Presentation notes – web 2.0 in the City

Here’s the outline of the 7-minute presentation I made today. Discussion was 1.5 hours. I hope it went well. Our website will tell the tale.

Outline Website design/Networking meeting presentation

Website Organization/design

Brief history of the website. Reduced advertising by more than half – User paths/what’s popular.

1. Update website – paying attention to user paths
a. Where do we want folks to go?
b. Where are they going now
c. Where do we go from here?
d. Statistics counter

2. Links at top of page – First suggestions:
a. Mayor/Assembly/Meetings
b. Administration/Departments
c. Etc. Use paths to make it easy
d. What’s working now? Let us make it more prominent: GIS, citizen request page, Electric Department energy calculator, add RSS of Raven Radio headlines. All stuff that is fun and requires no more upkeep than we are already doing
e. JOBS – r. side – Top
f. What do you think?

3. Webcam – Tons of hits (a million + per year! Really!?) – Get more cams. It is great for Sitka.

4. The front page should draw people in. The fun, interesting stuff keeps folks on our page and attracts potential employees, visitors and residents alike.

Social networking/Citizen input – A Two Way Website

1. What is blogging?
a. City News
b. Postings on the front page
c. Chief’s monthly message
d. other

2. Are comments on city issues important? When?

3. Who can blog?

4. Are there rules? –

a. Poster/handout for examples

5. Where can this work?

a. We could implement this on an issue-specific basis to start. Boards, Commissions, Assembly issues are all good candidates for this program.
b. Sign in and validation process, etiquette and rules are everyone’s concern because of the bad experience we have with anonymous forums. With a name and a citizen involved, personal responsibility comes into play.
c. An email at the end of every post we put up

6. Authorized employee blogs?
a. Department Blogs
b. Issue Blogs
c. Project Planning blogs
d. Board and Commission blogs
e. Recipe of the week. (It’s an email blog now. It’s great too!)
f. Employee groups (Wellness, Christmas, Salvation Army,) we are email blogging now.

The future – Planning/Action items/wiki’s and wonder. Who will be working for the City in 5 years? Are we looking good?

Last point. If nothing else, at the very least, on the 2-way web communications, let’s put an email at the end of every post we put up. We have the technology, it costs $0.

Budget impact: Web cams (high quality/vs. quantity?) – $3,000, cost of statistics tracking: $20/mo – 50/mo

ROI: Better employee recruitment and retention, better communications with the public, what else? Accessibility? Better issues discussion/communication before action? More efficient government? What do you think?


Stay focused. All viewpoints are welcome, but comments should remain on the topic set by the original blog post, discussion question or other type of initial entry.

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Fill out your profile. Post a picture. We all want to see you smile. Nobody likes those limited profiles.
Join the conversation. We want to hear your ideas. Yes, really. We do.
Treat others as you want to be treated. Simple rule. But makes sense always.
Spread the word about GovLoop. Don’t keep it secret.


Try to sell your wares/company/product/etc
Spam people
Excessively criticize an idea/person. Constructive debate is good. Name-calling is no good.
Be afraid. We are a friendly bunch. Ask questions. Connect. Be Merry.

From Technipedia

You’re leaving your digital signature on the Internet right now. Think about the consequences of your engagement on any social site. Racial slurs, criticisms without warrant, and blatant abuse doesn’t work in real life, and they really have no place in the social media channels simply because you are far more anonymous on these sites. If you were living in New York and you walked up to a stranger with the same foul-mouthed comments that are rampant on many social media sites, you may never make it home. Consider how your comments would be perceived before you actually post them, and think about logic above emotion at all times. Above all, think about maintaining a certain level of professionalism, since people can use whatever you make “permanent” on these sites against you. Not all blogs will remove a comment after you’ve requested that they do so simply because you were angry when you wrote the comment. Before you hit “post,” realize that this will be a permanent reflection of your identity and that it may never be erased. It may even be used against you.

Reference resources available. Lots – Just ask – I’d love to share them.

Let’s get away from the website billboard mentality and aim towards two-way communications. It’s in our mission statement. We can make our city and our government better. One step at a time.

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Mark Danielson

Thanks Tom. You’re right, seeds. It is the first discussion in our city. I hope there are many, many, many more.

I specifically chose to address web design and two-way website communications together. I think they are connected. And the target is always moving. I also tried to make the conversation and ideas accessible. At some point, we will be in front of the Assembly and cameras (and the public,) and hopefully on the website, explaining ourselves.

Thanks for the reference. I liked this bit especially, “The benefits expected from any IT implementation are unlikely to emerge automatically. Any benefits sought must first be identified along with the changes in ways of working that will bring about and sustain each of the benefits. Ownership and responsibility for the realization of each benefit must then be assigned and how it will be realized needs to be planned by the benefit owner and those responsible for making the changes on which it depends.”

My tag line is that our website is like a billboard in many respects. It can be a tool for better government. One small, low-budget step at a time.

Tim Constantine

Thanks for the web 2.0 article link, it was quite well written I thought, and brought up some good points.

And yes, I also really liked that quote from the “Realization” paper. Simple. Brilliant. Simply brilliant. Brilliant in it’s simplicity.