I’m going to camp this weekend, and I’m as fair-skinned as they come, but sunblock is the last thing I’ll need.
That’s because I’m going to the Sunlight Foundation’s Transparency Camp in Washington, D.C. Tcamp, as many call it (you can follow it on Twitter via the hashtag, #tcamp13 and its handle, @tcampDC). And while the goal of shining light where it’s darkest or most obscured is a main function of the foundation, the last thing campers want is for people – and government – to start slathering on the block.
A couple of summers ago, Sunlight helped bring the Transparency Action Plan Summit to Cleveland and many of the folks involved in that effort continue to be good government stewards. They got a special shout-out at the 2012 TCamp.
This year, I’ve been asked to participate in a variety of ways (okay, okay, they’ve been trying to get me there for a few years now in part because there simply aren’t that many elected officials whose day jobs are also in the world of civic engagement, good government and transparency – but we’re trying to change that!). In particular, Sunlight has doubled-down on looking into what’s happening on the local government scene – what’s being done, what’s not being done, what’s needed and how does it happen or get made to happen. I’m just a wee bit excited.
So what am I packing? Well, for sure I’ll be packing links that highlight how the Civic Commons has become a tool through which citizens as well as government entities can dialogue and deliberate on tough subjects and can not only increase awareness about those subjects, but also can out the variety of views people hold. For example, in today’s Plain Dealer, the very front page, very top of the fold article’s headline has the word, “transparency” in it. But beyond that? The article is in regard to proposals by County Prosecutor Tim McGinty who participated vigorously in the Commons’ three-day online debate with the other four primary candidates for that office last year – an online discourse that was used to help the Citizens League of Greater Cleveland make an endorsement in that race.
And then there’s the example of the skywalk – a topic that’s gained big attention at the Commons and is also featured today in the PD as we learn that Dan Gilbert is willing to pay nearly $80 million dollars to buy a building so he can put a skywalk in it. I’m assuming he knows he can’t count on Joe Baur and company to cheer him on. But the question isn’t only what will they do next to make their feelings known – what can they do next if they want to stop the skywalk? What would you do? My mind goes to the ill-will this is creating in the community. What price will Gilbert pay because of that – what price will we all pay because of that?
With social media being what it is, you can follow me and the other campers (check out the attendee list here) on Twitter and Facebook, but also look for my What I Did Last Summer post next week when I report back on smores and more.
Cross-posted from the Civic Commons.
There’s a classic Saturday Night Live skit in which Steve Martin and then Bill Murray are staring at something. And we don’t know what they’re looking at, and they don’t know what they’re looking at. And they just keep asking, “What the hell is that thing?” How much of social media and journalism might be viewed that way right now when not so long ago no one would even be asking the question?
This question is not one that has any implicit value statement. Rather, it reflects the extent to which we no longer see “Journalism” with a capital “J” looking like it did ten years ago (I still remember when I first noticed reporter-written narratives in the New York Times magazine using the first-person and thinking, “But I thought you’re never supposed to put yourself, the writer, in the story you are telling!”) and, likewise, the extent to which we no longer see “social media” as solely navel-gazing tools of procrastination and distraction.
Check them out at the full post here.
Pinterest has not category for political subdivisions or federal agencies, but that’s not stopping government entities from joining the newest social media darling, and a tool used by a very desirable segment of the electorate – women. From my post:
The Obama White House is no stranger to the tools of civic engagement. Its social media hub page, titled “Engage and Connect,” offers easy access to its Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Scribd, Flickr, Slideshare, LinkedIn, FourSquare and even GitHub accounts.
But the new kid on the block, Pinterest, is so new to the White House that it doesn’t yet have a space or icon there even though the White House started pinning a month ago. Reportedly, they started with this very visual tool because they see themselves as wanting to “make this the most open White House in history.” Let’s hope they remedy the absence of the “P” icon soon since, as you’ll see below, Pinterest appears to be 2013′s black for the public sector. There’s even hope that the Pinners That Be might be forced to include a “Politics” category, currently still absent from its pre-set list from which subscribers can choose.
Read the full post here.
Originally posted on my Facebook page:
Just to show, again, how integrated consuming & producing news & information is with the use of social media:
1. I read about Inside Business’s Power 100 in the Sat. PD
2. I looked online to see that only one woman made the top 10 under 40
3. I blogged about that, then tweeted it, FB’d it & emailed one of the mag’s writers to learn more
4. This morning, I got followed on Twitter (happily so) by the editor of that mag, Steve Gleydura, who edits other prominent NE Ohio publications.
5. Viewing his twitter timeline, I clicked on a link to a video clip of him talking about the Cleveland mag’s most interesting people.
6. While watching & listening to that, I searched on my iPad for that issue to see who else was on the list. First thing: a good array of folks re: age, gender, race, occupation etc. Very nice. But really nice? Two women I know and think a lot of: Hallie Bram and Stefanie Penn Spear.
SO – kudos to all, esp. to Hallie and Stefanie
Some outstanding transparency efforts are here in Cuyahoga County and I hope Pepper Pike residents will take an active interest in all of them. First up, tonight:
Community Dialogue: Openness in the Making (read this supportive Plain Dealer editorial)
Thursday, June 30, 7:00 pm
Trinity Cathedral, Room C/D
2230 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
This coming Thursday will be an opportunity to participate in an enlightening and refreshing conversation with senior staff in the new Cuyahoga County administration and Council about their work to make our county government more open and accessible to the people it serves and represents. We will also be joined by statewide Open Government advocate Catherine Turcer who can speak to how our county fits into the statewide context.
Here are our featured guests:
Joe Nanni, Chief of Staff, Council
Nicole Dailey Jones, Communications Director
Majeed Makhlouf, Law Director
Jeff Mowry, Chief Info. Officer
David Merriman, Special Assistant
Catherine Turcer, Ohio Citizen Action
Using a innovative community dialogue format called a “Fishbowl,” members from the audience will have a chance to actually join the featured guests at our roundtable to ask questions about work within the county and share their perspectives on the future of our county. It’s rare to have the chance for such an intimate conversation with our county’s leaders. Please come and add your insight to the dialogue.
Parking: Lot on Prospect between E 22nd and E 24th.
I cannot attend – not one but two competing commitments on my agenda (with this one above, three). But I trust all the folks involved and look forward to hopefully some real-time twittering of the event in addition to mainstream media follow-up.
Then, tomorrow at 12noon at the City Club, I will be attending:
Ellen S. Miller
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Sunlight Foundation
Shedding Light on Government
Friday, July 1st, 2011 – noon
Ellen Miller is co-founder and Executive Director of the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based, non-partisan non-profit dedicated to using the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency. She is the founder of two other prominent Washington-based organizations in the field of money and politics – the Center for Responsive Politics and Public Campaign – and a nationally recognized expert on transparency and the influence of money in politics.
Ellen is outstanding in her work and I’ve heard her speak a few times at various forums. She is also a regular user of Facebook and Twitter and evangelizes excellent information about good government and transparency and openness.
Finally, put this on your calendar as well:
The Transparency Action Plan (TAP) Summit will be informed by the principle that meaningful public involvement requires access to information. This principle applies at every level from neighborhood block groups all the way to national and international politics.
The Cleveland Coalition and our partners are committed to facilitating a well-informed, outcome-oriented planning session on the topic of county-level transparency. Advancing this issue requires effective leadership both inside and outside governmental institutions. Our coalition intends to provide meaningful leadership to augment work already being advanced by the Cuyahoga County Executive and Council.
The Transparency Action Plan (TAP) Summit will convene representatives from every major sector whose collaboration and productive exchange of ideas and information is essential to the health of our community. These groups include governmental officials, business leaders, legal professionals, IT professionals, nonprofit practitioners, and community activists.
Over the course of two days, participants will be educated about best practices across the country and the world in the area of transparency, the exciting work already underway at the county level, and current opportunities at the county level for innovation. The bulk of the summit will include planning and design phases during which participants will be tasked with developing a plan for advancing transparent practices and policies in our community.
As the name suggests, the Transparency Action Plan (TAP) Summit is a planning event, and as such will serve as the beginning for a path of dynamic, innovative public participation in the months and years ahead. Please join us July 29-30, 2011 to help articulate a strategy for moving our community forward, and establishing Cuyahoga County as a national leader in the area of government transparency and public engagement.
Very excited about all of those events. Transparency – it does a (government & civic) body good.
Now for the local weekly paper burbmerger roundup: Read more
By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:51 am June 30th, 2011 in BurbMerger, Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, democracy, Government, leadership, Ohio, Pepper Pike, Pepper Pike 2.0, Regionalism, social media, Tech, Transparency | Comments Off
Julie Barko Germany has written an excellent, succinct article, published at Brazen Careerist, about the use of social media by political candidates, especially before and during their campaigns. In “How Not to Ruin Your Political Career on Social Media,” Julie provides essential tips from those who know: potential and former candidates, a current elected and a well-known Republican digital media guru. It’s well worth your time - whether you’re the one figuring out how to use social media as oppo or a tool for winning. Many thanks to Julie for including me.
BlogHer.com has a history of political figures interacting with its membership. Carly Fiorina answered questions in a phone interview, and Kirsten Gillibrand met with BlogHers in person in New York City this summer (I was one of about 15 or so who was there). Now, the four candidates will answer questions collected at BlogHer.com, via Twitter and Facebook. If you are in Missouri or any of the congressional districts involved, please consider taking advantage of this opportunity. My experience has been that they do not duck when they know that a network of literally 10 million women globally are paying attention:
* Robin Carnahan, Candidate for U.S. Senate, Missouri
* Suzan DelBene, Candidate for U.S. House, Washington, District 8
* Stephene Moore, Candidate for U.S. House, Kansas, District 3
* Dina Titus, Candidate for U.S. House, Nevada, District 3
You can go here to ask your questions.
Recently, Brazen Careerist founder, Penelope Trunk, wrote a blog post that unleashed a torrent of diverse and sharply divided opinions about women’s career pursuits in comparison with men’s in the tech start-up world. In Women Don’t Want To Run Startups Because They’d Rather Have Children, she described what she sees as the incompatibility of the mandatory amount of time and energy required for pushing a tech start-up with raising kids. And then, she tied up this incompatibility to why women don’t get funding:
Startups move at breakneck pace, under a lot of pressure to succeed bigger and faster than any normal company. And women don’t want to give up their personal life in exchange for the chance to be the next Google. Or even the next Feedburner. Which is why the number of women who pitch is so small, and, therefore, the number of women who get funding is small.
And I’m not even going to go into the idea of women having a startup with young kids. It is absolutely untenable. The women I know who do this have lost their companies or their marriages or both. And there is no woman running a startup with young kids, who, behind closed doors, would recommend this life to anyone. For men it’s different.
After just over two weeks, the post has nearly 500 comments — and they run the gamut. It a fascinating, infuriating and enlightening thread. But is it empowering?
For that, we turn to a New York Times column by Gloria Feldt, “Where Is the Female Steve Jobs?”, that was published just before Trunk’s post. In her piece, Feldt, a long-time advocate for women’s rights and most recently the author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think about Power, says:
Read the rest of this post and join the conversation here.
By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:22 am October 28th, 2010 in Business, Culture, democracy, Education, employment, Gender, intolerance, leadership, Politics, Sexism, Social Issues, social media, Women, Writing | Comments Off
Yesterday, the founder of Media Matters for America, David Brock, urged celebritician Sarah Palin to consider détente (not sure if he defined it for her first but if she can see Russia from Alaska, then I’m guessing she knows about détente). Here’s what he wrote and here’s the ask:
Sarah Palin — who in 2008 infamously implied that Barack Obama was “palling around with terrorists” — owes it to our country to use her enormous influence with her devoted base of followers to call for an end to actual terrorism, no matter what its source. Byron Williams, inspired by Beck, endangered the lives of Tides employees and two California cops. Sarah Palin– you have the platform to condemn such calls to violence and you should use it to call Beck on his dangerous extremism that endangers lives.
Visit the latest Matter of Opinion survey, A Peace-Loving Sarah Palin Would “Refudiate” Glenn Beck, to see what others think about this bold move – was it a ploy? Should Beck be asked to chillaxe (chill and relax)? And do you think his rhetoric is in fact dangerous?
Personally, I want to know what on earth ever happened to one of John Boehner’s favorite pieces of legislation in 2007 – Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, which he pursued with such vigor when George Bush was president.
Never again will you have to sit in silence should you hear anyone say that they just couldn’t find a woman to ask or write or blog or do commentary about something in politics. Enjoy!
1. 2010 Must-Read Political Blogs by Women (nonpartisan list out this month)
2. 30 Political Mom Bloggers Who Will Change Your Vote (nonpartisan list out his month, limited to moms)
3. #43-58 of 100 Conservative Blogs (partisan list from September 2010)
4. Top 20 Political Bloggers (nonpartisan list, limited to moms, 2010)
5. The Political Voices of Women – Over 500 Women Political Bloggers (nonpartisan list, not limited to moms, began in 2008 but updated continuously)
6. 101 Women Bloggers to Watch in 2010 (nonpartisan list, not limited to moms, January 2010)
7. Top 50 Influential African American Political Blogs (includes some authored by women)
8. For local women’s political blogging, check out this November 2009 list of progressives in Texas
9. BlogHer Women Political Blogger search toolbar (a great widget created in 2008 and still going)
10. Bonus link from Morra Aarons at techPresident, when, in 2007, she gazed into the future with, “Women Online: Facts, Figures, and the 2008 Election.”
Got more to list? Please do! Add them in the comments and we’ll update this post. Especially of interest: state lists because we love to get the local flavor of what is happening on the ground.
Cross-posted from Woman and Politics.
The short version: Go to the current Matter of Opinion topic, take the survey and start helping to create a community response to the question, a response that it’s hoped will develop into conversation, debate and a more accurate idea of how people feel about a subject or incident, and show us where we can – and can’t – draw lines on many explicitly and implicitly political topics (and really, what isn’t political?).
The topic right now, so Ohio: Nazi Reenactment: Learning From Mistakes or Reliving Them?
The slightly less short version: Read the About Us page.
The slightly longer than the less short version: Read the FAQ page.
How’d I get involved in this? I don’t know! How did I end up becoming a city council member in Pepper Pike? Let’s just say that the folks behind this fascinating platform are as good at teh Google as I am and flattered me by making me think that this blog has a following (and yes, I tried to tell them, no one reads blogs anymore – but they don’t believe me).
*Wide Open, may it rest in peace, can be found here. It was a Plain Dealer political blog in which two left of center and two right of center Ohio bloggers went at it. Still kinda titillating to read – but also tortuous at times.
A teaser from the brand new post:
In its October 2010 issue, Vanity Fair did its 100 “new establishment” people – some of the 100 spots are occupied by teams, others by individuals or duos. The formal name of the list is “the 100 most influential people of the information age.” Guess how many women are in the new establishment? A total of 14 women, and of those, six are paired with men, while only eight are recognized on their own, individually. The menz? A few men must share the spotlight in team settings, but those team props simply add to the total number of included men further dwarfing the total number of women.
Oh – stop being such a whiner everyone wants to say these days, right? After all, just two days ago on BNET, Mark Henricks wrote a post called, Why It’s Time to Stop Giving Women Entrepreneurs Special Help. His theory:
You’ll need to go read the full post here.
Filed Under Blogging, democracy, Elections, Gender, Government, leadership, Media, Ohio, Pepper Pike, Politics, Research, Social Issues, social media, Transparency, Voting, Women, Writing | Comments Off
Okay – so – you know – I don’t want to whine. I don’t want to claw. I don’t want to – oh hell, you know what? I’m pissy. I’m just very very pissy because Politico, which I really do read and really do get news from, really did have a reporter write a story about political bloggers who run for office – see, here it is – More Bloggers Throw Hat in the Ring. And he really did get to me by THREE different routes: Alan Rosenblatt emailed me to include me in on a conversation when he first got contacted, then the reporter contacted me directly and then BlogHer got a shout out from the reporter and they asked me if I would like to speak with him (by which time I’d already set up a phone call with the writer).
And we talked for over an hour. And I told him to check with Technorati, which it didn’t sound like he was going to do or hadn’t thought of yet, because that would put into metrics and context just how many political bloggers there even are, let alone those that run for office that are we can find/trace/hear about (given how hyper-local both blogging and running for office can be).
Then at this little gathering of 2400 bloggers, called BlogHer10, you know, I do this thing called an Inspirational Call to Action speech for 50-60 female bloggers who are interested in running for office or helping others run for office or advancing their causes through the political process and you know, I feel, like Denise encourages us to, kinda powerful – like I’m going to make a difference, just from my blogging – and, you know, running for office, all by my lonesome (with some serious BlogHer mojo behind me of course).
Then I follow up and get a nice note that the article will post this week and I’m not going to be in it but my info was very helpful (of course it was – why else do you stay on the phone with me for an hour?).
And then I read it. And you know what? My heart sank – it sank. Because it mentions my city – but not me.
Pepper Pike is 11 characters or spaces. Jill Miller Zimon is 17 characters or spaces. The reporter says it was a space issue.
You can read the rest at the original post at BlogHer.
By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:24 pm August 12th, 2010 in Blogging, democracy, Elections, Gender, Government, leadership, Media, Ohio, Pepper Pike, Politics, Research, Social Issues, social media, Transparency, Voting, Women, Writing | Comments Off
Filed Under activism, Blogging, BlogHer, Campaigning, democracy, Elections, Gender, Government, Jennifer Brunner, leadership, Politics, Sexism, Social Issues, social media, Transparency, Voting, Women, Writing | 9 Comments
Long before there was an August 3rd set of ballot issues for Pepper Pike, I’d been asked and accepted an invitation to be the inspirational call to action speaker at The White House Project’s training program done in conjunction with BlogHer10, a gathering of more than 2400 women bloggers organized by three of the most powerful people in new media. I adjusted travel plans to accommodate being at the conference and the training and this post recaps my speech intended to encourage female political bloggers to run for office.
Ironically, a reporter for Politico contacted me within the last couple of weeks (after two others whom he’d contacted had also contacted me about his inquiries) on the topic of political bloggers who run for office, and his research is in part in relation to this post I wrote last November about the rarity of both news stories on political bloggers who run for office and the rarity OF political bloggers running for office. The training collaboration between BlogHer and The White House Project will, I hope, make a dent in this lagging area of civic engagement for bloggers (going beyond blogging and running for office). As soon as the article is out, I’ll link to it.
Here is a Flickr set of photos taken by The White House Project from the training and, after the jump, you can read the text of the entire speech. I was only supposed to speak for 15 minutes, which I did, but then they were so pleased with that, that I took a few questions as well. I particularly love explaining to people why all the excuses they have for why they can’t or won’t run for office are surmountable. Go ahead try me!
You can also read a live-blog of the speech as well as the Q and A here.
By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:50 pm August 8th, 2010 in activism, Blogging, BlogHer, Campaigning, democracy, Elections, Gender, Government, Jennifer Brunner, leadership, Politics, Sexism, Social Issues, social media, Transparency, Voting, Women, Writing | 9 Comments
Just seems ironic to me.
The PD pieces:
About the interplay between employees, social media and the social media used by the employers as part of their business: Social media post the latest challenge in separating work from personal spaces
The second item, which appears as a separate article in the print version called, “New Danger Areas. ” is on the same webpage as the one mentioned above.
As consumer expectations evolve with rapidly changing emerging media applications, Developers Diversified Realty (NYSE: DDR), owner, manager and developer of an international portfolio of shopping centers, is launching a program to engage consumers in an online medium they embrace – social media. Developers Diversified created ShopStar, an interactive online community that brings together like-minded consumers and provides value to shoppers across the country.
Launching June 1, 2010, ShopStar leverages two of today’s most popular social media platforms – Facebook and Twitter – to create an online hub for a fun, tight-knit and customer-focused retail and entertainment community that offers surprises and perks throughout the year, including spending sprees, prize packages, freebies and experiences. This “VIP Club” is brought to life by partnerships between the shopping center and its tenants, both working together to ensure customers find valuable rewards and engage in meaningful dialogue throughout all elements of the program.
How DDR handles social media with their employees would be the follow up question related to the PD coverage.
I also think the PD should include a sidebar that notes why, with all the new danger areas, businesses are taking the leap anyway. There must be some reward they’re anticipating, even with the risks. Let’s hear more about that.
And hey – that is what the Mumsnet co-founder herself calls the vast U.K.-based network of online parents:
Ten high-ranking politicians, including David Cameron and Gordon Brown, have appeared in live webchats on Mumsnet in the last year. “Just two of them,” its co-founder Justine Roberts said yesterday, “had been asked to take part.” The rest invited themselves.
Such is the political clout of Mumsnet.
[However, Roberts] dismissed the idea that Mumsnet represented a coherent block of votes as totally wrong, saying that the online community – in political terms – is “like an octopus with pre-menstrual tension.”
You can view an interview with the Mumsnet co-founder at that link.
Yeah, I’m not sure I’d describe BlogHer in remotely the same language, but you can read all about the enormous amount of money and time being spent by UK political candidates on Mumsnet in my most recent post at BlogHer here.
And woohoo – I am in fact one of the 80 paid contributing writers. I count myself very lucky. My connections and my learning, courtesy of BlogHer, are directly responsible for what I’m doing now.
An excerpt from Forbes’ article honoring the fifth anniversary of BlogHer.com:
“BlogHer is one of the most influential blogger platforms out there,” says Sree Sreenivasan, professor of digital journalism at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. “Among tech-savvy women, they know this is the place to be.”
If you’re having trouble imagining what BlogHer.com is really all about, think of it as an ecosystem of blogs where each feeds off the others. The site rotates headlines from the thousands of blogs in the network, which allows smaller players in the blogosphere to benefit from the traffic of larger blogs through a shared space and homepage. …
Make no mistake–BlogHer is not a pet project or an activist mission. The site, which is venture-backed by Venrock, the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller family, the Peacock Fund and Azure Capital Partners, expects to be profitable for the first time this year and has just secured its third round of funding. A hefty 80% of its revenue comes from Web-based advertising, and the remaining 20% comes from sponsorships, conferences and research and consulting. Read more
I wish we could get more women in Ohio to blog politics. Lisa Renee of Glass City Jungle and I have tossed around the idea of some kind of something to help encourage it but have not done so yet. If you have ideas, please let us know. Here’s an interesting post from just about a year ago as to how much money bloggers make, and how many bloggers make it.
There used to be the Daniel Kovach Blogging Scholarship and I’m checking to see if it’s still operating (it’s for students). Think thanks now and then offer blogging grants or awards but overall, from what I know, it’s still a work of passion for most.
Just launched, tinkering continues, suggestions greatly appreciated.