Crashing the Gate, from Inside

oreilly_adamtinworth1Progressive activists have been working for years to change how politics is funded and how government responds to everyday people.

Over the past several months, I have been tremendously inspired by “just folks” working on the inside of government to transform its culture and technology. One of those people is my friend Steve Ressler, who founded a network of government employees, contractors and interested outsiders on $50 and a vision. That network is now an idea machine giving hope for true change to thousands of government worker bees.

Today, I was able to host a great radio show with Ressler and BearingPoint communications director Steve Lunceford in conversation with Tim O’Reilly, one of the top minds in tech, and Sally Lieber, a fabulous progressive Democrat from Silicon Valley who’s working to wrap her mind around the Government 2.0 revolution. Also aboard for the show were Generation Shift blogger Andrew Krzmarzick and WELL alumnus Michael Russell.

A change is a’coming.

Photo by Adam Tinworth

Taking Gov 2.0 Live & Worldwide

photo_101808_025Update: Listen to our first broadcast, here.

Coming to BlogTalkRadio Monday night at 8 p.m. Pacific/11 Eastern:

resslerGovLoop founder Steve Ressler and I talking Gov 2.0.

On this demo show, we’ll discuss the upcoming Gov 2.0 Campunconference” in DC, and my “Citizen 2.0training kick-off in Dublin, CA. The regular live show tentatively will air weekly on Sundays, 2 p.m. Pacific/5 Eastern.

Scheduled guests include social media consultant Maxine Teller from the unconference, calling in from South by Southwest in Austin (we also hope to get uber-geek Andrea Baker, if she can pull herself away from SXSW), and Alan W. Silberberg, founder of You2Gov, talking about tools for citizen-led politics.

In the last 10 minutes or so of the 30-minute live show, we’ll be taking calls at (347) 539-5704.

Hope you’ll join us!

Do We Need One More Radio Show?

sspx0001So I have to admit that podcasting isn’t something I really get into. Friends like Jonathan Fleming, one of the presenters I’m working with on an upcoming Citizen 2.0 training have got me almost convinced I need to dust off the iPod and download some good shows, but I’m still much more of a words (printed/digital?) guy.

However, when Amy Domestic recently reached out to me about the ease of putting together a show using BlogTalkRadio, the wheels started turning (coming soon, a brief Q&A w/Amy about the service).

So here’s the $64,000 question: Is a weekly Government 2.0 radio show something you’d listen to, either live or as a download?

The possibilities are good. Steve Lunceford, communications director for BearingPoint and I have been talking about using his GovTwit list to put together panels of gov folks experimenting with social media, and Steve Ressler, founder of GovLoop, is another potential co-host for the show. Between GovTwit, my west coast connections, and GovLoop, we could easily sketch out a year’s worth of shows on the people, tools and trends shaping government.

I used to participate in a live TV panel on city government for Comcast in San Francisco. That was one of the highlights of my journalism career, and I’m sure doing a podcast would be fun. I know I like listening to myself talk. The question is, do you?

Does this sound like a show you’d be interested in? What would you want to hear?

Are You Activating Citizen 2.0?

img_18661I’ve very happy to announce that we’ve firmed up deets for the Tri-Valley’s first “Citizen 2.0” training (East San Francisco Bay Area, CA), to be held at the end of March in Dublin.

This is very important to me, because the main reason I do this blog is to spread the word about how busy folks can use modern communications tools to take direct control of their democracy. Social media and 2.0 culture has the power to engage active citizens and businesspeople with their local community and government in ways not seen since the decay of small town life. This changes everything, from business development to governance.

I hope that you are promoting similar projects in your communities as well. Please tell us about them in the comments here!

This free training will target entry-level folks who don’t know a Twitter from a MySpace but may already be engaging their customers with newsletters, or their government with public comment. PR pro George Millington, Realtor and social media enthusiast Jonathan Fleming and I are taking on this project with support and help from two local bloggers who run Around Dublin, a pro bono effort to promote Dublin, CA businesses and engage citizens with their government. Around Dublin has several hundred daily readers, and we will be cross-promoting the event with flyers, Craiglist ads, word of mouth, and other traditional and “new” media. We also hope to get a local business or two to offer raffle prizes to get folks in the door, and we’re providing food, because what good event is complete without it?

So, what does a Citizen 2.0 training consist of? This is what we hope to convey in our two-hour program:

Participation in local government is important. It’s the only way to influence policies that may affect you, it keeps politicians accountable, and local government decisions and community effort are key to driving local business development.

Barriers to participation are significant. It’s hard to make the time to stay up on local government or to get motivated to get involved. If you have been involved, it can be discouraging to not see any change from your efforts, or you may simply feel like you have nothing to contribute.

One of the ways to break down the barriers is Citizen 2.0. This is a community member engaged through simple Web communication tools to know what’s going on in their City, with the means to quickly and easily add meaningful input. Citizen 2.0 is streamlined activism for modern life. It’s the blog I built to harness energy around modifying a local library project, and it is bringing people together around community and economic development in non-traditional ways.

Social media is the Web-tool enabled culture that drives Citizen 2.0. We’ll cover the culture of collaboration, transparency and immediacy of Web 2.0, and give an overview of blogging and an introduction to tools such as Facebook, Skype, Yelp, Twitter and Google Alerts. This demo will include how to “talk the talk” when it comes to getting started with these tools.

We’ll close with advice on how local citizens can make a difference using social tools to build community, advance issues, drive local business development, and participate in local policymaking. We’ll also pump the Around Dublin blog and its ongoing evolution. During a final Q&A, we’ll also be signing folks up for Twitter.

As you can tell, I’m very excited about this. I hope it’s interesting to you as well, and will spur continued creativity in community building in your neck of the woods.

Rock on!

Top Eight Posts: Me, Nicknames, Chris and Facebook

photo_091308_002Wanted to share with you a quick rundown of what WordPress tells me are my popular posts, with a few new thoughts. If you’ve not read these yet, or if you have, I’d love to know what you think, and what you’d like to see more of.

#1 Who is Adriel? I’m happy to report that this is the most clicked post on my page. It tells me the Web is social, and that you care who is writing what you are reading. That leads to the second most popular post.

#2 Nickname? Lose it. This most-commented post gives my brief thoughts on how Web nicknames can be a barrier to mainstream acceptance of Web 2.0 ideas and ideals, especially in a Government 2.0 context.

#3 Six Stages of Chris Brogan. Chris Brogan is perhaps the Number 1 blogger out there, for my money. I discuss the ways I’ve interacted with him on Twitter, and why you should know him, too. Writing about Chris Brogan is a great way to build traffic, by the way.

#4 Gov 2.0 is a Leveler, or it is Nothing. I was also really happy to see this post grab some traction. This blog is ostensibly about Government 2.0, and this post was really my response to use of the term “goverati” to describe Web 2.0 advocates in government. It is my firm believe that 2.0 technologies and ideals should be used to promote equal rights of citizens, not to set up a new class of experts.

#5 FAQ. That page post became popular only when I promoted it on Twitter, but plenty of people do seem to be interested in learning more about Government 2.0, social media and the future of journalism, is what this Q&A covers. Please, add your questions and knowledge here!

#6 If You Link Your Statuses, Will Your Friends Still Love You? This and the final two in the top eight are posts basically about Facebook. They are hot in searches that lead to my blog. Here, I discuss my opinion of why you should not link your Twitter updates to Facebook.

#7 The Biggest Difference Between Facebook and Twitter. I posit it has to do with the more open culture of Twitter (one of the popular posts floating around about Facebook has to do with “100 privacy settings”).

#8 Facebook Pages are Better Than Groups. This post describes some of the differences between these two features, and some of the reasoning behind why I rarely if ever join new Facebook groups. It should be helpful for practitioners.


What’s in the Perfect Citizen 2.0 Training?

photo_010409_012My friend Andrea Baker recently wrote a great blog post about Citizen 2.0:

“The Citizen 2.0 crowd are the citizens and constituents that engage the Government by writing their congressional representative, vote and create questions on HubDub or or engage in online debate with others via Twitter or to their pundits on main-stream media programming.”

Here in Dublin, CA, I am working with local social media junkies and bloggers to design a free training workshop for everyday folks on how to use social tools to engage and influence their government and create positive change. Along the way, we hope to build community and also give a few tips on how our neighbors can also use these tools to build their own businesses.

What would you tell them?