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So what is this #localgovchat thingy anyway?

So what exactly is #localgovchat and what do we hope to accomplish? As you can see from our first post, we want to start what we hope to be an ongoing, open dialogue between local government communicators – public relations, community outreach, webmasters, graphic designers – in hopes of sharing ideas, our successes and our failures. While there is so much talk of #gov20 and #opengov at the federal level, we thought it would be beneficial to raise the volume of the conversation for cities, townships, counties and any other local government regardless of size and population.

We can chat about a specific news item, about a unique challenge your facing, about a new social media tool or pretty much everything. It’s up to you.

How to I get started?

#localgovchat is based around Twitter and will be held weekly from 9 to 10 pm EST on Wednesdays. If you are familiar with Twitter and use a web-based or desktop application already, finding us will be easy. Just search for #localgovchat and join in. If you’re familiar with Twitter but only use the Web, you can use http://search.twitter.com or http://tweetgrid.com/ orhttp://twitterfall.com and type in #localgovchat. You will see tweets streaming in realtime and those sites allow you post directly from there. If you have any issues or questions, please tweet us@localgovchat or email me and I can walk you through it. The only thing you really need to remember is to tags any tweets you want the group to see with #localgovchat. We’ll post some more tips during the chats that might help.

So now that you’re in, what are we going to talk about? That is up to you. We are going to follow the lead of our PR goddess and friend @prsarahevans and her highly successful #journchat. Tweet me,@rupertmike (your moderator) questions before, during and after and I’ll post to the group during the hour-long chat and those will guide the conversation. If you’re new to live-streaming Tweet chats, it will take a few minutes to get acclimated, but trust me it’s gets easy and fun. The best part about these conversations is meeting new people and sharing ideas outside of the chat.

And there is only one rule (well, at least right now):

  1. Be nice. We want real opinions and real discussion but just try to be nice.

Wanted: Only the Humans

We’ve heard from many people about their hesitancy to use the ‘gov’ account for the chat which is clearly understandable. We just want the humans behind the gov accounts so please use your personal accounts if you are more comfortable. If you don’t have one, create one!

Is this a chat or a blog?

It’s both. We want to capture some of the great things being done around the country at the local and hyperlocal level. And while we could have simple linked to other posts and ‘borrowed’ from other sites, we want to start now – today – and get our pages filled through members of the chat. When you share a great video, we’ll post it on our LocalGovIdeas page. Have a great offline effort that was integrated with social media? Share it and we’ll post to LocalGovHustle. We want to create a clearing house of ideas we all can learn from.

Thank you all for and hope as many of you as possible can join us.

- Mike Rupert @rupertmike

This post first appeared on localgovchat.com

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