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Cary Technology Task Force (TTF) Final Report December 2012

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Mission Statement
Determine how the Town’s use of technology services can better serve its citizens. Specifically, the TTF shall review, evaluate, and prioritize new and emerging technologies that will facilitate better engagement, citizen outreach, and service delivery by increasing involvement and lowering costs, with the overall goal of making it easier for citizens to communicate with the Town and consume available information.

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Cary Technology Task Force (TTF) Final Report December 2012

  1. 1. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Report of the Technology Task Force December 2012 V3
  2. 2. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Report: Table of Contents 1. Executive Summary 2. Over Arching Policy Recommendations 3. Background 4. Goals/Objectives 5. Task Force Composition / Meeting Schedule 6. Focus Areas a. Citizen Engagement b. Community i. User Group Friendly Town c. Social Media d. Website e. Mobile Applications, Open Data, Public API f. Video 7. Identify Town Policy Needs/Changes 8. Prioritization decisions for Implementation 9. Suggested Legislative Agenda Items 10. Sustainability 11. Evaluation tools/metrics for the Proposed change 12. Addenda a. TOC Skills required for Proposed change b. Parking Lot Items i. Education ii. Economic Development 13. Appendix a. Security b. Glossary
  3. 3. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top About this Report This report was written by the Technology Task Force Town of Cary Technology Task Force members: • Eric Brown • Ian Cillay • James Dixon • Hal Goodtree • Laura Hamlyn, Vice-Chair • Ian Henshaw, Chair • Brandon Smith • Eleanor Thorne • Raymond Zeisz Town Council member: • Lori Bush Staff Liaisons: • Mike Bajorek • Bill Stice • Susan Moran • Lisa Glover Town Clerk’s Office: • Cindy Giebel Top
  4. 4. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION I Executive Summary
  5. 5. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Executive Summary Since the 5th revision of the Town of Cary Website in October 2009, a large increase in the available variety of technology tools and changes to how our citizens consume information have transpired. The Town Council recognized these underlying changes and formed the Technology Task Force in the Summer of 2012. The Task Force is composed of 9 citizen thought leaders in the technology area. Many studies show that while the older demographic (>45 years old) is increasing their usage of e- mail, the younger demographic (< 24 year old) is not generally adopting e-mail or the Web. The younger demographic increasingly consumes their information via text and mobile applications. The current Town information channels do not support the younger demographic. Distributing information via the Web and e-mail will remain important information channels for the Town, but new information channels need to be developed so the Town can inform and interact with our younger citizens. The Task Force has developed the recommendations identified in this report over 9 meetings, totaling over 36 meeting hours, in just 4 months. It would best serve the citizens of the Town of Cary for the Town to be responsive to these recommendations in order to develop our Internet and virtual properties to the high level of design and usability that citizens expect from the Town. Our Website is a front door to our Town and we need the same care and attention given to planning and implementation of our virtual properties as the Town spends on its physical properties. Laura Hamlyn has looked in detail at Citizen Engagement. Citizen Engagement is the umbrella of all the other topics in the report. The overall vision for citizen engagement in Cary is to create a hub for all citizen engagement efforts – a website that focuses on several larger initiatives. It should: • Reflect the Cary brand and vision. • Focus on issues that matter to the town. • Create a visible and open conversation between the town and its most engaged citizens. Eleanor Thorne has looked in detail into the necessary aspects to improve the Community aspects of Technology. This includes offering video conferencing, and group meeting spaces for citizens and the many local technology user groups, creating Technology, and Digital Media Centers for learning and offering new programs for all age groups that are Technology focused. A subsection of the report “Cary as a User Group Friendly Town” was developed by Jamie Dixon and has good detail and recommendations for promoting user groups. Eleanor Thorne has looked in detail into the many uses of Social Media. The Town Website needs to be Social and Mobile for it to functional in today’s technology environment. The information that Cary Citizens, and others are looking for on the Town Website will not be easily found unless it is more “social.” Eleanor has developed many recommendations for how the Town of Cary can implement a strong Social Media effort. Top
  6. 6. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Executive Summary / Continued Hal Goodtree has looked in detail at the current Town Website properties. An evaluation of good and not-so-good web design practices are outlined in the report along with recommendations and a phased implementation plan. Brandon Smith has looked in detail at the state of the art in mobile applications. Mobile platforms are becoming ubiquitous and the Task Force recommends that the Town develop an official, simple mobile application to gain experience developing and deploying mobile applications. Eric Brown and Ian Cillay have looked in detail at Open Data and Public API's. While much of this information is at a very detailed level (and so is included in the appendix), recommendations that the Town of Cary adopt an Open Data and a Public API policy are strongly given and embraced by the Task Force. This is a primary recommendation as implementation of this policy will make so much of the other proposals easier for the Town of Cary to implement. Hal Goodtree has looked in detail at the Video assets of the Town. Kudos are given to the facilities and to current group handling the ongoing level of programming. Recommendations are made to re-envision the Video Production Department to improve and increase the level of programming from this function. Video is after all the most powerful way to get our message across. The Task Force spent a lot of time pushing against what we saw as a very constraining public meeting law. Ray Zeisz looked in detail about the security and privacy issues created by technology and his report is given in the appendix of the report. We have included a section on items for a Legislative Agenda and we feel that the Town of Cary needs to take a leadership role for technology based Legislative Agenda items. The issue of why the Technology Task Force was needed in the first place was discussed at length. The amount of time and detailed discussions required by the Task Force were not lost on the group as we discussed the current state of information advisement and the possible mechanisms to keep the Town of Cary current with technology tools. Jamie Dixon details this discussion and outlines several recommendations of which the Town may need to try more than one to find a successful sustainability mechanism. Definitely a vibrant community of user groups would help with this effort. Several focus areas were discussed that the Task Force thought were very important and followed directly from the recommendations in the report. However, we felt these topics fell outside the scope of our mission and so we included these in the “parking lot” section of the report. Eleanor Thorne has looked in detail at Technology Education and recommends many steps that can be taken now with identified sources of funding. Ian Henshaw has looked in detail at Economic Development and recommends steps that should be taken to use Technology as a tool for Economic Development. The Task Force recommends that the Town find partners to take on these 2 important missions.
  7. 7. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Executive Summary / Continued Through the activity of the Technology Task Force, we have broken new ground for Open Government and the Public Meetings Laws of the State of North Carolina. We have used collaborative tools that made our background documents and discussions open to inspection and comment from any citizen at any time. We have also held the first electronic public meetings that hold the promise of allowing citizens to witness and participate in meetings that they cannot currently access due to disability or distance. The recommendations identified for the Town will not all be accomplished in a short time frame. Our understanding is that the Town outsources its Web assets and should be able to change the underlying database structures required for Open Data/Public API at minimal or no cost. The changes to policy and procedure, to the responsibilities of staff, and to the adoption of new information channels will take time and need to have the full support of the Town Council and the Town Manager in order to be successful. Our recommendations are prioritized for implementation. The Technology Task Force hereby thanks the Cary Town Council and the Cary Staff members for their support and encouragement given during this intensely focused effort. We strongly recommend action on the recommendations of this report respectfully submitted by: Eric Brown, Ian Cillay, James Dixon, Hal Goodtree, Laura Hamlyn, Ian Henshaw, Brandon Smith, Eleanor Thorne, Raymond Zeisz. Top
  8. 8. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION II Overarching Policy Recommendations
  9. 9. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Overarching Policy Recommendations As part of the evaluation process, the Technology Task Force felt that there were some recommendations that crossed multiple topic areas. Adoption of these policies would create the environment to allow implementation of the majority of the recommendations of the report. More detailed recommendations are contained in the section reports, and a summary of the recommendations is available in section 7 of the report The Town should give the same care and attention to planning and implementation of our virtual properties as the Town spends on its physical properties. Adopt an Open Data and a Public API Policy • Critical to support “Cary is a Community Technology Hub” • Will allow for independent Mobile application development Make Cary a “Community Driven” Technology Hub Cary actively supports Technology User Groups, Hack-a-Thons, School Technology Partnerships, Code for America Brigades, etc. • Make Cary a location of choice for people moving into the Triangle area who are taking technology positions. • Will attract highly-skilled technology professionals o More affluent and active demographic o Could help balance the aging population demographic trend • User Groups can provide the Town advice on Technology implementation and sustainability. • Will have a positive influence on the development of mobile and other apps in the Town. • Will support Economic Development in the Town • Will support and promote Technology Education in the Town Promote Citizen Engagement • 2-Way Communication Policy o More people involved in the community o Town gains an on-going feedback mechanism • Claim the Town's social media properties Top
  10. 10. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Overarching Policy Recommendations / Continued Develop Generation 6 Website (or Websites) • CaryNC.gov • Integrate with Social Media Channels • Incorporate open data and mobile responsiveness Develop an official, simple mobile application to gain experience developing and deploying mobile applications Re-envision the Video Production Department Provide Leadership for Technology Related Legislative Issues • Protect our citizens from new age threats to their privacy and security. • Use Technology to enhance citizen participation in the decision-making process. • Allow us communication methods with our youth that are not public record. Encourage Partners to Adopt Parking Lot Items • Technology Education • Economic Development Top
  11. 11. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION III Background Top
  12. 12. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Background During the April 19, 2012 Council meeting, Council directed staff to bring a report to Council facilitating the creation of a task force on improving technology services to citizens. In proposing this initiative, Council Member Bush noted the Town of Cary 2012 biennial survey results clearly show that more and more of our citizens are accessing Town information and services online, and are increasingly leveraging all types of technology to do so. Town staff and council members had heard from citizens across Cary that information can be difficult to find online; that current methods (Cary News, postcards) are not reaching intended audiences; and that online tools are the methods they want to leverage to communicate. The original proposal from staff developed a recommended structure for the TTF which is consistent with Town of Cary Policy 15011. The proposal indicated the TTF would have 120 days to develop a draft report and 150 days (approximately 5 months) to get the final recommendations to Council. The proposal included recommendations for lifespan, work outcome and Council and Staff liaisons. Three recommendations were given on how to create and staff the Task Force. At their May 24, 2012 meeting, the Cary Town Council approved creating a Technology Task Force (TTF) to look at improving technology services to Town of Cary citizens. A call for applications for the TTF was made to coincide with the ongoing yearly Boards and Commissions application process. The closing date for applications was June 30, 2012. The following time line was used to review and approve the Task Force applicants: • July 3, 2012, the Assistant Town Clerk sent council an email with the link to the 30 task force applicants • Between July 2-8, 2012, Council members individually reviewed the applications and made a list of recommendations which were provided to Councilor Lori Bush by July 9, 2012 • Between July 9-19, 2012, Councilor Bush conducted interviews from the recommendations • July 19, 2012, Councilor Bush provided to the Assistant Town Clerk a list of 9 recommended appointees and a recommendation for chair for Council consideration at their July 26, 2012 Council Meeting. • July 26, 2012, Council approved the recommended appointments to the TTF Top 1 Policy Statement 150, adopted by Council in November 2009, establishes a structure that all boards utilize.
  13. 13. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION IV Goals/ Objectives
  14. 14. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Goals/Objectives Mission Statement Determine how the Town’s use of technology services can better serve its citizens. Specifically, the TTF shall review, evaluate, and prioritize new and emerging technologies that will facilitate better engagement, citizen outreach, and service delivery by increasing involvement and lowering costs, with the overall goal of making it easier for citizens to communicate with the Town and consume available information. Work outcome Develop a written report to provide to council that will also be included in the Town’s Strategic Information Technology Plan, which focuses on: 1. How the Town should facilitate electronic citizen engagement, communication and consumption of content. The evaluation of various technologies shall be grouped by categories and include the following information: • brief explanation of the technology reviewed; • how the technology could be used to meet the goals outlined in the TTF mission statement; • projection of current and future usage of the technology and how its use should be measured/evaluated; • projection of implementation costs, on-going operation/maintenance costs, and cost savings over current practices; • identification of key stakeholders and a listing of potential financial partners; • implementation priority. 2. Optimize the Town website to make it easier for citizens to find and consume content. • research and itemize “best practices” from other governmental websites; • conduct a thorough review/search of current website and identify areas of improvement; • develop a listing of website additions/modifications; a. brief explanation; b. how the modification meets the goals outlined in the TTF mission statement; c. implementation cost, on-going operation/maintenance cost, and cost savings over current practices; d. implementation priority. Top
  15. 15. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Goals/Objectives / Continued This review of the Towns technology services to external users would go hand in hand with staffs proposed development of a Strategic Information Technology (SIT) Plan. The SIT Plan, the development of which would be facilitated by Dr. Shannon Tufts of the UNC School of Government, will provide a framework for strategic IT investments and management for the next three years. Dr. Tufts efforts will mainly focus on the internal needs and challenges of the Town of Cary organization. Meeting Schedule All meetings will begin at 5:30 p.m. in conference room 10035. • August 8 (5:30-8:30 p.m.), August 22, September 12 (conf. Room 21275), September 26, October 10, October 24, November 14, November 28 Top
  16. 16. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION V Composition and Meeting Schedule
  17. 17. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Composition and Meeting Schedule Composition The Technology Task Force (TTF) is composed of 9 citizen thought leaders in the technology area. These volunteer members are all Cary residents and were selected from 30 applicants by the Cary Town Council for their expertise in different technology areas. • Eric Brown • Ian Cillay • James Dixon • Hal Goodtree • Laura Hamlyn, Vice Chair • Ian Henshaw, Chair • Brandon Smith • Eleanor Thorne • Raymond Zeisz Lori Bush is the Council Liaison to the Task Force. The Task Force is supported by the following Town Staff members: • Mike Bajorek, Assistant Town Manager – Staff Liaison • Cindy Giebel, Administrative Assistant – Task Force Secretary • Bill Stice,Technology Services Director • Susan Moran, Public Information Director • Deanna Boone, Deputy Public Information Officer During the term of the Task Force, additional Town Staff members have supported the TTF. • Sue Rowland, Town Clerk • Karen Grey, Assistant Town Clerk • Lisa Glover, Assistant Town Attorney • Matt Porrazzo, Telecommunications Specialist • Wilson Farrell, Technology Business Analyst • Terry Yates, Telecommunications Manager
  18. 18. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Composition and Meeting Schedule / Continued Meeting Schedule Technology Task Force Meetings All TTF meetings were scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. and were expected to conclude by 7:30 p.m., except the first meeting which was scheduled an hour longer for orientation. In actuality, the meetings went much longer due to the detail of the subject matter developed by the members and depth of discussions of the group. 8 meetings were originally scheduled for the task force, but an additional 9th meeting was added to assist with finalizing the TTF Report and Council Presentation. Actual meeting times are listed: 1. August 8, 2012 – 5:30-8:47 p.m. 2. August 22, 2012 – 5:30-8:34 p.m. 3. September 12, 2012 – 5:30-9:24 p.m. 4. September 26, 2012 – 5:30-7:55 p.m. 5. October 10, 2012 – 5:30-8:50 p.m. 6. October 24, 2012 – 5:30-9:05 p.m. 7. November 14, 2012 – 5:30-10:02 p.m. 8. November 28, 2012 – 5:30-9:37 p.m. 9. December 5, 2012 – 5:30- 9:47 p.m. In addition to the Task Force meetings, several subgroups were developed to focus on a few topic areas that required more analysis than could be done in the regular Task Force meetings. Open Data and Mobile Applications Subcommittee Meetings 1. August 29, 2012 – 5:30p.m.-7:40p.m. 2. November 26, 2012 – 5:30p.m.-7:30p.m. Website Subcommittee Meetings 1. September 18, 2012 – 6:00p.m.-7:45p.m.
  19. 19. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Composition and Meeting Schedule / Continued Report Presentation On December 13, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, the task force recommendations will be presented to the Cary Town Council.
  20. 20. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION VI Focus Area Reports
  21. 21. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Focus Area Reports Report: Table of Contents a. Citizen Engagement b. Community i. User Group Friendly Town c. Social Media d. Website e. Mobile Applications, Open Data, Public API f. Video
  22. 22. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Citizen Engagement Report December 2012 V1
  23. 23. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Citizen Engagement: Table of Contents 1. Citizen Engagement a. Executive Summary b. About this Report 2. Overview: Citizen Engagement 3. Value a. Why this is important to the citizens of Cary b. Why this is important to the town of Cary c. Why this is important to economic development in Cary 4. Next Steps 5. Appendix
  24. 24. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION 1 Introduction
  25. 25. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Citizen Engagement: Executive Summary Executive summary: Engaging citizens in the activities of cities isn’t a new concept. But the way we do it has forever changed. With so many tools and information at our fingertips, it’s not enough push information out. People expect more control over the information they receive, they value transparency and openness, and they can now play a more active role in the world around them. A focused citizen engagement campaign channels the energy (good and bad) around town initiatives and citizen needs into a focused, productive activities and shared vision. The difference between simple public participation and citizen engagement is that in the latter example, input from citizens will directly impact the town’s actions. The overall vision for citizen engagement in Cary is to create a hub for all citizen engagement efforts – a website that focuses on several larger initiatives. It should: Reflect the Cary brand and vision. Focus on issues that matter to the town. Create a visible and open conversation between the town and its most engaged citizens. We can engage citizens in many ways, many of which are covered in the larger report: Online • Social media - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, FourSquare, etc. • Applications - Mobile applications • Websites - Engagement website outside the TOC main website • Multimedia/video • Email - Regular, one-way communication channel • Surveys/polls - Biannual survey • Online discussion groups - Reddit, Stack Exchange, Hacker News, citydata.com, etc. In person • Advisory boards - Citizen boards to jump start projects or to keep town up to date on technology developments • Partnerships - Connect with local colleges, schools or others on research projects, larger initiatives • Meetups - Developers, programmers, tech entrepreneurs, civic-minded people • Events - Classes on cyber security, educating kids or seniors on technology usage, etc.
  26. 26. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top About this Report This report was written for the TTF by Laura Hamlyn. Town of Cary Technology Task Force members: • Eric Brown • Ian Cillay • James Dixon • Hal Goodtree • Laura Hamlyn, Vice-Chair • Ian Henshaw, Chair • Brandon Smith • Eleanor Thorne • Raymond Zeisz Town Council member: • Lori Bush Staff Liaisons: • Mike Bajorek • Bill Stice • Susan Moran • Lisa Glover Town Clerk’s Office: • Cindy Giebel Top
  27. 27. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION 2 Overview Citizen Engagement
  28. 28. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Overview: Citizen Engagement “Surprise is the opposite of engagement.” − Mozilla CEO, John Lilly2 The simplest way to define engagement is to simply frame it as a way to avoid surprises. Imagine a business where no employee is surprised at an action the CEO takes. Even if an employee disagrees with a decision, she has been engaged with the company’s leadership all along, so she understands why the decision was made. On the other hand, an employee might agree with his manager’s decision 100%, but if it is delivered as a surprise, he will naturally become skeptical and look for ulterior motives behind the decision or create reasons to dislike it. This kind of model is more transparent and sustainable, demonstrating more value to stakeholders.3 MYSTARBUCKSIDEA.COM Starbucks engages customers via a highly successful website were their most engaged customers can offer up ideas, vote on their favorites and see the most relevant, popular ideas become reality. At its core, citizen engagement is a way for cities to involve citizens to such an extent that no action or decision is a surprise. But it can mean a lot more. Having a deeper, two-way conversation or engagement with the citizens of Cary can deeply influence the success of our city in the future. Top 2http://opensource.com/business/10/3/five-questions-about-building-community-chris-blizzard-mozilla 3 From Government 2.0 to Society 2.0: Pathways to Engagement, Collaboration and Transformation, Harvard Kennedy School whitepaper
  29. 29. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Overview: Citizen Engagement / Continued The Town of Cary Technology Task Force defined our work by creating several focus areas early on: citizen engagement, websites, social media, open data/APIs, video, cyber security, etc. Citizen engagement is a fairly broad subject and actually serves as an “umbrella” topic over all of the items listed above. Below is our original list of potential citizen engagement activities: • Campaigns - Engaging citizens in larger town initiatives such as downtown revitalization, creating a true technology town, using social media for business development, citizen education efforts, etc. (See AskArvada.com) • Group activities - Focus on groups (such as citizens focused technology development, like developers/programmers, education, open data advocates) and engagement them with town employees and like-minded citizens. For example, Cary could open its doors to technology groups, host meetups, etc., and become a user group friendly town. • Collaboration - Tapping into the expertise of others such as local colleges, teachers, businesses, professional groups etc. to tackle specific tasks that might be outside the town’s expertise. (See www.designphiladelphia.org/about/) • Data collection - Collect information from citizens via surveys, etc. (a less collaborative method if you don’t plan to act on the information you gather in a transparent way.) Barriers to citizen engagement According to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation4, common barriers to citizen engagement are: • Negativism: Government officials don’t see the value in engaging citizens. Thinks citizens don’t really want to get involved in government initiatives. • Communication gap: The gap in communication between citizens and government is large. Citizens don’t always respond to facts. Government isn’t accustomed to listening to--and actually acting--on citizen input. Top 4 http://www.wkkf.org/knowledge-center/resources/2006/02/Eighteen-Propositions-For-Citizen- Engagement.aspx
  30. 30. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Overview: Citizen Engagement / Continued • Leadership resistance: Government officials can’t see a clear path to citizen engagement. While it sounds like a good idea, officials don’t always feel as if citizens want to truly be engaged in actual public policy. INNOVATE RALEIGH The City of Raleigh engaged universities, civic leaders, local businesses and engaged citizens to imagine the city as a center of innovation.
  31. 31. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Overview: Citizen Engagement / Continued MILWAUKEE POLICE DEPARTMENT This police department website delivers strong branding and design. The result is an engaging, interactive, and dead simple website experience that has made new globally and has been featured in many national magazines and blogs. The design work was donated pro bono from a local branding and design firm. Top
  32. 32. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Overview: Citizen Engagement / Continued Top ENGAGE OMAHA Positioned as an “online conversation” between the city and engaged citizens, it features the latest civic enhancement ideas being debated on the website. “If somebody has an idea at 3 a.m., they can get online and tell us about it.” Omaha mayor.
  33. 33. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION 3 Value: Citizen Engagement Why is this valuable to citizens? Today, Cary citizens can give input to the town, but there isn’t a way to aggregate this information so that it is visible and actionable. No matter how things were done in the past, success in the future is about authenticity, transparency and consumer/citizen engagement. Engaging citizens in a focused, transparent way ensures that the town is listening and focusing on issues that matter to citizens. A citizen engagement effort can take town initiatives such as a new downtown development plan and create an open, active dialogue around a single issue. Or, it can focus on engaging one segment of the population such as regional technology experts, engaging them to give our town a more tech friendly reputation. Why is this valuable to the town? The town can create its own brand and initiatives, but simply pushing that information out in the form of a press release or page on a website doesn’t truly engage citizens. And even though the town does engage citizens in activities like the Technology Task Force, citizen engagement creates a constant, focused feedback loop between citizens and government. It can provide the town fresh, strategic insights that are actionable and measurable. Also, by making citizen engagement visible so everyone can see and participate, the town’s efforts to communicate with citizens are increased ten-fold. Instead of sending a single email to a citizen, that response could be seen by thousands in the context of a citizen engagement tool. Why is this valuable to new business and economic development? Citizen engagement provides visibility into the town’s priorities, and can actually help highlight aspects of the town that government leaders want the larger business community to see. For example, engaging local technology experts and entrepreneurs sends a signal to businesses that the town can access a pool of knowledge workers in the area, and has a vision for the kinds of businesses it wants to attract to the area. Engaging our citizens is another tool the town’s economic development arsenal. Top
  34. 34. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION 4 Citizen Engagement Next Steps Top
  35. 35. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Next Steps Transition plan options The Technology Task Force created a temporary Wordpress blog as a way to openly engage citizens in our work on this task force. This has been an unscientific test to gauge the level of involvement citizens can have. But this is only temporary. The ultimate goal for the town’s citizen engagement efforts is to use a software tool such as MindMixer, and to engage branding/design agency to create this website. A critical aspect of citizen engagement is to not only create engagement but to provide a sense of community (others have joined me in this imitative) and to sustain the effort (this is more than a passing Facebook post—it’s a movement). MINDMIXER “Cities are better when citizens are involved.” MindMixer was created to facilitate citizen engagement online, helping citizens become active participants in conversations and initiatives. Next steps include: • Evaluating community engagement tools such as MindMixer. • Agree on a brand personality and design to apply to the use of the tool. (Who are you? What do you stand for? Why do you want citizens to engage with you?) • Create focus areas for citizen engagement (education, outdoor/environmental causes, city development issues, open data, education, etc.) • Top
  36. 36. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Citizen Engagement: Next Steps / Continued • Town staff responsibilities – Who is in charge of community engagement? Will you need consultants to help refresh the program over time? Will you need a new hire, or can existing staff manage this dynamic program? Timetable Evaluation of citizen engagement tool: 2-3 months Branding and design engagement: 6-8 months Cost Cost Scale: Medium (20 K to 250K) • Citizen engagement tool monthly/annual subscription • Branding/design/development firm costs • Training/employment of staff See Work Prioritization Worksheet in the Appendix for more information. Top
  37. 37. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION 5 Appendix Top
  38. 38. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Appendix: Links Citizen engagement references: • Eighteen propositions for citizen engagement, Daniel Yankelovich’s presentation to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. www.wkkf.org/knowledge- center/resources/2006/02/Eighteen-Propositions-For-Citizen- Engagement.aspx • Planning Imagine Austin: http://www.imagineaustin.net/history • UNC Community Engagement efforts: http://planning.unc.edu/research- engagement/engagement • Speak Up Austin: https://austintexas.granicusideas.com • Speak Up Austin in action: http://austin.ynn.com/content/austin_city_council/speak_up_austin/285207/s peak-up-austin--help-solve-austin-s-animal-overcrowding • Crowdsourcing a better world: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/28/crowdsourcing-a-better- world/?ref=opinion • Survey to gauge citizen engagement: www.dailyheraldtribune.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3598218 • Recognition for innovative government programs: (Good examples of innovation in the list of winners.) www.ash.harvard.edu/Home/News-Events/Press-Releases/New-Bright-Ideas- Program-Recognizes-Innovative-Government-Programs • Citizen engagement video featuring SeeClickFix and Mind Mixer: http://seeclickfix.blogspot.com/2012/11/seeclickfix-and-mind-mixer-as- civic.html
  39. 39. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Other Citizen Engagement Task Force References • TTF: Survey of Municipal Websites • Center for Digital Government – Trends 2012 • Center for Digital Government – Best of the Web 2012 • Town of Cary Web Stats Top
  40. 40. Town of Cary Technology Task Force
  41. 41. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Community Report December 2012 V1 Top
  42. 42. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Community: Table of Contents 1. In Real Life Community Building and Collaboration a. Executive Summary b. About this Report 2. New Use for Town Assets and Programming / Events a. Space for User Groups Downtown b. Digital Media and Technology Centers i. Youth Programs ii. Multi level Coding Classes iii. Computer Recycling Program c. Code America Brigades 3. Next Steps 4. Appendix Top
  43. 43. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION 1 Introduction Top
  44. 44. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Community: Executive Summary As a Task Force, we spent HOURS of Independent study looking at how other Towns and “competing” Cities interact with Citizens in a Technology Focused manor. One of the most striking differences we witnessed revolves around events in other municipalities available to Citizens for Coding and Experimentation in Science, Technology and Innovation – organized and promoted by their Community. This opportunity for change revolves specifically around the way The Town of Cary approaches Engagement and Technology; and it is an intentional phenomenon that can be found in the Cultural Shifts already embraced by many municipalities in the Country. The shift necessarily requires Government to be open to the idea of “COMMUNITY Virtual Barn Raisings,” meaning a group of Citizens comes together (In Real Life - IRL) to solve a Civic Technology Issue. Obviously, what we are describing is a shift from the Traditional Town “Committee” meetings that “brain storm” ideas, and then “drips” that information back to Staff and Council over a period of time. These Community events, not unlike the short “Burst” of energy from the TTF, create comprehensive solutions and impactful recommendations for immediate consideration. This Culture shift in “Community” is VITAL to change an aging population in Cary as we work to “Cultivate the next generation of public sector technology leaders.” Since 1998, there have been many changes to the way Technology affects our lives. Yet, The Town of Cary has done little to embrace these changes in the way it both interacts with Citizens, and seeks comprehensive, collaborative input from them. With Social Media – this “newest” generation of Technology Users are expecting (and in some parts of the Country, experiencing) a different interaction from their Government. Providing new ways for Citizens to learn from each other, will demonstrate a networked, web-centric and open approach to problem-solving by The Town of Cary.
  45. 45. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Community: Executive Summary/Continued Change the Tool Set In order to facilitate this “culture shift in Community,” the Town of Cary needs to be open to: • Offering Video Conferencing, and Group Meeting Spaces for Citizens • Creating Technology, and Digital Media Centers for Learning o Offering new Programs for All Age Groups that are Technology Focused • Prioritizing Projects they want Citizen input on – and Sponsoring Community Events for collaboration on those projects Top
  46. 46. Town of Cary Technology Task Force 6009… The number of “Geeks” already meeting “Near” Cary on a Monthly Basis to discuss Technology According to Meetup.com Top
  47. 47. Town of Cary Technology Task Force About this Report This report was written for the TTF by Eleanor Warren-Thorne Town of Cary Technology Task Force members: • Eric Brown • Ian Cillay • James Dixon • Hal Goodtree • Laura Hamlyn, Vice-Chair • Ian Henshaw, Chair • Brandon Smith • Eleanor Thorne • Raymond Zeisz Town Council member: • Lori Bush Staff Liaisons: • Mike Bajorek • Bill Stice • Susan Moran • Lisa Glover Town Clerk’s Office: • Cindy Giebel Top
  48. 48. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION 2 Next Generation Community Top
  49. 49. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Community: New Approach During our research, there were several programs and opportunities identified for The Town of Cary to consider as it moves forward. Many of these involve opening current space to User Groups (Geeks already meeting on a monthly basis – who have no real “home” for a meeting), and expanding the use of Town of Cary Video Conferencing Space for Video Conferencing. Opening current Town of Cary resources, especially those Downtown, would bring in more visitors to this area. Using those spaces in a, perhaps, less “traditional” way would also bring a different sub-set of visitors to Downtown. Because of the nature of these groups, and activities, this would not be an income “positive” approach for The Town – offering free use of WiFi and Video space to learning Groups of ALL ages and interests. SEE Next Section for Details on User Groups, Definitions and Benefits GET INVOLVED WITH CODE AMERICA As we identify opportunities to connect, it’s important to realize HOW people who are engaged in new technology and Social Media communicate and participate. This group of people is Civic Minded and Event Driven. One of the largest “movements” for organized participation is through the Code for America Project. “Code for America is a new non-profit, and a new kind of organization. Our team is made up of web geeks, city experts, and technology industry leaders. We are building a network of civic leaders and organizations who believe there is a better way of doing things and want to make a difference.” Top
  50. 50. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION 3 Community: Next Steps “Of course, if youth in Silicon Valley need these programs, the Children in Cary deserve exposure to them as well.”Dr. Julie Petlick, SAS Top
  51. 51. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Community: Next Steps The Town is over 93% “connected” but we still rely SOLELY on Wake County Public Libraries for free public access to the Computers and the Internet. These machines are often on a wait list, and provide no space for technology training or education. The Community needs a better space to engage in Technology. The Town of Cary has long been “known” as a great place to raise children; however the programs we are offering our Youth are not meeting the challenges of the 21st Century. The Town should consider programs that provide after school, track out and summer camp experiences focusing on STEM Educational programs and events. 1. Immediately begin offering space, especially in Downtown Cary for Technology User Group Meetings and Video Conferencing Events for Learning. 2. Some of the identified programs require space and equipment. There are at least two Town of Cary facilities that could be converted into Technology Centers with computer labs (plans have already been drawn to convert the former HR Building downtown into a Digital Media Center). These labs would provide additional space to connect for free, could offer independent classes in various languages, and job training. Would also be ideal spaces for User Groups. 3. By coordinating efforts from other non-profits The Town of Cary can initiate a Computer Recycling Program. Many businesses would donate older technology if they knew that their data would be ethically removed. As an initiative, The Town of Cary could use this donated technology, teaching all ages to fix computers, and then gift those ready to use to moderate to low income households, and non-profits. These “tinkering” events and re-cycling programs are now referred to as “Tech Sheds.” 4. Coordinate Coder events for all Age Groups to solve Town of Cary technology issues, make recommendations for new websites and user experiences 5. Code For America – Review the opportunity for engagement with the Code for America project. a. Goal of being a city partner by 2015 b. Apply for a Code for America Fellow by 2014
  52. 52. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Timetable Steps 1: First Quarter of 2013 Step 2 - 3: 2014 Step 4: Second Quarter of 2013 in Town of Cary Space Step 5: 2014 Cost Cost Scale: [low (20K) medium (20 K to 250K) High (above 250K)] • Low Cost: 3 recommended • Medium Cost: 1 recommended • High Cost: 1 recommended See Work Prioritization Worksheet in the Appendix for more information. Top
  53. 53. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION 4 Appendix Top
  54. 54. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Appendix: Links Youth Technology and Education Programs for Town of Cary October 10, 2012 to TTF Presentation PDF Code for America See Links to Events in the Engagement Section See Links to Information in User Group Friendly Town Top
  55. 55. Town of Cary Technology Task Force User Group Friendly Town Report December 2012 V2 Top
  56. 56. Town of Cary Technology Task Force User Group Friendly Town: Table of Contents 1. Overview a. Executive Summary b. About this Report 2. Detail a. User Group Definition b. User Groups in the Triangle c. User Group Opportunities d. Specific policies the Town could adopt e. Impact of being a user group friendly town 3. Next Steps 4. Appendix
  57. 57. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION 1 Overview
  58. 58. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top User Group Friendly Town: Executive Summary The Town of Cary should become a technology user group friendly town. User groups are a collection of individuals who regularly meet on a technology-specific issue. By adopting specific policies to make the town attractive to local user groups, the town can benefit in a myriad of ways. The policies recommended by this report are not particularly costly – but they do require the commitment from the Town Council and the implementation expertise from the town staff. Benefits Below are some of the benefits of Cary becoming a user group friendly town: • Make Cary a location of choice for people moving into the Triangle area who are taking technology positions. • Will attract technology entrepreneurs that can consider Cary a place to start-up a company. • Can provide the Town advice on Technology implementation and sustainability. • Will have a positive influence on the development of mobile and other apps in the Town. • Will support Economic Development in the Town • Will support and promote Technology Education in the Town
  59. 59. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top About this Report This report was written for the TTF by James Dixon. Town of Cary Technology Task Force members: • Eric Brown • Ian Cillay • James Dixon • Hal Goodtree • Laura Hamlyn, Vice-Chair • Ian Henshaw, Chair • Brandon Smith • Eleanor Thorne • Raymond Zeisz Town Council member: • Lori Bush Staff Liaisons: • Mike Bajorek • Bill Stice • Susan Moran • Lisa Glover Town Clerk’s Office: • Cindy Giebel
  60. 60. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION 2 Detail
  61. 61. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top User Group Friendly Town: Definition A users' group (also users group or user group) is a type of club focused on the use of a particular technology, usually (but not always) computer-related (Wikipedia.org). Technology-focused user groups have been become ubiquitous in the larger city and towns in the world as a way to bring technology practitioners, technology entrepreneurs, and other interested parties together. The members of user groups tend to be high-educated, affluent, and education-focused. Typically, User Groups meet at night during the workweek and after the meeting go out to dinner or a bar to continue the side conversations that inevitably occur during the meeting. Most local User Groups meet once a month with some meeting weekly.
  62. 62. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top User Group Friendly Town: Local Groups Here is a non-comprehensive list of technology-focused User Groups in the Triangle that met in September 2012 (Meetup.com): Group # Users Agile RTP 920 Raleigh Web Designer Group 787 Raleigh Ruby Brigade 551 Wordpress 549 Triangle JavaScript 479 TriDriod 464 RTP New Tech 453 Triangle PHP 374 Triangle .NET User Group 291 Triangle Drupal User Group 291 Triangle Cocoa - Mac and iOS Development 245 Raleigh Nerd Herd 192 Triangle Hackers 192 Triangle DevOps 143 OSAWP User Group 130 Crop (Designers) 127 Triangle Zope and Python User Group 112 One of the largest challenges for user groups is meeting space – most operate with a limited or no budget. Most groups go begging for meeting space that has adequate facilities to support their membership. Groups usually require a large meeting hall with a projector for presentations and smaller rooms for breakout sessions. Ideally, this space is located near restaurants or pubs for the after-meeting discussions.
  63. 63. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top User Group Friendly Town: Opportunities The Town Of Cary has a unique opportunity to become a destination hub for Triangle User Groups. Its central location makes it convenient to Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill as well as RDU for out-of-town speakers. In addition, the Town Of Cary has a mandate from the Town Council to grow downtown and is a unique, vibrant, dynamic, pedestrian-friendly location that is a regional destination and place to live, work and play (Town Center Area Plan). If a large number of User Groups meet in downtown Cary on a weekly basis, the economic impact would be significant. In addition, if potential business owners saw how friendly Cary was to technologists, they might be more inclined to look at Cary as a place to start their business. User Group Friendly Town: Policies The Town Of Cary should make it a stated goal to be a User Group friendly town and to be the destination of choice for all User Groups in the Triangle. Specific steps should include: 1) Offering Town meeting locations at low/no cost to user groups. Possible locations include Town Hall and Cary Arts Center 2) Reaching out to local user groups about downtown Cary as a destination for their meetings. 3) Encourage restaurants/pubs to locate downtown to cater to these groups. 4) Offer a Code Camp/Code Contest (ideally with the Town’s APIs) to local User Groups. 5) Consider creating a Digital Media Arts Center (as discussed in the education section) at the old Human Resources building located near the library or Jordan Hall located on N. Harrison Ave. This center could be used for User Group meetings at nights.
  64. 64. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top User Group Friendly Town: Impact Making downtown the “go to” place for User Group meetings will be a significant step to help Cary can become the “Technology Town of North Carolina”. Other towns may have Web sites, Facebook pages, Mobile apps, and even Public APIs. However, few (if any) other towns have the unique characteristics that will truly differentiate it from other towns – being a User Group Friendly town is one of those unique characteristics. Top
  65. 65. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION 3 Next Steps Top
  66. 66. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Next Steps Once the Town Council adopts position of Cary being a User Group Friendly Town, the town staff can offer specific recommendations of implementation, as well as providing costs and potential benefits. Because user groups meet regularly, the town can being implementing any steps almost immediately. See Work Prioritization Worksheet in the Appendix for more information. Top
  67. 67. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION 4 Appendix Top
  68. 68. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Appendix: Links User Group Friendly Town Presentation PDF Other Task Force References • Meetup.com – Local Groups • User Group Definition • Cary’s Downtown Objectives
  69. 69. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Social Media Report December 2012 V1 Top
  70. 70. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Social Media: Table of Contents • Executive Summary • Vision • Current Policy • About this Report • Social Media Moves Google • Content Curation and Content Marketing • Best Practices • Benefits • Item • Future • Next Steps • Appendix • Glossary of Terms Top
  71. 71. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION 1 Introduction Top
  72. 72. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Social Media: Executive Summary Social media enables more rapid sharing of information. It may take hours, or even days, for a new announcement to reach the Citizens through traditional channels. Why? Because when a press release is issued, a journalist or writer must first wade through all the sales and marketing lingo to find the key points. Then, the content must be re-purposed in article format, and sent to an editor or proofreader before it is published. Social media vehicles, on the other hand, allow for instantaneous dissemination of not just news, but images, audio, video, and other multimedia content as well. The Town currently works with an outdated set of "tools" to work within the Social Media Arena, and it reflects in our online presence. Social Media has created an entirely new category of communication, one drastically different from traditional media opportunities. It is very difficult to predict the future of this media - and the concepts and strategies described here will continue to shift as new ideas and tools are able to leap to the top of the Search Engines. It is important that The Town of Cary take this moment to recognize that it needs to shift Policy and implement changes that will, overtime put it in a position to engage Citizens, save time and energy and more easily predict the needs of Citizens. Vision The Goal of this plan is to create a strategy for the Town of Cary that highlights the Government’s commitment to technology in public service, and presents a comprehensive plan to achieve the Town’s digital potential. Core opportunities include Engaging all sectors of the population using “hard” assets the Town already possess, events that include and focus on Technology, and communications that do more than simply “push” information onto the Internet. Top
  73. 73. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Executive Summary: Vision / Continued Cary has long been a center for Innovation, having for decades one of the most highly educated workforces in the Southeast. To capitalize on this exceptional “brain trust,” we recommend that the Town focus on Open Government and an Economic Development plan that supports a vibrant Technology Centric partnership with business. We envision an opportunity for the Town of Cary to use our recommendations and insight to produce a Town Government that Communicates and Engages with Citizens and Business with enthusiasm. As Citizens, we also expect to find a Government that promotes Cary, NC as a place of Innovation, and a Town that actively educates and seeks Corporate Partners that will enrich the Technology Community here. Because we envision a Town of Cary that is Engaged. There is an expectation that when someone asks a question on Twitter, posts a picture on Facebook with a comment, or replies to an email - someone representing The Town of Cary will be hitting reply. Additionally we should be maximizing our opportunity to promote Town Assets (like the multi-million dollar Cultural Arts Center), providing mobile solutions for search, and change currently policy to reflect this shift. Current Policy • Policy states: New Media communiqués will be “one-way” and adhere to the Town’s New Media Style Guide.” • There's not a solid Social Media Policy for Employees to protect Town Assets, providing Secure access to Channels. • No overall plan to "claim" Social Media Assets as they immerge. For instance, Twitter Account Names, Domains with .Gov or Facebook Pages. • Training is inconsistant and needs to include basics of Content Creation and Content marketing. Top
  74. 74. Town of Cary Technology Task Force
  75. 75. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top About this Social Media Report This report was written for the TTF by Eleanor Warren-Thorne Town of Cary Technology Task Force members: • Eric Brown • Ian Cillay • James Dixon • Hal Goodtree • Laura Hamlyn, Vice-Chair • Ian Henshaw, Chair • Brandon Smith • Eleanor Thorne • Raymond Zeisz Town Council member: • Lori Bush Staff Liaisons: • Mike Bajorek • Bill Stice • Susan Moran • Lisa Glover Town Clerk’s Office: • Cindy Giebel Top
  76. 76. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION 2 Is This Your Business? Top
  77. 77. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Social Media: Google and Facebook Changes Social Media is more than "Playing On Facebook..." however, there’s so much more to these tools that are FREE and available to The Town and it’s Citizens. Facebook currently shows that there are 64,040 people over the age of 13 who show Cary, NC as their home address on Facebook. As we look at change in the way information on the web is (and will be found) the changes that Google and Facebook make as they compete for eyeballs and advertising dollars cannot be ignored. The current Town of Cary website was developed prior to the explosion of Tablets and iPads – which are mobile devices. Because of that, The Town of Cary website does not navigate well for folks looking for information from their iPhone, iPad, Droid, Tablet. The percentage of people looking for information on these devices in the next 24 months will likely double. The Town of Cary website is also not "Social." Meaning it's not EASY for me to share information on the site with my 64,040 fellow Citizens... The Town Council expressed an interest in communicating and engaging with Citizens in a more robust manner – understanding that folks under the age of 40 are less and less likely to use email. That’s one reason to embrace the Technology available to communicate and engage using Social Media Tools. The most important reason to use these tools comes from the fact that Google started making changes in 2010 to adjust for the emergence of mobile devices, and the importance of Social Search. In fact, Google’s made over 750 significant changes to the way it ranks web pages since the beginning of 2010. With those changes, just having Content (all of those pages on our website) and things pointing to that content (all of those Real Estate Agents for example that have links to the Town’s Site) aren’t enough to get information “seen.” You now need social interaction. Giving Citizens the ability to easily share information from the Town’s website on Social Channels should be a priority. Monitoring what the Citizens are saying about the Town (both positive and negative) should also be a priority that is done using the most up to date tools. Top
  78. 78. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Social Media: Google and Facebook Changes / Continued Bottom line? The Town Website NEEDS to be Social and Mobile for it to be functional in today’s technology environment. This is important not only for engaging with current Cary Citizens – it’s also important for Economic Development. The INFORMATION that Cary Citizens, and others are looking for on the Town Website will not be easily found unless it is more “social.” This is not just a Google shift – in July of 2012, Bing had over 30% of all Searches done – because of its connection with Facebook. Bing introduced Social Search in August of 2012. Additionally, it’s important to note that Town of Cary Citizens will continue having conversations about the Town, asking questions, and offering interesting solutions to complex problems. The Town will not be in those conversations – unless we are ALSO engaging with Citizens via Social Media. Top
  79. 79. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Reviews of Bond Park as seen by Siri (Apple iphone app) At this time, the data for this application pulls from Yelp Business Pages. Top
  80. 80. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION 3 Social Media: Content Curation and Content Marketing In additional to Social Media “Engagement” activities, The Town should be acting as a point of Content Curation about The Town of Cary, including information, reviews, recommendations, images and data about The Town of Cary. In the Future, this Curation process will be an important part of Mobile Search - and the reputation of Town of Cary assets will more easily be monitored using this strategy. (see appendix for tools) Social Content Marketing is a more accurate term for the work we are proposing for The Town. This encompasses not only creating appropriate accounts, messaging and Community Building - but also includes creating Content that is formatted in a way that is appropriately linked and can easily be shared. Content creation for The Town of Cary includes web pages, media, polls, Infographs as well as “status updates,” and replying to inquiries. Training for those who currently create Content for The Town of Cary in the near future would ideally include a model for linking Materials from one page to another. (see appendix for examples) In addition to creating and promoting Content and campaigns for Engagement Events and Town Programs, Social Media tools should be used to monitor conversations and updates across multiple channels. This monitoring process will provide a much higher level of Customer Service to Citizens who are already trying to communicate with The Town, in celebration of a job well done, and day to day observations. Top
  81. 81. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION 4 Next Steps Top
  82. 82. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Social Media: Next Steps By changing policy to embrace a theme of Social Engagement, The Town of Cary will be better positioned to promote town assets, grow our audience and elevate our culture. 1. Create a Social Media Policy that allows for Conversation and Engagement between Citizens and The Town 2. Change Social Media Policy in Employment Contracts to protect Town Assets, providing secure access to Channels. 3. Every effort should be made to "claim" Social Media Assets as they immerge - and the Town should contact the Largest Social Media Channels to transfer those domains. The Policy could include purchasing domains for new Town of Cary Assets and changing Domains to a .gov – and the adoption of Keyword Phrases for the Town of Cary, Programs and Assets that will be monitored on a consistent basis for Content Curation and Social Media Marketing (including Hashtags). 4. Increase Training for those currently charged with Content Creation and Content marketing at The Town of Cary, resolving issues with existing Content so that it highlights Town Assets appropriately and incorporates design, style and engagement that is consistent across the digital experience. 5. Implement a CRM program to organize inquiries and comments and provide feedback to Council • The Task Force identified several key areas for immediate improvement, one of those involves the lack of a system or program to organize Digital Inquiries and provide feedback to Council. A Consumer Relationship Management System that can provide the “memory” of what happened, when it happened and the issues associated with each event or action will help The Town determine what should happen next. • This type system could help, for instance, once the Town’s e-newsletters are “responsive.” When Citizens have the ability to reply, or ask questions directly from the newsletters, tracking those responses, and making those responses more and more automated, will allow The Town to create better content and solutions around those inquiries. Long term the Town of Cary might consider a coordinating Agency that would provide support between public and the Town of Cary Staff. Citywide Digital coordination would oversee the user experience and content of all Town of Cary Websites, Engagement, crowdsourcing and participatory media initiatives. Top
  83. 83. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Timetable Steps 1 – 3: First Quarter of 2013 Step 4: Initial Training Should Begin ASAP 2013 Step 5: No later than 2014 Cost Cost Scale: [low (20K) medium (20 K to 250K) High (above 250K)] • Low Cost: 3 recommended • Medium Cost: 1 recommended • High Cost: 1 recommended See Work Prioritization Worksheet in the Appendix for more information. Top
  84. 84. Town of Cary Technology Task Force SECTION 5 Appendix Top
  85. 85. Town of Cary Technology Task Force The Way It Use To Work.... Using Social Media… There are possibilities Top
  86. 86. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Appendix: Links Employee Social Media Restriction Policy - Basecamp – September 13, 2012 Presentation PDF Engaging Social Media Policy- Basecamp – September 13, 2012 Presentation PDF Other Task Force References Google+ Maps Parks - https://plus.google.com/local/Cary%2C%20NC/s/parks Town Of Cary Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/townofcary Google+ Hang Out Events - https://plus.google.com/101560853443212199687/posts/hAEnkUF8Wm5 FourSquare, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook with one piece of content - http://www.flickr.com/photos/thecorcorangroup/sets/72157627170497842/ Current Recommendations for Social Media Campaigns Content Formatting • Make The Town’s web pages more usable, accessible, intuitive and ENGAGEMENT Focused • Launch 311 Online through smartphone apps, Twitter and live chat • Implement a custom bit.ly url redirection service on new Town of Cary sites to encourage sharing and transparency • Adopt Hashtags that will be monitored per Department / Asset for Activity and Engagement, include those #’s in the Profile for the Channel Top
  87. 87. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Current Recommendations / Continued • Expand official Facebook presence with a strategy to engage Citizens, and elevate the Celebrations of Town Citizens, providing a customized experience • Expand a central Twitter account and one-stop shop of crucial news and services that is monitored for feedback to answer questions about The Town of Cary, Events and Programs • Launch a Foursquare badge that encourages use of Town of Cary’s public places, programs and Entertainment Venues • Complete Town of Cary Asset profiles on Google+, Google Maps, Yelp Business, Bing Local, Mapquest (Beta). • Launch a Town of Cary Digital Media Campaign with a focus on Green Initiatives • Integrate apps and crowdsourcing tools for emergency situations • Promotion, Celebration and Awards for new programs with a focus on Technology, Innovation, and Education • Launch Google Campaign to enhance Google Map Listings of Town of Cary Assets • Integrate Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, Storify, Google + and Video Platforms including Vimeo, YouTube and UStream to update and document events. • Launch Tumblr Account, or expand Wiki to document and Archive Town History in an interesting, searchable format. • Integrate Text and Voice Messaging services Top
  88. 88. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Websites Report December 2012 V3 Top
  89. 89. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Websites: Table of Contents 1. Introduction a. Executive Summary b. About this Report 2. Survey of Municipal Websites a. Hall of Fame b. Hall of Shame c. Characteristics of a Good Muni Websites d. Scorecard – You Rate it 3. Website Properties a. Definition of Website Properties b. Inventory of ToC Properties i. Main Properties ii. Secondary Properties c. Current ToC Website Usage Stats 4. Recommended Website Properties a. Main Property: CaryNC.gov b. Top 9 Municipal Websites for Cary c. More TTF Website Ideas d. Ad Server 5. Staffing Considerations 6. Next Steps 7. Appendix
  90. 90. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION 1 Introduction
  91. 91. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Websites: Executive Summary This section of the Technology Task Force Report will take you through the world of websites – what we have now, what other towns have and what we should get. Playing Catch-Up? As far as municipal properties on the web are concerned, you’ll see examples of towns that do it better than Cary and towns that don’t. We’re about in the middle of the pack. If we want to compare to leading towns like Raleigh, Austin, Eden Prairie MN and Carmel IN, we have some catching-up to do. More Websites The trend certainly is to take large, complex, difficult-to-navigate municipal websites and break them into smaller, more audience-centric properties. Some popular municipal satellite sites: • Parks & Rec • Police • Open Data This section of the report includes Top 9 Municipal Websites for Cary. CaryNC.gov The Town’s main property, towofcary.org, is in need of an upgrade. The way to go is to build the most important satellite websites and then construct a new main property on the domain name CaryNC.gov. Top
  92. 92. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top About this Report This report was written for the TTF by Hal Goodtree. Town of Cary Technology Task Force members: • Eric Brown • Ian Cillay • James Dixon • Hal Goodtree • Laura Hamlyn, Vice-Chair • Ian Henshaw, Chair • Brandon Smith • Eleanor Thorne • Raymond Zeisz Town Council member: • Lori Bush Staff Liaisons: • Mike Bajorek • Bill Stice • Susan Moran • Lisa Glover Town Clerk’s Office: • Cindy Giebel Technical Support: • Matt Porrazzo, Neil Ghodke and Terry Yates. Top
  93. 93. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION 2 Survey of Municipal Websites
  94. 94. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Other Towns: Hall of Fame Many municipalities and government organizations across America have a problem - creaking, sometimes painful websites. A few bright spots stand out. Austin is one of them. Austin, TX AustinTexas.Gov Top
  95. 95. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Other Towns: Hall of Fame / Continued The website for the State of Alabama won First Place for 2012 from the Center for Digital Government. State of Alabama http://www.alabama.gov/portal/index.jsp Top
  96. 96. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Other Towns: Hall of Fame / Continued The Milwaukee Police Department has a public engagement site that’s pretty impressive. Milwaukee Police http://www.milwaukeepolicenews.com/ Top
  97. 97. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Other Towns: Hall of Shame This is no scarlet letter, really. Just a reflection of the current state of affairs on many muni websites. Biloxi, MS http://www.biloxi.ms.us/
  98. 98. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Other Towns: Hall of Shame / Continued Belleville, NJ http://www.bellevillenj.org/
  99. 99. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Other Towns: Hall of Shame / Continued Too much text. Confusing. Berkeley, CA http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Home.aspx Top
  100. 100. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Characteristics of a Good Muni Website After looking at dozens of municipal websites, some characteristics emerged: GOOD BAD Big, bold, visual Straight lines, boxes Curvy, rounded Blocks of dense text Sans serif Serif typography Approachable Official Friendly Distance .gov .com, .us, .org informal formal interactive, use of online forms Overuse of pdfs login in the header Login buried deep More Muni Websites See many more of the municipal sites we looked at for this report at: http://bit.ly/VklvuM Top
  101. 101. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Scorecard for Municipal Websites As the process unfolded at TTF, an informal “scorecard” for muni websites began to emerge. Usability (UX) One of the key measures is usability, also called UX for ‘User Experience.’ You can use the Scorecard to grade municipal websites. Visit these: http://www.edenprairie.org/ http://www.bellevillenj.org/ http://www.townofcary.org/
  102. 102. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION 3 Website Properties
  103. 103. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Definition: Website Properties When you publish a website, you are, in fact, a Publisher. In publisher’s terms, your websites are called Properties. Some considerations about website properties: Properties have value Are we getting the maximum value out of our properties? Properties have utility Are our properties useful? Have we chosen to address the most pressing customer needs? Properties cost money Every property you own costs money to support. A publisher (whether a town, a business or a news source) needs to continually ask: • Do we have the right mix of properties? • Are we getting the maximum value from the properties we support? Top
  104. 104. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Inventory: Town of Cary Website Properties Domains Currently in Use by ToC Here’s an inventory of domain names and URLs in currently in use by ToC as provided by Technology Services. 1. Virtual Interactive Planner (VIP) http://vip.townofcary.org http://mvip.townofcary.org 2. NeoGov Employment web site http://agency.governmentjobs.com/TownofCary 3. Cary Community Investment Bonds: http://www.carybonds.org 4. PRCR EZ Reg: http://classweb.townofcary.org 5. Booth Amphitheatre: www.boothamphitheatre.com 6. Utility Billing Online and Building Permits Online http://click2gov.townofcary.org 7. Alternate Day Watering Exemptions - http://www.townofcary.net/water/permit.html 8. PRCR weather cancellations: http://games.townofcary.org 9. Site/Subdivision plans: http://sitesubplans.townofcary.org 10. Budget and other complex documents: http://budget.townofcary.org 11. Wink - Cary Traffic Info: http://wink.townofcary.org 12. Media files: http://media.townofcary.org/ 13. Cary’s FTP site: http://pubfiles.townofcary.org 14. Maps Online: http://66.129.110.96/cary/ 15. Alternate registered domain: http://townofcarync.gov Top
  105. 105. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Inventory: ToC Website Properties / Continued Breakdown of ToC Web Properties ToC has 15 active domains. But when you really boil it down, we have 4 useful web properties, 4 marginal web properties and a collection of servers and profiles on other sites. USEFUL / VIABLE 1. TownofCary.org 2. Virtual Interactive Planner (VIP) 3. CaryBonds.org 4. BoothAmphitheatre.com MARGINAL Low usage or sub-domains of other sites. Antiquated look and feel. 1. Games 2. Water 3. Wink (Traffic) 4. Site Plans SERVER SITES These domains are not websites per se, but are used to serve data to other public facing website properties. 1. Maps 2. Budget 3. FTP Top
  106. 106. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Inventory: ToC Website Properties / Continued Main Properties Top
  107. 107. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Inventory: ToC Website Properties / Continued Secondary Properties Some of these secondary properties may be popular – like water permits or utility bill pay – but should be improved to support the overall brand image of the Town. Others – such the “games” site – appear to be neglected and should be considered for closure. Top
  108. 108. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top ToC Website Stats Web stats give us a good idea of what people actually use on the ToC website. Here are the raw stats Source: Town of Cary. See links to more stats in the Appendix. Top
  109. 109. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top ToC Website Stats / Continued Here what the stats are really saying: You’ll note that 7 of the top 10 visited pages are for Parks & Rec. Top
  110. 110. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION 4 Recommended Website Properties
  111. 111. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top ToC: Recommended Web Properties Background & Purpose The current Town website was launched in 2008 and is #5 since Cary launched its first website in 1998. A town website serves two broad purposes: 1. Inform & Engage 2. Branding Benefit: Inform, Engage, Prosper A new website (or collection of websites) would allow us to: • Access many more channels of communication to residents • Target niche audiences & needs within the community • Create greater return on our investment in physical properties (i.e. Cary Arts Center) and services (i.e. PRCR programs) Benefit: Branding Municipal website properties also express the brand character of a town. In the best examples, communities create an image of prosperity, modernity and responsiveness. In the worst examples, communities create an image of pinched resources, backward processes and rigid ways of doing business. The effect of better branding: better economic development, improved engagement and higher satisfaction among residents. Why Do We Want a New Website? The current structure of the Town website (Gen 5) is not up to the challenge of today’s socially connected world. Retro-fitting that functionality would very likely be far more costly than building anew. It’s time to start planning Cary’s next generation of web properties.
  112. 112. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top ToC: Recommended Web Properties / Continued Main Municipal Property The Technology Task Force recommends that we build the Gen 6 ToC website on a new domain: CaryNC.gov The City/State.GOV lexicon is becoming more popular with municipalities. As cities and towns upgrade their websites, .gov seems to be the overwhelming choice. As well, it will prove much easier to build a new website on a new domain rather than try to build the new site offline or in a temporary place and than “flip the domain.” This is a risky process that can scramble the organization of pages – a problem ToC has experienced in the past. Building on a new domain would allow a “soft launch” or beta period to sort out bugs and build early-adopter approval. Organization The most forward-thinking municipalities have decentralized their presence on the web, with one main property and lots of supporting properties. Top
  113. 113. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top ToC: Recommended Web Properties / Continued Top 9 Website Properties for ToC The Task Force recommends consideration of the following website properties for Cary: 1. CaryNC.org 2. Parks & Recreation 3. Arts & Entertainment 4. Sports / Athletics 5. Public Works 6. Engagement 7. Public Safety 8. Open Data 9. Ad Server About the List The Top 9 list is a synthesis of the TTF meetings and discussion, a survey of task force members on October 10, 2012, citizen engagement and the current stats for the ToC website. Top
  114. 114. Town of Cary Technology Task Force ToC: Recommended Web Properties / Continued Top More Website Ideas These ideas kept resurfacing during TTF discussions. Many of them would likely fall under the Top 9 list. But others might merit their own website. Tech Task Force ideas: 311 Arts & Entertainment Athletic Fields / Sign Up Business & Jobs Calendar Cary Arts Center Citizen Engage Vehicle Code Commercial Info Configurable Web Page Dashboard of stuff Digital Library Downtown Cary Envirnomental Fire Govt Done Right Greenways IT Laws / Statutes MyCaryInfo Parks & Rec Payments Planning / Zoning / Foreclosure Police Public Works Real Estate Info Search Traffic Utilities Volunteer Public feedback: Parks information Programs & classes (Parks & Rec) Curbside services White goods pickup Cary calendar of events CTran, Crime Data Citizen engagement apps Traffic Applications Park N Ride Info Public feedback at: http://carycitizen.com/2012/11/01/what-mobile-apps-should-cary-pursue/ http://caryttf.com/2012/10/26/priorities-top-10-website-ideas-for-town-of-cary/ Top
  115. 115. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Ad Server The notion of an ad server bears some explanation. In short, it allows ToC to serve messages across all of the web properties, control rotation of the mesages and gather stats. Who Would Use the ToC Ad Server? The platform would be used exclusively for Town messaging to residents except as noted below. Cross-Pollination The use of an ad server allows the Town to cross-pollinate ideas from one area to another. Consumers understand advertising – that is, the ads are perceived as a separate thing from the content. We accept that an ad for an automobile may be next to a cooking recipe. In the same way, a visitor surfing up police information may be receptive to a message about some other aspect of the town – register for fall programs, big show at Booth, etc. Revenue Potential The Town already has sponsorships for certain events and programs. Having an ad server gives the Town another media channel to value in sponsorships. Cost The ad server program we use at CaryCitizen is called Open X. It’s totally free. We served over 1.6 million ads in the last 12 months. Many fee-based alternatives exist as well. The real cost of running an ad platform is running it. Consider the cost of scheduling, producing the necessary artwork and loading up each and every ad. Top
  116. 116. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION 5 Staffing Considerations
  117. 117. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Staffing Considerations Dynamic websites, blogging, social media, advertising and editorial design require special skills and experience. Town Council should expect to fund new positions in digital publishing. This may best be organized into its own department that would serve as a resource for other ToC departments. Staff Training One of the key missions of a Digital Publishing department would be ongoing training for other departments in contributing content to the web. Much of the routine volume of information can be updated at the departmental level. Proper training and follow-through guarantees the Town growing information and reach with the resources we already have. Digital Department To publish a cluster of websites probably requires the following personnel and resources: • Editor/Publisher • Staff Writers • Staff Designer • Production Coordinator • Departmental contributors Other support services: • Technical Services • Public Information Office Top
  118. 118. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Staffing / Continued Programming Digital publishers generally spend as little as possible on computer programming. Most of what is needed is available off the shelf. Programming and support needs would generally be set-up and maintenance related. These services would best be handled through Technology Services. Public Information Office Digital Publishing does not in any way replace Public Information. Every notice, announcement, public record, data, maps and official information need to continue to flow through PIO and the Town Clerk’s office. Cooperation between PIO and Digital is paramount for success. The Conversation There’s a conversation going on every minute of every day on the web. The Town of Cary needs to be a part of it. If PIO and the Town Clerk are the official channels for information, Digital is the channel for conversation. Top
  119. 119. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION 6 Next Steps
  120. 120. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Next Steps The development of the next generation of websites for Cary need not be an endless or Herculean task. It breaks down into a few strategic steps: 1. Decide what resources we have for getting Cary up-to-speed on the web 2. Decide which properties to pursue 3. Develop a plan for development and deployment (research study) 4. Execute satellite sites 5. Assemble Digital staffing 6. Execute Gen 6 municipal site: CaryNC.gov Timetable Steps 1 – 5: 2013 Step 6: 2014 Cost Cost Scale: [low (20K) medium (20 K to 250K) High (above 250K)] • Low Cost: 2 recommended properties • Medium Cost: 6 recommended properties • High Cost: 1 recommended property See Work Prioritization Worksheet in the Appendix for more information. Top
  121. 121. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION 7 Appendix Top
  122. 122. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Work Prioritization Worksheet Work Prioritization Worksheet – Google Drive TTF Website Presentations Website Properties – August 22, 2012 Presentation PDF Website Characteristics – September 12, 2012 Presentation PDF Web Properties Brainstorm – October 10, 2012 Presentation PDF Other Task Force References • Other Cities: Links to Municipal Websites • Other Reference Links • Center for Digital Government – Trends 2012 • Center for Digital Government – Best of the Web 2012 • Town of Cary Web Stats Top
  123. 123. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Mobile Applications, Open Data and Public APIs Report December 2012 Mobile Applications Open Data Policy Public APIs Top
  124. 124. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Mobile Applications, Open Data and Public APIs Table of Contents 1. Introduction a. Executive Summary b. About this Report 2. Mobile Applications 3. Open Data Policy 4. Public APIs 5. Next Steps 6. Appendix
  125. 125. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION 1 INTRODUCTION
  126. 126. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION 2 MOBILE Applications
  127. 127. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Mobile Applications: INTRODUCTION Mobile technology is powerful. Mobile device ownership is dramatically increasing and trending towards ubiquity. When used in public settings, it has the potential to involve citizens in truly meaningful ways. Mobile’s convenience and location awareness can enhance citizen engagement and help governments meet their goals. In fact, many forward- looking organizations and municipalities are embracing the philosophy of “mobile first, desktop second.” All this points to mobile as a first-class channel for connecting citizens to their local governments. And to each other. By building mobile tools, municipalities can lower barriers, improve civic life, engage citizens, create revenue streams, and save tax dollars. In short, mobile applications provide access to local government to more people, more easily, at less cost, wherever, and whenever. We recommend the Town of Cary implement an official, simple mobile application to gain experience developing and deploying mobile applications to the various platform app markets, work with third-parties to develop their own mobile applications by exposing appropriate data (see Open Data Policy and Public API sections), and then scale to the experiences more mobile applications.
  128. 128. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Mobile Applications: EXAMPLES There are many types of civic mobile applications. Some are niche applications for a community or municipality that target a specific need. Others include several different pieces of functionality grouped into one application. In general, applications can be categorized into the following types: 311 Allows citizens to report non-emergency issues using their mobile device; like SeeClickFix Idea engagement Greenways and trails Display greenway system maps; possibly providing real-time location services from mobile devices Parks information Enable citizens to find information about parks; possibly reserve park resources like pavilions and fields Programs and classes Enable citizens to browse and register for programs and classes offered Curbside services and white goods pickup Enable citizens to view curbside pickup schedules for all regular services and seasonal services; possibly register for real-time alerts and location of truck; schedule white goods pickups Calendar of events Enable citizens to view town events calendar; possibly real-time alerts of schedule changes and reminders Points of interest Enable citizens and town visitors to search and view town points of interest; e.g. parking, bathrooms, changing stations, local businesses, historical locations Transportation Enable citizens to view bus location; possibly enable senior citizens to schedule pickups Crime data An application that would display block-level, publicly available, crime statistics
  129. 129. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Figure XX: Types of mobile applications where size of text represents the number of applications observed from the Code for America Commons listing of civic applications
  130. 130. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Description SeeClickFix Mobile application that enables citizens to crowdsource 311 incidents and receive status updates
  131. 131. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Description RGreenway App targeted to provide a great experience using Raleigh’s greenways Code for America Organization fostering civic applications for reuse. MindMixer Citizen engagement tool to crowdsource ideas and idea prioritization and feedback Honolulu Answers Enables citizens to quickly find answers to common questions
  132. 132. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Description Textizen Enables rapid polling of citizens through SMS Adopt-A-Hydrant Engages with citizens to take civic ownership of public resources The Daily Brief Dashboard that enables quick access 311 based on location, type, and status 311 Service Tracker Quickly enables citizens to find out about 311 service requests Recycle Where Niche application to quickly locate recycling facilities based on location and type
  133. 133. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Mobile Applications: CATEGORIES Mobile application functionality can vary broadly. As such, understanding how civic engagement varies in applications can be useful. Civic applications can be roughly categorized across two attributes: authorship and access. Using these spectrums, we can understand which civic applications should be developed by citizens and which by the Town of Cary. Content Authorship Content authorship describes who is providing the content. This can vary between city and citizens. Authoritative content must come from the city. Citizens should not author information that represents the Town of Cary’s goals, interests, and other content on which its citizens depend. Content Access Content access describes who has the ability read, or consume, content and who has write, or create, content. In a given application, understanding these roles, whether implicit or explicit, is important in order for citizens to understand the applications nature and effectively participate.
  134. 134. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Figure XX: Two attributes to understand the nature of a mobile application. Authorship and access describes who authors content (city or citizens) and who has access to content (read-only or write). Using these spectrums we can categorize mobile applications and understand which should be developed by citizens and which by the Town of Cary. Categories in Context Taking content authorship and access in context of each other allows us to characterize mobile applications in a meaningful way. Namely, it allows an analyst to understand other civic applications deployed by other municipalities, who implements and maintains them application, and how much benefit it provides citizens. The following graph illustrates how several civic applications can be categorized against these attributes:
  135. 135. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Applications across all the various authorship and access attributes have value to a community in different ways. Applications containing read-only content provided by municipalities (lower left) are the least costly to develop, but do not engage citizens. However, applications authored by municipalities with citizen insight (lower middle) are more complex and more expensive, but do engage citizens more. Figure XX: Understanding mobile applications in context by understanding content authorship against content access.
  136. 136. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Mobile Applications: EVALUATION FRAMEWORK With general categories for understanding content authorship and access, the Town of Cary should develop a framework for understanding how impactful and relevant a civic application will be for its citizens. We recommend the Town of Cary answer the following questions when evaluating mobile application development by the Town of Cary: • What is the targeted demographic? Who is the app intended for? • Who and what will be impacted by the app, and how? • What is the specific need that is addressed by the app? • Who will use the app and under what circumstances? • How is the information presented? How is it unique? • What are a few of the primary strengths of the design? • Are there security and privacy considerations?
  137. 137. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Mobile Applications: OPPORTUNITIES FOR REUSE The Town of Cary does not have to go in alone. Nationally and globally there is a rising interest in civic applications stemming from both municipalities recognizing that they cannot meet the needs of the citizens from their own resources. As such, there is an opportunity to engage with the community to acquire and develop mobile applications. Code for America is an organization that engages with municipalities to develop applications with its Fellowship Program. They strive to develop these applications in a generic manner and make the code available for anyone to use. Therefore, they have made it easy for other municipalities to deploy their developed applications. This is an organization to watch. Likewise, there civic-minded individuals and communities that are willing to donate time and develop applications. We recommend that the Town of Cary enable and engage with these individuals and communities by creating a user-group friendly environment and implementing an Open Data policy.
  138. 138. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Mobile Applications: RECOMMENDATIONS Transition Plan RECOMMENDATION Develop an evaluation framework for eliciting citizen needs and civic payoff for selecting and implementing mobile applications on an ongoing basis. Town of Cary RECOMMENDATION Implement and deploy a 311 application in the near term enabling citizens to report, search, and view status of non-emergency issues. RECOMMENDATION Develop an official Town of Cary mobile app supported on several mobile device platforms (minimally iOS, Android, and Windows Phone) in order to initiate a presence on the various application markets. Use this as a springboard to understand the development cycle and the app market channels for future mobile apps. Brigades RECOMMENDATION Make appropriate Town of Cary data available (as described in the Open Data section). RECOMMENDATION Actively promote and feature third-party, independently developed mobile applications. This can be accomplished with periodic, sponsored competitions. Make available an updated list of third-party applications that leverage the Town of Cary’s Open Data and APIs. Further, make press releases and announcements through Town of Cary’s various channels when externally developed applications are released. Economic Factors RECOMMENDATION Use private sponsors as a revenue stream. It may not cover development costs, but can greatly offset mobile application development costs and can offer additional benefits when the private sector is invested into the success of the application.
  139. 139. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top SECTION 3 Open Data POLICY
  140. 140. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Open Data Policy: INTRODUCTION In order to support the development of a collaborative environment where the town and Cary citizens engage, in real-time, to develop web or mobile applications as listed in the previous section, the Town of Cary must formalize an Open Data Policy in the context of a digital delivery system. While an implicit policy exists today and citizens can request specific datasets through Cary’s IT department, the process is incompatible with the technical requirements necessary to support the creation of dynamic applications capable of realizing the Cary Technology Task Force mission statement. “Open Data” is most often associated with Open Government initiatives, e.g. Gov2.0, but this report will offer no opinion on the topic. Instead a formal Open Data Policy is important to the town because the Open Data Policy itself serves as a commitment the town makes with citizens concerning publicly available datasets; how those datasets will be delivered and how those datasets can be used. This commitment communicates the promise of stability, that the town will deliver data in a specific manner and in a particular format. Without consistent streams of data upon which application developers can build engagement tools, few people will invest the time to unlock the immense value hidden in the data collected every day by the Town of Cary. If the Town of Cary desires to position itself as a forward thinking technology savvy town and hopes to benefit from the intellectual power of its citizenry to use data in new and innovative ways to improve the town to citizen experience, an Open Data Policy is a critical step in realizing that goal. Open Data Policy: DEFINITION OF OPEN DATA The Open Knowledge Foundation5 defines “Governmental” data as information collected during the course of normal municipal operations which do not identify individuals or breach commercial sensitivity; examples include basic crime statistics, geographic data, municipal operational information, public works information, public event schedules, etc. Note: Please do not confuse “Open Data” with “Open Source”. Open Source refers to software applications and sometimes carries a negative connotation with regard to security. Open data on the other hand is a concept that in itself has no specific technological implementation. 5 OpenDataHandbook. 2010-2012. Open Knowledge Foundation.2010-2012 < http://opendatahandbook.org/en/glossary.html >.
  141. 141. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top The “Open” part of Open Data is a little more detailed and is best defined by the Open Government Working Group6 as the “8 Principles of Open Governmental Data” Government data shall be considered open if the data are made public in a way that complies with the principles below: 1. Data Must Be Complete All public data are made available. Data are electronically stored information or recordings, including but not limited to documents, databases, transcripts, and audio/visual recordings. Public data are data that are not subject to valid privacy, security or privilege limitations, as governed by other statutes. 2. Data Must Be Primary Data are published as collected at the source, with the finest possible level of granularity, not in aggregate or modified forms. 3. Data Must Be Timely Data are made available as quickly as necessary to preserve the value of the data. 4. Data Must Be Accessible Data are available to the widest range of users for the widest range of purposes. Long term access to data must be well defined and communicated clearly. 5. Data Must Be Machine “processable” Data are reasonably structured to allow automated processing of it. 6. Access Must Be Non-Discriminatory Data are available to anyone, with no requirement of registration. 7. Data Formats Must Be Non-Proprietary Data are available in a format over which no entity has exclusive control. 8. Data Must Be License-free Data are not subject to any copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret regulation. Reasonable privacy, security and privilege restrictions may be allowed as governed by other statutes. Top 6 Tim O’Reilly, Carl Malamud, Sunlight Foundation, Google & Yahoo, 12/8/2007, Open Government Working Group, Sebastopol, California
  142. 142. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Open Data Policy: EXAMPLES Open Data Policy Examples • Austin • Toronto • Cook County Municipal Data Catalogs • Raleigh, NC Open Data Catalog • D.C. Data Catalog • Asheville, NC Data Catalog • New York City Open Data Catalog
  143. 143. Town of Cary Technology Task Force Top Open Data Policy: RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDATION Develop a formal Open Data Policy RECOMMENDATION Construct a web based data catalog (web page of links) that lists all the data available from the town denoting which is datasets are publicly available, those that are not and how to request datasets from the Town RECOMMENDATION All new software acquisitions or updates should comply with the “Open Data Policy” RECOMMENDATION Develop and publish a terms of use license for publicly exposed data RECOMMENDATION Publish Open Data Policy to website so it’s easy to find Open Data Policy: NEXT STEPS 1. REVIEW existing Open Data Policy Documents (See Appendix for References) 2. DRAFT a policy to support current and future technology projects that adheres to the 8 Principles of Open Governmental Data 3. APPROVE the policy 4. CREATE a data catalog (web site) 5. PUBLISH the policy on data catalog web site

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