Tech & The District » Washington, D.C. 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 On the Agenda Mon, 06 Jul 2009 19:28:16 +0000 Lindsay Campbell Now that every sparkler in D.C. has sizzled into ashes, we know that the 4th of July is officially done and over with. On the upside to the holiday weekend being behind us, July is in full swing and our Blackberry calendars have been instantly flooded with happy hours and Hill hearings. Here are some up-and-coming events for the next two weeks happening in the DC area.

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Open House Not Just White Noise Part 2 Wed, 18 Feb 2009 22:32:40 +0000 Saskia Stegeman Following up on my blog posting last week, it seems like more commentators are starting to raise questions about the Obama’s administration commitment to openness and the ways they are going about it.

In the FT’s Tech Blog today, Richard Waters questioned the White House’s handling of the public discussion around the stimulus package run on the White House’s web site, pointing to the complicated long-winded procedure for commenting and noting that it had the hallmarks of a one-way conversation because there was no way to see anybody else’s comments and more importantly there were no indications about how the comments got read, processed and ultimately what will get done with them.

In the New York Times Bits Blog on Tuesday, Saul Hansell, raised similar concerns about the Obama campaign engaging in a one-way conversation, focusing on the web site which went live earlier this week and was created to monitor spending on the stimulus package, proclaiming itself to be “…the main vehicle to provide each and every citizen with the ability to monitor the progress of the recovery.”

As Hansell notes, creating a meaningful track and response system is extremely complicated.  New media is generating interesting new opportunities for public engagement in politics but managing those conversations, filtering them and acting on them so that they become meaningful is challenging.  In many ways this is still a developing terrain since the explosive growth in social networking and other web 2.0 tools is a recent phenomenon.

The Obama administration has the potential to be pioneers in this area but if they really want to break new ground they have to innovate and develop tools that promote real dialogue and openness. If they fail to do so, their efforts in this area will lose credibility and will mainly be seen as propaganda tools.

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Week in Events: January 26-February 1, 2009 Mon, 26 Jan 2009 21:49:00 +0000 Sharla Lane Come
join the H&K tech team as we endure the snowy weather for
discussions centered around the ever-advancing digital world. Guest
speakers from the Washington Post and BusinessWeek
will be joining other esteemed DC panelists to share their views on
advances in technology from health care to social media. We should have
some great insights to share after attending some of these events, so
stay tuned.

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Finally a President with a Blackberry! Or shall we say Barackberry! Thu, 22 Jan 2009 21:18:00 +0000 Sandra Rodriguez As one of the almost 2 million people at the National Mall in D.C. Tuesday witnessing our 44th President’s swearing in ceremony, I thought I would share with you my experience. 


Living in Arlington, which is 10-15 minutes from D.C., I didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to trek down to D.C. like many did.  The streets of D.C. were blocked off to pedestrians only and it was amazing to see the amount of people on the streets. Here is a photo of my younger sister and me, right by our offices on 14th & G St N.W. The second photo is of H St. and 15th Street NW.  These are streets I walk on every day, and it was incredible the amount of people covering them sidewalk to sidewalk.





After finally arriving at a spot at the base of the Washington Monument, we were in good sight of one of the many jumbotrons lining the National Mall.  The feeling amongst the crowds was incredibly positive, welcoming, emotional and just plain old happy!





Technology definitely came into play in assembling this historic event. There were approximately 20 jumbotrons lined up and down the National Mall with enough wires to probably run from D.C. to New York City. There were also millions with their cell phones recording the speech or watching it live through mobile TV services like MediaFLO.


While I did not have any reception on my cell phone, there were many people updating their Twitter feeds and uploading photos to their Facebook profiles live from the site.  I remember when the only way to catch moments like these was watching it live or a replay on TV. With mobile devices having multimedia capabilities, not only has the way we obtain media changed drastically but the amount has increased tremendously.  Additionally, now every day people are reporters:  in the middle of the crowds there were many people with digital cameras filming their own reports on the inauguration.  Over the next few days I’ll be checking out YouTube and CNN’s iReport for interesting tidbits to share.


Online video has also come into play for the inauguration; according to a article, about 7.7 million people watched the inauguration online, and nearly 27 million people watched streaming video on throughout the day.  This makes the inauguration ceremony the single most watched event in the history of the Web.


President Obama also mentioned technology in his speech. As a close follower of tech and Telco policy, it will be interesting to follow President Obama’s initiatives on making the government more technologically savvy.   Here is the excerpt from his speech I pulled from The White House Blog (which launched Tuesday) on the economy and technology:

 The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift.  And we will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.  We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.  We’ll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.  We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.  And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.  All this we can do.  All this we will do.



Disclosure: Hill & Knowlton represents Qualcomm


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Week in Events: January 12-18, 2009 Mon, 12 Jan 2009 23:01:00 +0000 Sharla Lane In honor of the 44th
President of the United States, this week’s events are politically
charged. A cyber security breakfast chat and an evening at Macy’s
observing a fashion show inspired by Inauguration Day are just two
examples of how Obamarama has taken over the city. If you know of
something else going on that you think should be on this list, feel
free to add it in your comment to this blog.

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Week in Events: January 5-11, 2009 Tue, 06 Jan 2009 15:34:00 +0000 Sharla Lane

Welcome to 2009!  We hope everyone enjoyed a great holiday season.


For those of you looking to bring new life to your career in these slow economic conditions, a few organizations around DC are prepping workers for job hunting by hosting a few different networking happy hours. After you’ve expanded your circle of contacts, why not go sing the blues away and cheer on your favorite reporters as they battle it out to be named the Best DC Media Band? Happy New Year from H&K.


·         January 6- Women in Technology “Ready to Work and Wondering Where To Go.” Networking hour

·         January 7- The Digital Road to Recovery: A Stimulus Plan to Create Jobs, Boost Productivity and Revitalize America

·         January 7- American Marketing Association Networking Happy Hour

·         January 8- IABC’s Overcoming the 7 Barriers to Social Media and Word-of-Mouth Marketing Success 

·         January 8- The Advertising Association of Baltimore and The American Marketing Association’s - After Holiday Party

·         January 9- Journopalooza – First Annual Charity Battle of DC Media Bands




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D.C. 2.0? Wed, 17 Dec 2008 22:09:00 +0000 duncanburns Web 2.0. A much used term, but one which many communicators
are still trying to grapple with – knowing they need to embrace it, but not
sure how. Knowing that this is the future, but not sure how to persuade internal
colleagues and executives that the potential risk is worth the potential reward
just yet. I thought this WSJ article was a pretty good primer for marketers.

Increasingly those of us in PR are seeing “traditional”
journalists producing more and more for their organizations’ web outlets, not
just the “hard copy”. They’re establishing brands online and are finding their
feet with it. What’s their beat, how do they cover their beat while also
ensuring they’re producing enough online content – where hits are tracked by
their editors, where salary is often affected by the number of people reading
their story. When media companies like the Tribune are going into bankruptcy,
one can’t really see the trend towards measurement abating. Can you?

We’ve seen a lot of this in Tech PR, just look at some of
the sites we’ve linked to on the left of this page. But I wonder what impact
the arrival of a new, famously web-enabled, Administration will have on how DC
journalists ply their trade – online and offline? Beyond blogging, I wonder how
they will engage in the two way dialogue that is the hallmark of web 2.0. And
what then happens those first few times when it’s the not “right” sort of
response? How will the government respond when there’s less protection in the
polls and as tough choices start to have an impact? Much more to come on this
topic, but I think it’s going to be a fascinating story to watch in 2009.

What do you think will happen with D.C 2.0? Or is that just all too much hype?

p.s. Congratulations to our Pro Bowls Skins! And Happy
Holidays all!

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Week in Events: December 8-14, 2008 Mon, 08 Dec 2008 20:51:00 +0000 duncanburns As H&K DC collects gifts for its Toys for Tots drive, we want to encourage everyone to give this season.  So check out one of this week’s events, which feature opportunities to donate to a number of charities, including Operation Sugarplum, the Tigerlily Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House.

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Week in Events: December 1-7, 2008 Mon, 01 Dec 2008 20:18:00 +0000 duncanburns December not only brings plenty of excuses to indulge over holiday treats, but ample opportunity to schmooze with the industry’s biggest names at some of the District’s most popular hot spots.  This week, check out Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli of The Washinton Post, top management from CapitalSource, Chevy Chase Trust and Silicon Valley Bank and Managing Director Emily Callahan of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

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Week in Event: November 24-30, 2008 Mon, 24 Nov 2008 15:21:00 +0000 duncanburns Something big is happening in the personal tech world and it’s quickly approaching:  Black Friday.  Despite dismal holiday shopping expectations, the day after Thanksgiving is still expected by some to be a potential bright spot for retailers.  In the DC area, shoppers will likely rush to take advantage of the DC sales tax holiday and slashed price tags.  So how will tech stack up against competing merchandise?  Once you’ve finished mulling over this question, take time to enjoy the season’s festivities, while squeezing in some business, of course.  And look out for Tina Turner on tour!  Why? – well, even Turner uses technology in her performances.  Besides, a good throwback is all you need to make for a perfect holiday weekend.

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