It figures. Supervisor Janet Nguyen, who Chairs the Orange County Board of Supervisors, is opposing the use of social media to enhance the way the County agencies communicate with the public, according to the Voice of O.C.
Nguyen has a lot of beefs about social media, including the sentiment that “Considering the intensity of political blogs in Orange County, Nguyen said county staff could be spending a ton of time monitoring blog comments.”
They already are doing so Chairman Janet! Take a look at the graphic above. Your henchmen are on our Orange Juice blog ALL DAY LONG!
Chairman Janet Nguyen appears to be clueless when it comes to the government use of social media
What Chairman Janet doesn’t appear to know is that various city governments are finding that they can effectively use social media, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, to reach out to their constituencies.
Here are a couple of excerpts from an article on Public CEO, about how the City of Santa Clarita has used these mediums to reach out to their residents:
An early adopter in the use of social networking tools, Santa Clarita constantly explores different ways to leverage the use of these technologies to reach our residents. A recent recipient of the 3CMA Award of Excellence for Social Networking, Santa Clarita’s management of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts allow us to interact with our residents and push content for a variety of purposes. The City regularly uses social media to make City documents readily available for public review, to clarify decisions or provide correct information, as well as to promote City-sponsored events, programs and project status.
Santa Clarita, in particular, has found many ways to serve residents using Twitter: “Leading the way in the City’s social media efforts in terms of effectiveness and sheer number of users is Twitter. Santa Clarita’s Twitter account currently has over 1,200 followers and is growing every day. Information such as noticed public meetings, City-sponsored events, press releases, emergency updates and road closures are synthesized to 140 characters and posted daily on our Twitter feed.”
I personally have found that you can publish PowerPoint presentations as videos and load them on YouTube. And you can load pictures on Picasa and present them as slide shows. These are very effective visual communication tools. And they are FREE.
A great many city governments are also using blogs to reach out to residents and other stakeholders. Here again, Public CEO has revealed, in an article, the extent to which this is occurring throughout California. Here is an excerpt: “Manteca’s blog has newsy items and longer pieces reminiscent of a seminar in city government. These reflect Pinkerton’s reading of articles and news trends from other cities. In one, Pinkerton opines that Manteca, a city of 65,000 in San Joaquin County, might apply the concept of local currency used to goose shopping at city businesses. He cites the example of Mesa, Ariz., where the locals can show local receipts and get a break on fees at the arts center or city museums.”
Click here to see a number of government blogs throughout the country.
The City of Santa Ana’s website is only provided in English. One of my suggestions to their web team was to use the FREE language translator that the City of Albuquerque uses. If you click here you can see the results.
The City of Albuquerque uses the Yahoo Babel Fish translator. I use Google’s language translator on both of my blogs. Click here to see an example. The neat thing about these tools is you can use them to translate your site into any language, including Vietnamese!
The County of Orange also uses a translator but it does not appear to be a free one, so they are wasting our money when they could be providing translation into every language, at no cost to the taxpayers. Click here to see Chairman Janet’s website in Spanish, or check out the graphic above.
They also have changed their website such that it looks and feels like a blog.
So will Chairman Janet stop acting like an out of touch senior, such as Bill Campbell, and embrace the use of social media by the County of Orange? Don’t bet on it. She is getting her butt kicked regularly of late in the blogosphere, but that is her fault for spending a third of a million on yet another Viet war memorial and taking over the Black April event, angering most of Little Saigon.
Whether or not the County of Orange uses social media, one thing is for sure. Nguyen is going to keep getting thumped online!