Week 7 – eGovernment

How (and why) elected and appointed officials are using digital technologies to communicate with the electorate. What does this mean for citizens and public officials? What about the digital divide and other marginalized populations? Specifically, how has Washington employed these technologies to enhance citizen deliberation?

  • Guest speaker, Beth Hester and Gary Gibson,  The Seattle Channel
    Seattle’s digital government outreach is nationally-recognized. Beth and Gary will share the hows and whys.
  • Discussion Leaders:

Discussion: DigitalDemocracy08 (and cross-posting)

WordPress Workshop

  • Set sidebar: pages, categories, archives, blogroll, meta. Location -> Dashboard ->Design ->Widgets
  • Select design (theme) that is readable: dark on light (not reversed type) and preferably ragged-right, not justified, type
  • Populate “about” page
  • See WiredPen for customized sidebar (txt file here as PDF)

Comment on someone else’s post!

Project time (or time to ask me questions)

  • We will share projects (whether final or not) in Week 10 in class.
  • All projects should be promoted as a blog post; there will be a Collect-It for PPTs, WordDocs, etc.
  • People who are working as a team will also complete a team member assessment survey.
  • Final project deliverables are due Tuesday of finals week.

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1 Comment

  1. Kathy – notes from Gary & Beth

    * Gary – we were hired in 2001 after citizen recommendations on what to do with the TV station
    * We decided we were going to do it, not just talk about convergence. Website has about 5K videos – look up anything we’ve done and stream it.
    * How do you want to be contacted by your gov’t — the biggest answer was “don’t – we don’t want to be contacted by our government”
    * We believe that if you are involved with your city in some way — culture, movies, theatre — at some point you might want more info about the city government or your neighborhood
    * You can download a podcast of a city council meeting
    * 5-minute newscast of city events each week
    * half hour public affairs program
    * weekly magazine show called “City Stream” – 5-6 min feature
    * Local arts programing, Art Zone – 12 hr a week, Th-Fr-Sa night. Full length events. Weekly half hour where-to-go what-to-do
    * Cable footprint in Seattle is under 200,000 homes – that’s why early on they decided to go to the web
    * Documentaries – people want more info about history, local personalities and people
    * Lectures – Town Hall

    * See Seattle Men’s Chorus Archive – woot!

    * How is Seattle Channel different from “public TV” – public television is federally charged – Seattle Channel is locally funded via cable fees

    * Beth – web site is #1 growth potential for increasing audience

    * Making all content available is number one priority

    * As customers, you have an expectation based on your experience with other websites

    * 6 or 7 years ago we were pioneers with putting all our content on line. partners with Real initially. we switched over to Flash last summer – as well as non-invasive download, etc

    * How do we figure out how to add value to our content, to facilitate dialog between community members (ex: two citizens, one loves off leash dog parks, one hates them) …. bringing policy experts in, putting them online, interact with audience

    * Gary – new city blogging policy on Seattle.gov site — records retention will apply here like they do for anything else. Comments that are not posted also have to be retained.

    * Gary deals with the rest of the city gov’t electronic protocol – Seattle Channel is just one part of his responsibility

    * Seattle.gov – have a customized home page (make sure they use OpenID as an option!!!). Right now any transaction system is different – different user ID etc

    * Marc – what about the IM network?

    * Trying to figure out how to incorporate UGC with Seattle Channel site

    * Seattle Channel does have a YouTube channel (Kathy can’t find it)

    * Video voters guide – 2 min per candidate

    * What about the rest of the city gov’t re digital initiatives?


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