Brad Blake, Director of New Media and Online Strategy
If you can’t tell by my title, I’m kind of “into” new media (social media, web 2.0, etc). Like many others, I believe in the power of the these new tools and technologies to connect people to each other and to their government in ways that were previously very difficult or impossible due to distance, time, and simple access to information.
In the Governor’s Office, in addition to our official website full of deep and broad information, we work our tails off to better include people in their government via social media. We manage a Twitter account where the Governor and members of his staff share information, thoughts and ideas and respond to constituent and media questions. We have a robust YouTube channel where we post direct messages from the Governor, clips of questions and answers from Town Hall Meetings, and answers to video questions. We’ve begun a series of Commonwealth Conversations Blogs, including this one, to talk about issues around public health, transportation, innovation, jobs and more. We post photos to Flickr, make information available via RSS feeds, and more. This past spring, we lead an online community forum where citizens, the Governor, and senior members of his administration openly discussed issues around revenue, transportation, ethics and pension reform. And that’s just the start. We’ve been working with many of our state agencies to use social media to better connect and inform.
We’ve come a long way, but I still sometimes hear from friends and family, “I don’t really know what the Governor and his administration are doing,” or they repeat short headlines they’ve heard. They’re unaware of the ways, both online and off, that they can stay informed, plug in, and influence the policies that affect their lives. Of course, this can be frustrating to hear, but it also tells me we need to be constantly re-examining what we’re already doing and looking for ways to do it better.
So, you’re here, you’ve found this blog and (hopefully) are still reading this post. If you didn’t know about some of the ways we’re using social media, you do now. What are we doing well? What could we be doing better? How can we let people know that all of this information and tools for connection and input are out there?
Youth Homelessness – Jack Duffy-Protentis – November 2013 posted on Nov 13
I was in the 3rd grade when my parents told me that I was losing my eye sight. I remember feeling relieved that the reason I was struggling in school was because of this thing called Stargardt’s Disease; and not because I was not smart. …Continue Reading Youth Homelessness – Jack Duffy-Protentis – November 2013
Raycela Dasher – Bristol County -October 2013 posted on Nov 13
As I looked at the stack of papers laid before me, I took a deep breath and prepared to write. These papers were more than just another assignment or application. These papers were a chance of a lifetime. As I looked to the top of …Continue Reading Raycela Dasher – Bristol County -October 2013
Education and youth homelessness // Written by: Mary Kate Roffey of the GSYC posted on Oct 4
Education and youth homelessness are two of the Governor’s Statewide Youth Council’s initiatives. Throughout the month of August, the GSYC decided to hold ‘Back to School’ drives to collect school supplies for homeless youth. This project allowed the GSYC to make progress on both issues …Continue Reading Education and youth homelessness // Written by: Mary Kate Roffey of the GSYC