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#1 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 07:42 PM

It looks as though the City has disabled the ability for "fans" to start new topics on its main FBpage:

http://www.facebook....66398170?ref=nf

Up until September 10th individuals could start threads. Not now.

#2 mat

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 08:40 PM

It looks as though the City has disabled the ability for "fans" to start new topics on its main FBpage:

http://www.facebook....66398170?ref=nf

Up until September 10th individuals could start threads. Not now.


Looks like topics can still be created on the discussion page - but I am loath to try. Facebook is not a good tool for moderated discussion anyway. What the city should be probably have done is disable new wall comments from the start, and have a set BB system (like VV) on victoria.ca ready and with moderators.

The two topics they already have on the Facebook discussion pagehttp://www.facebook....iewas=570189040 Public Consultation and Blue Bridge have a combined total of 19 comments, by 10 people - and that is out of over 2000 'friends'. Frankly - not a great start to the municipal entry into online social media.

#3 Bob Fugger

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 08:49 PM

^^They also go through comments and delete ones that they don't like. They deleted two of mine because I wasn't blowing smoke up their asses. This is just a navel gazing exercise that can potentially go very wrong for them.

#4 Caramia

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 09:00 PM

Looks like topics can still be created on the discussion page - but I am loath to try. Facebook is not a good tool for moderated discussion anyway. What the city should be probably have done is disable new wall comments from the start, and have a set BB system (like VV) on victoria.ca ready and with moderators.


I disagree Mat - I think that the BB system that discusses the City SHOULD be independent of any public or civic funding. The City would have to moderate language, abusive content, non pg 13 content, etc much more severely than we do, which in the end would make it less vigorous a discussion. The superficial level of Facebook communications is actually quite a good addition to the City's communication tools. It is a good platform for the city to push info out of, and the open comments don't really detract from that imo. Most of what is useful there is the same thing that is useful on personal Facebook pages - up to date info-bites delivered to our news feeds. For more in-depth online engagement I can see the City successfully using a blog with comments open, but for a forum discussion like this - it should stay independently run.
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#5 G-Man

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 06:40 AM

Yet they are obviously censoring the posts so it isn't that independent.

#6 mat

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 08:29 AM

I disagree Mat - I think that the BB system that discusses the City SHOULD be independent of any public or civic funding. The City would have to moderate language, abusive content, non pg 13 content, etc much more severely than we do, which in the end would make it less vigorous a discussion. The superficial level of Facebook communications is actually quite a good addition to the City's communication tools. It is a good platform for the city to push info out of, and the open comments don't really detract from that imo. Most of what is useful there is the same thing that is useful on personal Facebook pages - up to date info-bites delivered to our news feeds. For more in-depth online engagement I can see the City successfully using a blog with comments open, but for a forum discussion like this - it should stay independently run.


That is where we may disagree Cara, and note G-Man's comment. The city is deleting comments from the FB threads, and can't generate even basic interest for the 2 topics started in the discussion section - and, as mentioned, with over 2000 'FB friends. Something is wrong with the method.

A BB system, that clearly outlines moderation and posting policy - such as foul language and inappropriate messaging/topics would be far more inclusive. Your points are valid for a Web 1.0 world which many muncipalities are stuck in - we are now going beyond Web 2.0 which is where Nanaimo is showing the way. Open discussion - Open information - Open government.

Blog - yes, and I have 'blogged' that myself. Every City dept.should have it's own blog/news and comment system, something that Vancouver is rolling out.

This is all about the mode of dispersing communications - not centralizing - and providing city staff the tools, education and guidelines to engage on their own.

For the bridge - it is too late. Won't happen. Changing the communication culture so radically and quickly only leads to problems.

#7 piltdownman

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 09:46 AM

I have always thought that a threaded blog like slashdot is the best way to discuss topic. It allows new ideas to be spun off, and 'conversations' to be had, and in the case of slashdot peer moderated.

Slashdot runs off of slash (code) which is open source. I would love government or even the media allow this type of commenting.

#8 mat

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 10:19 AM

I have always thought that a threaded blog like slashdot is the best way to discuss topic. It allows new ideas to be spun off, and 'conversations' to be had, and in the case of slashdot peer moderated.

Slashdot runs off of slash (code) which is open source. I would love government or even the media allow this type of commenting.


it will also be very interesting to see what applications and communication models are derived from the upcoming Google Wave. That should be released out of development around October.

#9 Caramia

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 10:29 AM

Yet they are obviously censoring the posts so it isn't that independent.


G-Man and Mat, I think you guys missed my point. Vibrantvictoria.ca IS independent. This is why we have the luxury of keeping moderation very... moderate. What I am saying is that a forum style conversation such as this run by the city would have to be strictly moderated - and that is why I am against it. I am in favour of keeping this kind of conversation independent.

A blog style post like a newspaper uses, with comments turned on might be more suited to the City's needs. It is less of a "conversation between peers" and more of a posting of articles with feedback enabled, as is facebook. It would be easy to sort through public comments and get to what the City is posting.

About 3 years before VV started up quite a few people were kicking around the idea of having a VV basically run by either a non-profit civic organization, or the city itself. The stumbling block was the liability and need for moderation and control over what was posted. Because we are outside any established interest we have the ability to let freedom of speech triumph, even if that means unsubstantiated rumours, outright misconceptions, or borderline abuse (we do moderate civility somewhat, but nowhere near as tightly as any civic organization would have to.)

These last few posts might need to be moved to the online media thread.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
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#10 mat

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 02:35 PM

Starting this thread to continue the discussion on the Johnson Street Bridge, which is leading into the role of online social media, communication, community feedback and governance.

It's a fascinating topic, with multiple facets - just a note, Nanaimo is rated as having one of the most progressive online services and engagement models in North America.

#11 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 03:34 PM

It's a fascinating topic, with multiple facets - just a note, Nanaimo is rated as having one of the most progressive online services and engagement models in North America.


You might want to check a thread I started almost exactly two years ago (9/20/07), Innovative infrastructure ...in Nanaimo!, which went into 2008 and then fizzled out, although recently there have been more articles (about Nanaimo). In fact, I think I posted the one referencing Chris McLuckie and his work at the city of Nanaimo, no?

Edit, yes I did, in the Vic Politics Mayor & council goals thread, my post here.
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#12 mat

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 04:08 PM

yes you did!

Link to that article, which demonstrates a neat plugin for dividing council video into time and topic stamps, with online social media share buttons

http://www.creativec...icipal-website/

#13 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 08:41 PM

Check this out...

Here's a page from the City of Vancouver, with data files on where drinking fountains are located. (It's from their Open Data Catalogue.)

Next: Here's a Google mash-up map called Water! (created by Tylor Sherman) showing all the water fountains.

Finally: Here is a Vimeo showing step-by-step how you could easily create a similar web page ...provided your city has an open data catalogue, that is...
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#14 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 02:43 PM

Another one: CitySourced, a new start-up in the US (the app works US-nation-wide, with 1,900 cities already in the loop). There's a cool video that explains how it works.

CitySourced is a real time mobile civic engagement tool. CitySourced provides a free, simple, and intuitive tool empowering citizens to identify civil issues (potholes, graffiti, trash, snow removal, etc.) and report them to city hall for quick resolution; an opportunity for government to use technology to save money and improve accountability to those they govern; and a positive, collaborative platform for real action. Our platform is called CitySourced, as it empowers everyday citizens to use their smart phones to make their cities a better place. CitySourced is powered by FreedomSpeaks, the leader in interactive civic engagement.

Pretty cool. (Link to FreedomSpeaks.)
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#15 Caramia

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 08:50 PM

Now THAT'S cool! Nice find Ms. B!
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#16 mat

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 09:58 PM

Lots of Wikis and relevant articles on this topic.

What I would like to profile are actual practices - what works, what fails.

This really caught my attention. An in depth online guide to US Federal practices for online media, engagement, tools, best practices, webinars and more..

http://www.usa.gov/w...ent/index.shtml

#17 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 08:35 PM

There's the Vancouver example: Vancouver opens up the city to web developers; Data collected by the city can be found online (it refers to the drinking fountain google map mash-up I posted earlier, too). The Vancouver initiative is also discussed by David Eaves, Vancouver's Open Data Portal: Use it or Lose it. Boris (in comments) chastises Eaves for his "use it or lose it" formulation:

I think the "use it or lose it" is an incorrect framing. Use of Vancouver's open data to create new things creates new value, which adds value to the city. With mashups and "citizen coders", I'm sure there will be a handful of apps created -- I love the fact that we've got our own city to experiment with all these cool tools with.

But waggling your finger and saying "use it or lose it" is not, I think the correct approach. In most open source projects, unless there is continued economic drivers, it is very hard for a project to continue. Growing a commercial ecosystem is healthy.

It's great to see Sandy from HomeZilla here. This is an example of economic value seen by one commercial entity. How do we attract more? How do we maintain the apps that do get created?

I'd love to see a contest with prizes to motivate people to set up some usage of this data with real longevity. I think the Apps for Democracy contest in DC was a good example of this. (source)

I thought that both Eaves and Boris Mann point to the fragility of these initiatives. Just because they're out there, doesn't mean they'll get used enough and/or thrive. It takes users, and also economic drivers (as per Boris's comment).

...Meanwhile... Here's another example: Smart Grid a Reality in Boulder, Colo. This project allows residents to monitor their energy / utilities usage:

Boulder Colorado's $100 million SmartGridCity project, which launched in May of 2008 and was the subject of an ABC news story last year, is completed, according to Xcel Energy, the company responsible for developing the system. With the smart grid system, meters and sensors send information via broadband over powerline to an operations center. Functions for customers include the ability to monitor energy usage, select when to use high-energy devices such as clothes dryers, and keep track of how much carbon the household is putting into the environment. Customers will soon be able to access a Web portal to monitor and control home energy management devices. SmartGridCity functions also include switching power through fully-automated substations; re-routing power around bottlenecked lines; detecting power outages and proactively identifying outage risks. The deployment integrated more than 20 applications, 95 new interfaces and more than 300 test cases according to a company release. Xcel Energy says it can now read customer meters remotely and have reduced power outages and false alarms. According to the company, the new smart grid warned about transformers that were ready to fail and they were replaced without loss of service.

iirc, Boulder is smaller than the CRD (i.e., Victoria-as-a-whole). Pretty cool to get this up and running.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#18 mat

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 06:06 PM

The City of Victoria has begun an engagement process - to well, create better engagement with residents. This is something I fully support, will be inputting ideas, and following carefully.

From victoria.ca One of the most important jobs a municipality has is to ensure its citizens know how their tax dollars are spent and how to access the many services available to them. We live in one of the best communities in the world and we are extremely fortunate to receive some of the highest quality municipal services in Canada. Yet we often hear that our citizens don't know what the municipality offers or don't understand how they can get involved in issues that involve them.

The City of Victoria is developing an official Public Engagement Strategy to identify how we can better communicate and connect with our citizens.

In order to do this, we need to first hear from you. When was the last time you attended a meeting at City Hall? What motivated you to do so? And what would encourage you to be more involved in your community, and City decision-making? Are there ways you would like to hear from us that the City hasn't yet explored?

Throughout the next few months, the City will be consulting the community to ensure that we hear the answers to those questions, listen to your suggestions, and ensure that the City's decision-making processes are collaborative and informed.

Victoria will be one of the first municipalities in the province to develop an engagement strategy. Staff and council are learning what works best when consulting the community, and what the best techniques are for different situations.

This project timeline shows you the next steps for the project and the range of audiences we are consulting. We look forward to hearing from you.

This work builds on the recommendations of the City of Victoria Governance Review completed earlier this year.


Among other opportunities to send in ideas and questions:

Public Ideas Forum, Wednesday October 28
Victoria Conference Centre, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

and - an ideascale online forum

So let's see what input VV people can provide!

#19 mat

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 04:43 PM

A reminder that City of Victoria will hold a public forum on new engagement policies - Wednesday October 28th at the Conference Centre 4-9pm.

In emails and conversations with Katie Josephson (CoV Communications Director) a number of interesting points for discussion came up.

sent by Katie. 1) What types of activities fit into the spectrum of participation. I.e. If we're working from the category of inform and raise awareness on the left to empowerment and collaboration on the right of the spectrum, what type of civic matters require what level of public participation. Eg. when should a referendum be called, when should the City limit activity to simple awareness strategies etc.

2) Here are a couple other questions to provoke discussion:

'How can the City balance the views of `` a “well-informed minority” with the views of the “silent majority” who do not regularly participate?
'How should the City balance exploration and learning activities with opportunities for vigorous debate?'

  • `How much is “too much” public engagement?


The Idea Scale forum set up by CoV to generate ideas and comments from residents has some interesting starting points. My own is the starting paradigm of Open Data. That seems to me the foundation from which any sort of engagement is generated.

Much of this is about 'apathy' when it comes to voter turnout and interest in civic affairs. The more citizens have opportunities and platforms (online and off) to learn, receive news, comment and participate in the daily decisions of the City, the more likely they will become interested and involved.

I will be at the public forum on Wednesday and hope to see others!

#20 Mike K.

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 09:01 AM

What has happened to victoria.civicweb.net? The document portal used by the City for years is offline.


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