Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The State of Delaware "Gets" Social Media - big time!

Have you seen what the State of Delaware has been doing?

First, check out the new home page - OK, I haven't gone to every other state web site yet, but I doubt you'll find others that prominently feature their Twitter Feed, Facebook Updates, Youtube Videos, Blog Posts, AND Flickr Photos ALL on the home page - seriously, how cool is that?

I took the liberty of asking some of the local Social Media Rock Stars what they think about the new site, here's some of their responses:

"By offering site visitors a mosaic of images, video, links, text snippets and compelling narrative, the Web team has done a superb job of mashing up 'a sense of place' with 'a sense of virtual space' [and time]. Whereas some see the social media as a poor substitute for face-to-face interaction, this updated content hub enables users to better appreciate Delaware opportunities and challenges, guided by their own objectives, pace and preferences.  User-driven access to key private and public sector initiatives and resources in one place is not easy to find, and I cannot think of another state that has accomplished it as well."
- Laurie Gelb
Trellist Marketing|Technology

"I’m really noticing that Delaware’s Gov 'gets it' – using social media to dialogue with us makes me have faith that FINALLY our government will know what to do for its people because they’re listening to what we want, and creating and following dialogue. It’s not a one way conversation with government any more. It’s relevant, timely and conscious dialogue. Go Gov. Markell!"
- Jayla Boire

"My company builds government websites for a living, and  I have yet to see another city, let alone a state, that has this much integration with social media.  It makes me proud to be from Delaware. "

- John McKown

"The State's use of social media displays an unexpected level of openness and transparency. I look forward to watching social media become a primary communication channel with government and state agencies. Success will be judged by improved responsiveness - which we can all benefit from!"
Marketing Consultant

"The development of this site definitely shows that Delaware Government is not afraid of transparency, and is looking to open up a channel for dialogue and feedback from the people. It is also very encouraging to see that grassroot/public initiatives can really make an impact, and are truly being acknowledged."
- Stephen J. Roettger
Partner @ Verge
Co-Founder of coIN Loft

"As a life-long Delawarean I know how monumental the new website is! In my opinion, social media isn't just a way to communicate; it's a catalyst for authentic community building. The State's choice to embrace social media not only shows strong leadership but also a willingness to create a future of Delaware based upon the real needs and concerns of 'we the people'. This is a bold and unprecedented step every state should take."

- Wes Garnett
Partner @ Verge
Co-Founder of coIN Loft

"As a non-native Delawarean, I see this state's willingness to embrace social media through the development of this content-rich site. It supports and raises the strong sense of community I've found since moving to this state. I'm most impressed with the dept and breadth of the site content; it's a virtual metaphor for all that Delaware has to offer to everyone who visits or lives here. I commend Governor Markell and everyone who contributes to the Web site for their willingness to be unique in the Union with such support of new media. It shows his administration recognizes that embracing social media opens the door to more effective communication between state government and the people of Delaware."
- Laurie E. Bick
Marketing and Business Communications Consultant

"I'm so excited to see the new State home page!  It is one of the best governmental web pages I've seen- easy to use, navigate and see what's going on.  I've been so impressed by how dedicated Governor Markell and his staff are to making government 'user friendly' and responsive to the needs of citizens in Delaware- and the new web page is a great indicator that they mean what they say and put their words into actions.  Making government user friendly isn't an easy task, but the new web site is a huge step forward in making this a reality."
- Whitney Hoffman

In addition to the new web site, check out this Blog Post from Alan Levin, Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office, here's the opening to the post:

Earlier this month, DEDO hosted the second annual Governor’s Entrepreneurial Business Conference. Nearly 400 people attended to hear experts share their experiences as successful economic developers, entrepreneurs and leaders in business.
The energy at the conference was exciting! For the first time, we used our new Twitter account to engage with attendees: by the end of the week, conference participants had created more than 25 pages of content and they kept sharing, even after the conference was over.
The post goes on to highlight such great ideas as co-working here in the first state (quick plug - check out the COin Loft in Wilmington, cowork.element in Lewes, and CoWo in Newark).

I continue to be amazed at the momentum that is building here in Delaware - we really are connecting our government, business, non-profit, media, and local communities through social media - I believe we are all benefitting from being more informed and more connected.

Let's keep this momentum going!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Immediate posts from the people making the news!

This is just too cool - on Wednesday, June 16, Governor Jack Markell signed the "BFF" bill, providing real incentives for all of us to invite more businesses to Delaware - check out the details here.

If you clicked on the link above, you should have seen some great photos from the bill signing ceremony, but you did not see THIS photo:

Take a look at what Representative Tom Kovach is doing here (second from the right) - YES - he is letting all of us know about the bill signing via Twitter and Facebook!

And yes, Governor Markell posted about the bill signing, too

How Cool Is THAT!? WE are given real access to what's happening in Legislative Hall (seriously, Rep. Kovach regularly posts which committee meetings he's in, what's happening on the House Floor, and the kinds of discussions going on) - welcome to a whole new world!

If you're not already following @TomKovach and @GovernorMarkell - you should, now! Both are setting an example of what it means to be public servants, communicating with us - not just speaking at us.

As more elected officials, government leaders, business leaders, community activists, parents, teachers, students, friends, and family members engage in communicating together, I am confident we will see not only innovative solutions to issues, but also more cooperation and huge advances in our communities, our state, and our society.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jeff Pulver on the Delaware Social Media Initiative

Jeff Pulver
Jeff Pulver is a globally renowned thought leader, author and entrepreneur. His blog is well read within the social media industry and in high-tech communities around the world. Jeff is the originator, proprietor and organizer of the 140 character conferences (#140conf) around the world. Jeff is also the founder of FWD, the VON Coalition, PrimeTimeRewind.TV, Vivox, the co-founder of VoIP provider, Vonage and an early investor in Twitter.

Jeff spent several hours with the Delaware Social Media crowd on June 15 - which happened to be the one year anniversary of the first #140 Conference in New York.

I asked Jeff if, in his travels around the world, he's seeing other states or regions trying to do use social media to connect people locally and highlight positive things from that region for the world to see.

"Oh yes, everyone is trying to do this," Jeff said.

So I asked how he thought Delaware was doing in comparison with everyone else.

"Well, you're actually doing it here in Delaware," was his response.

Jeff went on to tell us about how the people of Detroit are trying to use social media tools to revitalize their city. Wednesday morning, he invited Governor Jack Markell to come to Detroit and share with them what we're doing in Delaware - seriously - how cool is that!

Friends, this Delaware Social Media Initiative is happening because of you! Everyone who engages in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn - connects with others in the area - attends the various events (Ignite Wilmington, Ignite Sussex, Ignite Dover, Tweet Ups, NetDE Happy Hours, etc.) - uses the #netde hashtag on Twitter - helps to promote and support each other - YOU are the ones who are making this dream a reality!

Delaware is connecting - bonds are strengthening - we are creating an exciting new future together!

Here's a video of Jeff Pulver and Rick Jensen talking about what's happening here in Delaware and what the future may hold for all of us!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Videos from Ignite Wilmington #3

On May 13, 2010, Ignite Wilmington #3 rocked the city!

Here's my completely unofficial videos from that evening - enjoy!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Governor Markell's Address at the Entrepreneurial Business Conference

Once again, many thanks to Rodney Jordan of Armor Graphics for providing excellent video coverage!

Here's the keynote address at the Governor's Entrepreneurial Business Conference from Delaware Governor Jack Markell:

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Governor's Entrepreneurial Business Conference - Social Media Recap

I've heard nothing but great feedback from the Governor's Entrepreneurial Business Conference! We heard from

  • Wilmington Mayor James Baker
  • Delaware Economic Development Office Director Alan Levin
  • Warren Brown, Founder and Owner of Cake Love
  • University of Delaware President Patrick Harker
  • Brian McGowan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Economic Development with the U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Thomas O'Malley, Chairman of Petroplus
  • Delaware Governor Jack Markell

Here's a few things we heard:

  1. Delaware is on track to be the first state out of the recession
  2. Delaware had three potential blows to our economy recently (closing of Chrysler Plant, closing of GM Plant, closing of oil refinery in Delaware City) - and all three have been turned around - UD purchasing Chrysler land to develop awesome stuff, Fisker purchasing GM plant, O'Malley purchasing the refinery
  3. Follow Your Dreams and Passions!
  4. The economy coming out of this recession will be vastly different from the economy we are used to
  5. Economic Development needs to take a long-term, regional approach - not a short-term "only-in-my-back-yard" approach
  6. Delaware's elected officials (esp. Governor Markell) "get it" when it comes to business
  7. Delaware is working on some exciting new ideas to attract more business to the area

Then came the afternoon sessions.

Darnyelle Jervey, Director of the YWCA Center for Women's Entrepreneurship led a panel discussion on the Entrepreneurs' Tool Box with:

  • Chris Burkhard, President, CBI Group, Inc.
  • Ernie Dianastasis, Managing Director, CAI
  • Barbara Hines, President, SSD Technology Partners, Inc.
  • Margie Johnson, President, Shoptalk
  • Mark Stellini, President/CEO, Virtual Resources, Inc.
  • Dr. Devona Williams, President/CEO, Goeins-Williams Associates, Inc.

Oh, check out the Twitter Feed from the day by clicking here (more than 25 pages of content!)

Then, there's the Social Media experts!

Many, many thanks to Rodney Jordan for shooting and posting these videos! Here's the list of awesome speakers:

  • Whitney Hoffman - Social Media 101 - let's get this party started!
  • John McKown - Getting Started Action Plan - complete with cheat sheets
  • Lee Mikles - how to join the social media party and not be “that guy”
  • Maya Paveza - Why and how you should be there - discussing business strategy
  • Jayla Boire - Content is still King - providing great content for your strategy
  • Phil Woods - Measuring your social media campaign effectiveness
  • Brenda Cheeseman - social media as the new chamber of commerce
  • Laurie Bick - the job connection in social media 
  • Major Highfield - Mobile Tactics
  • Laurie Gelb - Be DelAWARE for Fun & Profit
  • Rodney Jordan - We're building a community here