Government Technology

    Digital Communities
    Industry Members

  • Click sponsor logos for whitepapers, case studies, and best practices.
  • McAfee

Blog Party in Oakland County, Mich.



September 19, 2008 By

Photo: Phil Bertolini, CIO of Oakland County

Blogging novices got a quick tutorial in Oakland County, Mich., over Labor Day weekend at the region's annual Arts, Beats & Eats festival. The county Department of Information Technology created a "Blogin' Café," in which 2,300 of the festival's 1.5 million attendees blogged on bLOGINCafe.com. The county created the site for the festival.

"The blog itself was really to see if there was a need by the public to blog. Many of them didn't even know what a blog was, and many rounds of applause were given for those that were first-time bloggers," said Phil Bertolini, CIO of Oakland County. He said the project revealed that blogging is a useful way to collect citizens' feedback on government issues.

Utilizing the county's community server to host bLOGINcafe.com, the three-day event offered 15 outdoor computers, 20 indoor computers and a volunteer team of county IT technicians to provide instruction on blogging.

"We had people coming from our court and our clerk's office to volunteer," Bertolini said.

Oakland County mostly used its existing resources to establish the bLOGINcafé, and that kept costs down.

"We have a very large Web group in our IT department run by Jim Taylor, our chief of e-government. He created the graphics and we purchased the URL and built the Web-enabled doorway to get to the blog," Bertolini said.

Michigan's economy was an especially popular topic among the bloggers, given the state's struggling auto industry, said Bertolini. The "green" issue appeared frequently as well because of the carbon emission standards that government is imposing on vehicle manufacturers.

"We're going to publish the information from the blogs and the consensus of different issues that were out there," Bertolini said.

"The most interesting aspect of the three days of blogging was all of the people with limited technology skills. When brought to the computer and given basic instruction, they were able to blog and be effective," Bertolini said.

Oakland County's portal was named the top county portal in the nation at the Center for Digital Government's Best of the Web event in Hollywood, Calif. on Sept. 12.


| More

Comments

Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Digital Cities & Counties Survey: Best Practices Quick Reference Guide
This Best Practices Quick Reference Guide is a compilation of examples from the 2013 Digital Cities and Counties Surveys showcasing the innovative ways local governments are using technological tools to respond to the needs of their communities. It is our hope that by calling attention to just a few examples from cities and counties of all sizes, we will encourage further collaboration and spark additional creativity in local government service delivery.
Wireless Reporting Takes Pain (& Wait) out of Voting
In Michigan and Minnesota counties, wireless voting via the AT&T network has brought speed, efficiency and accuracy to elections - another illustration of how mobility and machine-to-machine (M2M) technology help governments to bring superior services and communication to constituents.
Why Would a City Proclaim Their Data “Open by Default?”
The City of Palo Alto, California, a 2013 Center for Digital Government Digital City Survey winner, has officially proclaimed “open” to be the default setting for all city data. Are they courageous or crazy?
View All