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Friday Fab Five: Vanishing Pensions, Sting Operations, and the Wisdom of Crowds

It's time to "take 5" for the...

Friday Fab 5!

We had a busy week here on the site. Lots of great content and even more great comments! I wish we could recognize them all, but alas, we only have the time to highlight a few. So without further ado...

Today's Blog of the Week comes to us from Jeffrey Levy and his blog post Let's Figure Out: Skills Needed to Lead Social Media. Yes, it was technically posted last week, but we're still counting it, as it came in at the end of last Friday. In any case, Jeffrey's message has gained some serious momentum throughout this past week receiving an impressive 20+ comments and getting great feedback from the community- a true testament to the passion and great interest that people have in the social media realm and its use in the public sector. Posts and crowd sourcing sessions like these become increasingly important as social media "specialists" and "officers" become a more regular sight on job boards. So if you're looking to hire for, or work in that kind of position, this blog is a must read (including all 20+ comments!), and be sure keep an eye out for promised future installments from Jeffrey.

Broadly speaking, I would say leading social media for an agency entails two big tasks:

  1. Helping the agency as a whole continue to explore and take advantage of social media, and
  2. Managing some specific social media tools (for example, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a photo contest, a YouTube channel) -Jeffrey Levy

The Top Forum awards (yes, multiple) go to Stephen Petritas' GovHelp: What Should The Government Sell So They Can Pay Your Pension? and Deena Larsen's How can Washington Metro keep kids from stealing signs? Both sparked great discussions, but more importantly, they demonstrate the amazing problem solving skills of the GovLoop community. Both of these issues (even though the federal debt might be a little more important than DC Metro sign stealing...) pose quite complex and precarious scenarios, but GovLoopers don't even miss a beat offering solution after solution. So great work to all those who have participated and continue to contribute to these discussions and others similar to them. Your genius and efforts do not go unnoticed! Here are a few excerpts for your reading pleasure:

Pension

Raise the retirement age, privatize medicare, privatize interstate highways, change the focus from the federal education programs to state responsibility, get out of the auto and finance and mortgage business, reduce income limits for food stamp and welfare recepient, Revamp the IRS, privatize USPS. -Remi Pavlik-Simon

Selling a few billion barrels of our untapped trillion-barrel-plus reservoir of sweet crude oil might help ... -Terry W. Davis

How about tasking Gov't FACILITIES to cut waste and operate more efficiently! -Donna Lee O'Brian-Torres

Metro Signs

Put new phrases on the signs that will make people less likely to want to steal them. "Out of Order" is a culturally engrained; a simpler, less desirable phrase might produce better results. -Sterling Whitehead

And then, on a sign that they know is always stolen, a little sting. Catch and arrest even just one thief. and then publicly name and shame and fine them heavily. On the heels of that, offer a reward for those willing to turn in their fellow thieves. -Denise Petet

The Most Active Group this week goes to our extremely active and useful Human Resources Group. And when I say active, I mean active! There were 14+ wall posts alone this week, not to mention all those who joined the group to get in on the discussions. I was at a conference on federal hiring reform not too long ago where a panel member said, "every problem is, at its heart, a human capital issue." Now whether or not you agree with that statement is one thing, but I think we can all agree on the overarching importance of what HR is all about. These people know people so if you have a question or need some tips on effective management of personnel, head on over and join the conversation. You'll be glad you did!

Our Quote of the Week comes to us from a long time GovLoop member and top contributor, Charles A. Ray. Charles is an accomplished and distinguished US Ambassador, and has written on a variety of topics, all of which have been great additions to the community, but something he wrote about this past week really struck a chord with me and many within the community: time. When we don't have it, we want it, yet when we do have it, we don't know what to do with it. So how do you effectively manage your time, deliver results, and still achieve a healthy work-life balance? Some may find this more elusive than others, but Charles has this advice to offer in his blog post Work-Life Balance:

If my folks can get what I want done completed in six hours, we can think about having happy hour for two hours - is that a contradiction? - perhaps not, anyway, we can relax with each other, and celebrate our achievement. I do that on most of my jobs when I'm in charge, and I've discovered something. The next day, those folks get more done, and they do it better.

So, think about this the next time you here some joker speaking in almost bragging tones about how long he stays in the office every day. Ask him how much he actually got done. -Charles A. Ray

And finally, Rockstar of the Week goes to Derrick G. Silas, Sr. of Enid, OK. Derrick was featured in a project of the week blog post a few days ago (Project of the Week: Enid, Oklahoma's Interactive Web Presence), and rightfully so. As the webmaster of the city, Derrick has done amazing things in building and launching a new site for Enid, a city which I bet many had never heard of until now. It's a very impressive website, and we want to make sure he gets the recognition he deserves for pushing the development of forward-thinking projects like this in the government sphere. So way to be a rockstar Derrick, and keep being awesome!

Have a great weekend everyone. Thanks for reading!

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