Smallville 2.0: Using social software to stregnthen community ties

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Discusses municipal incorporation of social software to improve ties between government and constituents and to improve community ties.

Discusses municipal incorporation of social software to improve ties between government and constituents and to improve community ties.

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  • 1. Using social software to strengthen community ties Laura N. Anderson Rutgers University SCILS598 Fall, 2008
  • 2.
    • Northern Jersey shore
    • 1 hour from NYC/Philadelphia
    • Commuter train to NYC
    • 2.77 sq. miles
    • Population 6000
    • 70% have post HS education
    • Median income $118,000
    • Predominately white, married, age 45-54 ( www.epodunk.com )
  • 3.
    • Included
      • Borough officials
      • Community stakeholders
      • Local businessmen
      • Members of organizations
      • Teachers
      • Church members
    • Process
      • Environmental scan
      • Needs assessment
      • 5 yr action plan
      • Goals, objectives, strategies
      • Assessment & revision
  • 4.
    • Committees formed 9/5/08
    • Research conducted
    • Conclusions reported by each committee in form of needs assessment 11/1/08
  • 5.
    • Residents lacking connection to community
    • Not engaged
    • Diminishing trust in public officials
    • Need to reach residents where they are (online) (Chang & Kannan, 2008)
    • Research indicates citizens willing to interact with government online (Horriga [Pew], 2004)
  • 6.
    • GOVERNMENT
    • RESIDENTS
      • Informed / engaged constituency
      • Efficient, inexpensive dissemination of information
      • Interaction with citizens
      • Citizen feedback
      • Benefit of the “wisdom of the crowd”
      • (Chang & Kannan, 2008)
    • Easy access to information
    • Ability to be informed
    • Provide feedback
    • Engage in discussion & debate
    • Forum to interact with officials and other residents
  • 7.
    • Changes how government and constituents interact
    • Internet is now most effective way to reach constituency
      • More people use internet than read newspapers
      • 50% of adult residents in community use internet (Horrifan [Pew], 2008)
    • Social software can foster dialogue with constituents (Reece, 2006)
  • 8.
    • Governments use
    • wikis, blogs and social
    • networks to provide:
      • Information and education
      • Forum for interaction with constituents
      • Networking opportunities for residents
      • Platform for sharing ideas/experiences
      • (Wyld, 2007)
    Social Software
  • 9. Engagement Increases (Chang & Kannan, 2008)
  • 10.
    • Our Town Blog
      • Interactive and collaborative town blog
      • Engage residents
      • Promote communication between residents and Borough
      • Strengthen ties between residents and Borough
    • Advantages of blog
      • Inexpensive
      • Easy to create, use & update
      • Can incorporate various media formats photos, audio, video, I M
      • Offers officials one on one conversation with constituents
      • Provides “a human face to … organizations” (Budd , 2005)
  • 11.
    • To provide by 12/1/08, a collaborative forum for the interchange of ideas and a resource for public information
    • To increase by 3% by 12/31/2010
      • Public awareness of Borough activities, events and programs
      • Community involvement in Borough committees, activities and events
      • Satisfaction and trust of Smallville residents in their municipal officials
  • 12.
    • Create a community blog by 12/1/08 which will
      • Promote awareness
      • Engage residents
      • Provide platform for sharing ideas, resources and experiences
      • Encourage collaboration (wiki)
      • Build new networks and reinforce old ones
      • Draw in younger constituents
  • 13.
    • OBJECTIVES
    • STRATEGIES
    • Two-way communication
    • Create platform for sharing experiences
    • Promote awareness
    • Engages residents
    • Allow resource/Idea sharing educating public
    • Encourage collaboration
    • Interactive Mayor’s Corner, Meebo us widget, survey
    • P TA MySpace Page, Historical Society Wiki
    • Site itself, Interactive Calendar
    • Video, audio, photos
    • Delicious Bookmarks, websites, news
    • Historical Association Wiki
  • 14. Take a Look http://ljnanderson.blogspot.com/
  • 15.  
  • 16.
    • Google Analytics to assess traffic on blog
    • Survey on blog to assess whether blog improves residents sense of connection to Borough
    • Sign in sheets at meetings and activities to assess participation
    • Polling to determine residents’ satisfaction with public officials
  • 17.
    • Action Plan contemplates an evaluation every 5 years to determine progress toward goals
    • Revisions to action plan to be made as necessary
  • 18.
    • “ … it will become more … common for … public officials to become bloggers themselves. In fact … those public officials who do not blog may become suspect as to why they do not use this new technology as a communications medium to connect with… their wider constituencies.” (Wyld, 2007)
  • 19.
    • By using social software the Borough can
    • Improve the sense of connection residents feel toward their town
      • Engagement
      • Collaboration
      • Communication
      • Education
    • Restore trust in public officials
  • 20. Reference List (2007). Little Silver, New Jersey. Retrieved December 6, 2008, from http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/genInfo.php?locIndex=18358 . Budd, Andy (2005). Blogging in government. Retrieved December 6, 2008, from http://www.andybudd.com/archives/2005/09/blogging_in_government/index.php . Chang, Ai-Mei and Kannan, P.K. (2008). Leveraging Web 2.0 in Government. Retrieved December 6, 2008, from http://www.businessofgovernment.org/main/publications/bog/chang_fall08.pdf Horrigan, John B. (2004) [Pew]. How Americans get in touch with government. Retrieved December 6, 2008, from http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_E-Gov_Report_0504.pdf . Horrigan, John B. (2004) [Pew]. Home Broadband 2008: Adoption stalls for low-income Americans even as many broadband users opt for premium services that give them more speed. Retrieved December 6, 2008 from http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Broadband_2008.pdf .
  • 21. Reference List (Con’t) Reece, Bryan (2006). E-Government literature review. Journal of E-Government, 3(1): 69–110. Wyld, David, C. (2007). The Blogging Revolution: Government in the age of Web 2.0. Retrieved December 6, 2008, from http://www.businessofgovernment.org/pdfs/WyldReportBlog.pdf