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Friday Fab Five: Silent Assassins, Esoteric Boxes, and How to Put the ‘Go’ in eGov

It’s that time of the week again. It’s the…

Friday Fab 5!

Happy Friday the 13th. Yes, it is that special day which we all secretly dread yet again, but I wouldn’t worry too much. Last I heard, reading the Friday Fab 5 is supposed to give a person extra luck on days like this. So why not take a few moments to look back at the week’s activity and highlight some of the content that makes GovLoop great. Superstitious or not, it couldn’t hurt, right?

Today’s Blog of the Week comes to us in true Friday the 13th fashion, sporting quite an ominous title: Your Chair, the Silent Assassin from Andre Blackman. It’s bulk comes from an infograph posted to mashable.com, and graphically explains the degradation of human activity levels over time and how it’s affecting our overall health. Humans are not meant to be sedintary creatures, and spending too much time in your office chair or the couch in front of the tv might be doing more damage than you think. So if you’ve been procrastinating your next workout regime and need some motivation to get you started, look no further. Check out this blog post, and you’ll have all the motivation you need. And don’t forget to read the helpful discussion following the infograph for some great commentary from community members. Here’s just a few thoughts:

We all should garden more and then be outside to tend our gardens. Park farther away when possible and go for that extra walk. Take the stairs when possible and not the elevator. -Andrea Baker

Anyone want an office chair? It’s in my garage now, has been ever since the NYT article last month. Now working in a stand-up home office, occasionally leaning on a barstool. -John Bordeaux

I agree it’s the little things that we can do (e.g. taking the stairs, parking further away) that go a long way with this. Micro-movements can be better adopted and seem less scary. I’m interested to see how more workplace wellness programs look into this stuff. -Andre Blackman

The Top Forum goes to a special kind of discussion. I say that because the responses were motivated by winning a free ticket to the IHRIM HR Strategies Conference coming up next week, but the question is nonetheless important or thought provoking. GovLoop asks What is the #1 Mistake Agencies Make With Social Media? Now the official contest period is over, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t respond. Sustaining an effective social media is actually quite difficult and definitely not as easy as some people might think. There’s a lot of bandwagon-jumping going on today, but does that mean your organization really knows how to be optimally effective in the digital realm? Here are what some of the community members are saying:

The biggest mistake agencies make with social media is not paying attention to what people are reading, retweeting/reposting or clicking through on their social media pages. If you’re not providing your fans/followers with what they are interested in, they won’t be fans/followers for long. -Elizabeth Ban

I feel that the biggest mistake that Agencies make with Social Media is to not use drive some kind of effective outcomes and rather just get some tools in place to check the box of “we now are using social media”. -Akshai Prakash

They don’t strategically use different media sources. They treat Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. the same without realizing the different populations, expectations, and flexibilites of each media and tailor approach appropriately. Allison Merkley

the biggest mistake I can think of is having social media accounts while blocking the employees of the agency from seeing those accounts. -Sharon Roney

The Most Active Group this week goes to the Social Media for Government Group. With a significant jump in membership this week, the SMG Group continues to be one of the more popular groups here on GovLoop. With discussions like “Interested in Analytics and how you can use them to gain better control of outcomes?”, “Simple language is shared more often on Facebook than complex” and “Social Media Strategic Planning” could we really expect anything less. Also, the group turned over a new leaf as they gained a new group administrator, Michael McCarthy. So congratulations to Michael and everyone else in the Social Media for Government Group for being true rockstars!

Our Quote of the Week is actually more of a motto of the week. A mantra, if you will. Remember that cliche old phrase, “think outside of the box” which everyone uses in an often futile attempt to spark innovation and ideas? And then when your ideas aren’t fast or good enough, you get blasted with, “you’re not thinking outside of the box!” What is this “box” anyway? How do you even begin to define or describe this non-existent concept that is so incredibly fleeting? Well what if I told you there was no box. There is no box– that’s the motto. Patrick Ibarra writes on this concept in his blog post There is No Box: Times Demand RAPID Innovation. So while “there is no box” is our motto of the week, here’s some additional innovation wisdom to give you some context and peak your interest:

Conventional wisdom has been summarily discarded during these unprecedented times. Government leaders accustomed to relying on traditional tools to remedy temporary financial blips – increasing taxes while cutting expenses – have experienced a sobering realization that the current climate in most places around the U.S. is not receptive to raising taxes and reducing expenses can only stretch a dollar so far. Furthermore, other solutions targeted at rising citizen demands for services including adding more members to the government workforce along with purchasing new and improved equipment are relics from a bygone era.

What’s a government leader to do to counter such trends? First we must arrive at the realization that outside the box thinking is not even an option… because there is No Box! A daunting but true proposition that can unhinge even the most seasoned leader. -Patrick Ibarra

And finally, Rockstar of the Week goes to Jon Lee. Jon pretty much has his finger on the pulse of all things tech and social media related, as his most recent blog posts can attest. Just this week, Jon wrote about the new Twitter redesign and it’s impact on the private/public sectors (The Most Important Change in Twitter’s Homepage Redesign), and not too long ago he wrote on the new Facebook Questions feature (Facebook Questions are Great for Gov, but be Careful…). Jon works in the Texas Department of Information Resources as an e-Government Business Analyst so it’s pretty clear that he has the experience and interest to give input on these matters. And one other reason he’s a rockstar is his clever response to why he works for government:

I want to help put the GO in eGOV -Jon Lee

So way to be a rockstar Jon! Keep up the awesome work!

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