baby boomer government guy who breaks stereotypes that his generation isn't online savvy and that government is boring by blogging over at Governing.com.
Mark's twice weekly posts on the "Bring on the Funk" blog offer a seasoned perspective on governing in today's world, mixed with interviews and insight from some of the brightest young government leaders.
Hear other thoughts from The Funk in this GovGirl interview.
January 16, 2013 By Kristy Fifelski
Can government agencies really get anything out of LinkedIn? It's actually one of the least-scary social tools governments can use, with some big payoffs for job recruiting. The best part of this social network doesn't take a lot of time and effort to maintain what they call a "company page". This video explores using LinkedIn:
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.
Signup for GovGirl's Weekly Video Email