Tech & The District » FOSE Tech the way we see it: insights and musings on technology PR, policy and the District, from H&K’s D.C. Tech Team. Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:06:44 +0000 en hourly 1 Are you saying Ni to internal communications? Wed, 22 Apr 2009 23:18:53 +0000 Chad Torbin I was fortunate enough to sit in on a rather fine luncheon today at the J.W. Marriott and an even greater speech by President Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe on “technology as the holy grail” at the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)’s annual Washington Forum in DC today.Plouffe addressed many of the key 2008 election strategies and like Chris Anderson at his keynote address at this year’s FOSE conference hammered home the same uber-message; meet them [your audience] where they live. A fairly uncomplicated message, especially given the times, but yet so many things about the Obama campaign seemed so simple yet one would be hard pressed to duplicate them with such vigor in our own companies or lives.

And while we hear example after example about how the Obama campaign leveraged technology to reach millions of targeted individuals in thousands of different cities, fund raise and organize, what I hadn’t thought of is how the same technologies – text messaging, facebook, video, and email – were used to push internal communications as well. While technology is credited with helping drive votes, it was also leveraged as a platform to make sure thousands of staffers were on message 24/7. That’s no simple task for any campaign.

While we’ve all heard of what a success it was externally, as Plouffe pointed out today it was internally just as big a coup as anything else. 


]]> 0 FOSE 2009: For the people, by the people… Thu, 12 Mar 2009 19:56:13 +0000 Chad Torbin Although I attended Vivek Kundra’s keynote address this morning, the highlight for me was still Chris Anderson’s “The promise of Gov 2.0” keynote on day one of the conference – my original reason for going. Turns out Anderson is not only the award winning author of The Long Tail, but also holds a degree in physics from George Washington University which pretty much makes him a local.

While GW bars don’t do much for me, I would have gladly met Anderson on his home turf to underscore his uber-key message to the U.S. government – “meet us where we live.”

Here’s what Anderson had to say:

The Google Generation
The younger generations have grown up with Google and Facebook as their entry points to information. When we need information on a topic today, is Google not the first place we turn? If we accept this general principle, we must then ask ourselves why most government services are not optimized for Google. Government websites don’t use search engine optimization technology, they’re not searchable, etc. If it’s not in Google, it doesn’t exist.

Websites are poor communicators
The younger generation, and frankly the rest of us, wants the news to come to them. People don’t want/have time to go to a website and navigate their way to information. They want updates and news on their own terms – i.e. Twitter, RSR, email, Facebook updates, let them opt in and opt out to things. The idea of a one size fits all website doesn’t work anymore. A good example is one pushed by Vivek – a Twitter page for D.C.’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (dcra) to address public complaints and suggestions.

Feeling the Pressure to Change
Although it seems obvious for government to implement some of these changes, according to Anderson the barriers remain high – outmoded client/server software, security and privacy rules, procurement rules and more importantly lack of urgency/pressure. The private sector has the threat of competition driving companies to evolve with the times. The U.S. government has…its citizens? The Obama campaign had the right philosophy and approach to technology engagement, but it’s yet to be seen who can inspire actual government agencies to do the same.

In the end, I have a lot of faith that Obama and Vivek can bring about some much needed change in the way the government engages with the public. We’ve already seen some of this new form of engagement come to life through the and websites. The good news is that the bar is so low right now that if all they did for the next four years were these two sites, they’d already be ahead of the curve.

For those of you that might be thinking about attending FOSE next year, here’s some images to get you excited.

Paul Bart, FOSE cop

Paul Blart, FOSE cop

new sheriff in town

new sheriff in town

]]> 2