After a considerable amount of work, we're pleased to announce that the next iteration of OrangePolitics is now entering a public beta. Please check it out and let us know what you think! Feel free to log in, mess around, look for old content, and try out posting and commenting! The site reflects a pull of our current database which I made about a week ago. Related, if you have recently changed your password, the change may not be reflected on the new site; if you're having trouble logging in, let me know and I'd be happy to help!
We've had several discussions lately about what some of us would like to see from county government in terms of communications and information technology. Perhaps the county naming a new Chief Information Officer will be an opportunity for a new focus in the county on open data, open standards, and information access. What do you think? The first item on my wishlist (half jokingly) would be to have him work with Public Affairs to find a better solution than using Microsoft Office to format emailed press releases. Why? Because Microsoft's use of proprietary stylesheets makes the formatting of documents break when text is copied into other programs, unless I go through and manually edit the code.
I know the folks in county government are hard working people with a lot on their plate, so I hope any suggestion is given (and received, too) as well-meaning constructive feedback. From an Orange County press release:
As you might have noticed about a month ago on June 3, Orange County (finally!) joined Twitter and Facebook in an attempt to enhance their social media presence and public engagement/outreach.
At 7:00 pm on Tuesday night, at the Southern Orange Human Services center at 2501 Homestead Rd in Chapel Hill, the Orange County Comissioners will discuss the Orange County Public Library Draft Strategic Plan for 2013 - 2016. The draft plan can be found in the Work Session agenda (PDF) on the county website.
The last time the library was discussed at the BOCC, the county staff suggested that the plan, which is being written up by Dr. Anthony Chow, an assistant professor in the Department of Library Science at UNC-Greensboro, would be critical to informing the site selection of the Southern Branch of the Orange County Library. The plan begins on page 29 of the PDF after Dr. Chow's Curriculum Vitae.
Hat tip to our friend Lee Storrow for noticing this blog post on "16 Sassy Tweets From The Nation's 16th Largest School District" about Wake County Schools' Twitter feed.
Hashtags: Government Entities
#CBOA Carrboro Board of Aldermen
#CHCCS Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
#CHTC Chapel Hill Town Council
# ? Hillsborough Board of Commissioners (aka Hillsborough Town Board)
#NCGA North Carolina General Assembly
#OCBOCC Orange County Board of Commissioners
#? Orange County Schools
Chad Johnston is the director of Chapel Hill's grassroots public access station The People's Channel. Not many people truly know the scope of the contributions he has made toward democratizing media both in Orange County and in Orange County. Sadly he's leaving us to run a station in a bigger community. The Independent Weekly has a wonderful cover story about him this week, and the public is invited to a potluck to say farewell to Chad tonight at the TPC studio on Elliot Road. If you can't attend in person, you can watch it live on TV!
I've noticed that Raleigh and other nearby municipalities are using tools like SeeClickFix.com to help residents connect and use local government. Durham's even using it's own website called http://www.liveworkplaydurham.com/ where folks can post their ideas for improving the community.
As an experiment I threw together this SeeClickFix widget.
Public Address by Lawrence Lessig – Rooting out Corruption in Politics: Complicity and Complacency by the MediaEvent Submitted by Ruby Sinreich on Fri, 02/15/2013 - 9:56am.
I've been a huge fan of Lessig's work for some time, and I can tell you from experience that he's a really great public speaker. You'll come away smarter after listening to him.
On March 4, the Center for Media Law and Policy will host a public address by Professor Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Prior to rejoining the Harvard faculty, Prof. Lessig taught at Stanford Law School, where he founded the school’s Center for Internet and Society, and at the University of Chicago.