Twitter Lists No Substitute for Community

While everybody’s still writing about Twitter Lists, I’ve got another thought that’s simply too long for a tweet.
The A-list talk is about status. That’s cool.
Personally, I like lists as a way to discover new recommendations in communities of interest, and also as a way to quickly tune into those communities. Creating and following locality-based lists also holds much possibilty. Then there is the great value of seeing how other community members see you, as based on how they tag you in their lists. But lists are never going to replace the utlity of the two-way connection on Twitter. Dipping into streams and commenting and going back and forth with replies and DMs forms real relationships that Lists are going to have little to do with. If all you do with Twitter is broadcast, Lists may be a bit more important (but only if they get followed, which most of them so far are not).
I don’t think Lists shake up the core of the human relationships and far-flung community engendered by Twitter.
(And look, here we are tweeting and blogging about Twitter again, after almost getting that out of our systems earlier this year.)

~ Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant and host of Gov 2.0 Radio.

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Upcoming on Gov 2.0 Radio | 9 p.m. EST Sundays

November 1 – Brian Drake and Stephen Buckley | Fix It?
We discuss what’s working and what’s not in government with retired career fed Stephen Buckley and collaboration consultant Brian Drake. Drake is planning the Government 2.0 #FAIL workshop, while Buckley, who in the ’90s managed a 1,000 member “Reinventing Government” listserv, is working on an unconference around the forthcoming Open Government Directive.

November 8 – Ari Herzog | Doing it Your Way
With a bit of luck, by the time we go to air, Ari Herzog will be a new councilmember in Newburyport, Mass. We’ll discuss campaigns in the social media era, and what’s its like to be an independent consultant in this new media world.

November 15 – William D. Eggers and John O’Leary | Doing Big Things
Bill Eggers coined the term, “Government 2.0.” We’ll be talking to Eggers and co-author John O’Leary about their new book, “If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government.”

November 22 – David Hale | Health and Innovation
David Hale will join us for a discussion of biomedical informatics, Health 2.0 and evangelizing social media.

November 29 – Dustin Haisler | Creating What Comes Next
We’ll discuss innovation in local government with Dustin Haisler, CIO of City of Manor, Texas. Manor has just launched an innovation incubator, Manor Labs.

December 6 – Ben Berkowitz | Gov 2.0 and Quality of Life
We’ll be joined by Ben Berkowitz, CEO of SeeClickFix, a Web 2.0 company that helps crowdsource reporting and resolution of non-emergency city problems such as potholes and downed trees.

December 13 – Lewis Shepherd | What Comes Next
Lewis Shepherd is CTO of the Microsoft Institute for Advanced Technology in Governments. Listen and call in as we squeeze the future out of Mr. Shepherd’s brain.

December 20 – Craig Thomler | Gov 2.0 Trends in Australia
Craig Thomler, a long-time public servant and e-gov practitioner, joins us for a discussion of emerging trends in Australia and the ups and downs of the e-gov movement.

Also coming soon, we’ll have Walter Neary and Barb Chamberlain talking local Gov 2.0; Lovisa Williams, Pam Broviak and others on government in Second Life; and Chris Dorobek, host of Federal News Radio, on the other side of the mic.

Listen and catch up with the Gov 2.0 Radio podcast at If you’d like to join us on a future show, e-mail adriel (at)

~ Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant and host of Gov 2.0 Radio.

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Are You Tuned in to Gov 2.0 Radio?

Back in my days as a City Hall reporter, one of my very favorite things to do was the Comcast Citydesk Newshour show on local cable. Once a week, I’d get to chat live about politics and City Hall with some of The City’s top reporters, editorial writers and columnists. I was always rushing down to the TV studio in the Mission from my downtown office at The Examiner, and sometimes I’d arrive just in time to sneak in off camera and get miked up while show host Barbara Taylor was doing the intro.

Today, I’m having just as much fun with Gov 2.0 Radio (and I’ve only blown the start time once that I’ll cop to), the weekly show I host on BlogtalkRadio with the help of GovLoop’s Steve Ressler and GovTwit’s Steve Lunceford and great guests from government and Web 2.0. If you’re one of our regular listeners, thank you! If not, I hope you’ll check out the show live on Sundays, 9 p.m. EST, or as a replay, at Past shows are also available at, thanks to Luke Fretwell.

Past guests on the show have included well-know tech names such as Tim O’Reilly and Craig Newmark, and a wealth of great govies, academics and enterprise consultants such as Gwynne Kostin and Andrea Baker, as well as industry reps from companies like Overtone and Yakabod. Jeffrey Levy of the EPA and Federal Web Managers Council has been a repeat guest.

Coming up this week, we’ll have retired career fed Stephen Buckley and collaboration consultant Brian Drake on to discuss citizen-gov participation and the premise and promise of “open government.” Also upcoming on the show, the CEO of SeeClickFix, Microsoft big thinker Lewis Shepherd, William Eggers – author of 2005’s “Government 2.0,” and other great gov insiders and outsiders.

Hope you’ll tune in, and always feel free to drop me a line – @adrielhampton on Twitter – here, there or anywhere to suggest future guests for the show. You can also follow show promos on Twitter, @gov20radio. Thanks again!

~ Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant and host of Gov 2.0 Radio.

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Semantics: Why Twitter Lists Rock

Lots has been said about Twitter Lists, and as they roll out to the entire community, lots more will be said. Robert Scoble is doing some great analysis, as are govies like Sarah Bourne of Mass.Gov. I have two big first impressions:

Lists are a fabulous discovery tool, a data rich and hand-picked crowd tagged with a descriptor by, most likely, one of your valued contacts. Lists from your real contacts, instead of being just another popularity measure, are going to open up their networks in a simple format that cuts right through spam and allows discovery whenever YOU feel like exploring. This benefit of lists was anticipated, and hopefully it will quiet down some of the Follow Friday noise of dataless name-dropping (though now folks can urge following of their lists!). One thing I’m looking forward to is a quick tool to follow individual handles off lists in your regular timeline, in bulk.

The second thing I saw while playing around last night is very important, and it also reduces spam and increases discovery. Lists provide a crowdsourced tagging system for each handle, along with builder-defined common communities. They teach others about you, and you about how you’re perceived. It’s the crowdsourcing of bios, and finally I can make sense of those who don’t fill theirs out. 🙂

What are you discovering about Lists?

~ Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant and host of Gov 2.0 Radio.

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Hollywood for Wordy People

Right now, social media power users are either going to (and jawboning about) conferences about social media all the time, or bashing said conferences. Sometimes sorta both. “Just use the tool and quit talking about it,” you’ll hear.

Now, I don’t go to many of the conferences, but I probably side more with the conference crowd than the conference critics. I find value in social, and value in talking about social. I like it that Twitter is Hollywood for Wordy People.

See, e-mail is still way bigger than social (you’ll be stunned by how many new blog posts are still popping up on e-mail tips), but you don’t see big e-mail conferences in LA and Vegas. And that’s because there’s something magical about open conversation and wordsmithing.

Elites from every niche imaginable are jumping into Twitter and other top social media sites, but even if they pull a million or two followers with them, the playing field has still been inexorably changed. In these mediums, gadflies are suddenly bigger than politicians. Watchdogs are bigger than cons. And on and on.

Are you a conference-goer or a conference hater? How have you seen social media shaking up traditional hierarchies?

~ Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant and host of Gov 2.0 Radio.

Wired to Share: The Importance of Teams


I’m plowing through the new Gary Vaynerchuk book “Crush It!” and really enjoyed his description of teamwork for business in Chapter 4, “a whole new world.” He uses an example of journalists, which I just happened to have been/to be. Vaynerchuk describes how top journalists in the new “personal brand” economy – enabled by low-to-zero-cost communications – could spin off to create their own successful content orgs. The book, despite some hype and stargazing, is also quite down-to-earth and practical: this hypothetical team of journalism stars just might need to hook up with someone skilled in business development to make their venture work.

This kind of teamwork is going to become more and more important as traditional institutions fall under their own weight in much more mobile and information-driven business world. Flexible teams – inside, outside and between large corporations – are also a large theme in one of my favorite books, Thomas Malone’s 2005 “The Future of Work.”

Putting together a team, even a loose one, is something I consider imperative to initiatives in the Web 2.0 world, even if it’s just to share the load and get moving quickly, as with the group hosting of my Gov 2.0 Radio podcast.

In government or business, how are you using teams to optimize strengths, to launch quickly, and to adapt?

~Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant and host of Government 2.0 Radio.

Civil Service 2.0: You Won’t Need a Resume?

NoResumesIn the social media world, one of the big new pitches is that in the wonderful new reputation economy, you won’t need a resume. Potential business partners will find you on Google or a networking site, read your great bio, do a little independent noodling around into your background and decide to give you that killer contract.

Now, that vision is still quite a stretch in mainstream economy, where another storyline is that software programs are now giving stacks of resumes a first read before traditional analysts get to the digitally harvested cream of the crop. But it does happen.

In government, it happens, too, in certain at-will hiring situations (not talking about Van Jones, where it may have been a lack of pre-hire googling that did him in). But the truth of civil service is that it is highly bureaucratic and process oriented. Civil service reforms themselves drag on for years and often resolve only marginal concerns through concessions hammered out across the bargaining table.

Contracting is even worse, as large or favored entities get huge markups to provide quick short-term and project-oriented staff for public initiatives.

The questions looms large if we really are headed into a trust economy where Gen Y workers flit between projects and business entities become much more flexible: can government keep up? Will public agencies simply pay much more for that type of agility, or lose top talent in stodgy hiring and promotional practices?

Before social media, reputation-based hiring happened, too. So are we seeing a transformation, or do traditional civil service rules still apply?

What kinds of initiatives are you seeing out there? Where do you see this heading?

~Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant and host of Government 2.0 Radio.