Podcast: #GSMCON Scholarship Opportunity, and Are Potholes the 'Gateway Drug' of Community Engagement?

News and views on social media in state and local government in one tidy little package. This episode features Ben Berkowitz, CEO and founder of SeeClickFix.

by , / March 11, 2016

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SPECIAL OFFER: SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY FOR #GSMCON2016

Government Social Media and GovTech Social are offering a scholarship to #GSMCON2016 in Reno, Nev., on April 6-8. To be considered for the scholarship, tweet a question about the use of social media in government using #GovTechSocial. We'll make the selection on March 18.  

The harder the question the better!  It could be the most important 140 characters you write all year.

SHOW NOTES

Also on this episode, we talk to the founder of what may well have been the first social media network focused on the relationship between citizens and their government. SeeClickFix CEO Ben Berkowitz says they have dedicated nearly a decade of work to creating relationships with local governments around shared values of transparency, responsibility and accountability. He says the company has stuck to its values, even when faced with blowback from public agencies that were not always happy to have them in the mix.

He says that almost a decade of use data from the site also tells a lot about how people actually behave: "We always joke that potholes are the gateway drug to civic engagement," he said, "but the biggest problem domestically is ... people dumping their stuff on the side of the road."

The good news, says Berkowitz, is that neighbors often come along to help each other and the government to clean up and make their communities better places to live.

And on The Week in Tweet, lessons for public officials who are latecomers to social media from the Veep's recent arrival on Facebook, plus the use of humor in maintaining authenticity in your agency's social life.

Links to things mentioned in the show:

PLAYLIST 

Looking forward to seeing you in Reno for #GSMCON2016.

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Paul W. Taylor Chief Content Officer, e.Republic Inc.

Paul W. Taylor, Ph.D., is the editor-at-large of Governing magazine. He also serves as the chief content officer of e.Republic, Governing’s parent organization, as well as senior advisor to the Governing Institute. Prior to joining e.Republic, Taylor served as deputy Washington state CIO and chief of staff of the state Information Services Board (ISB). Dr. Taylor came to public service following decades of work in media, Internet start-ups and academia. He is also among a number of affiliated experts with the non-profit, non-partisan Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in Washington, D.C.

Dustin Haisler Chief Innovation Officer, e.Republic Inc.

Dustin Haisler is the Chief Innovation Officer of Government Technology's parent company e.Republic. Previously the finance director and later CIO for Manor, Texas, a small city outside Austin, Haisler quickly built a track record and reputation as an early innovator in civic tech. As Chief Innovation Officer, Haisler has a strategic role to help shape the company’s products, services and future direction. Primarily, he leads e.Republic Labs, a market connector created as an ecosystem to educate, accelerate and ultimately scale technology innovation within the public sector. Read his full bio.