Chancellor Commendation

I took a half day of vacation yesterday to do a presentation on use of social media tools in election administration for a conference sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute. Given my early career background in politics and government, it was a fun opportunity to stretch my basic presentation a bit beyond health care and general social media training.

I was really pleased with the response, and the Q&A period was great. I was introduced to one barrier to social media use that was new to me, though, in that some of the city and county officials present are concerned that using Facebook or YouTube in an official capacity will put them in violation of data practices regulations. State laws require government bodies to archive data for potential legal discovery, for example, and the concern is that a local jurisdiction can’t compel Facebook to maintain data practices in keeping with state law. I plan to devote a full post to this later.

But first, I wanted to share a testimonial from Pat, one of the conference participants. She came up to me after the presentation and was particularly enthusiastic about what she had learned. Kind of made me blush. But since I had my Flip along (as Karl Malden used to say about American Express: “Don’t leave home without it”), I asked if she would be willing to share her reactions on video.

I’m experimenting with the Flip HD camera (instead of standard definition) and how to best encode video to display on various platforms, so I’m going to upload this to the SMUG group in Facebook, too. If any other SMUGgles would want to upload a video to that group, or leave a comment here or on the SMUG wall, about your experiences in social media or your reactions to what you’ve learned through our University, it would be mose welcome.

My grandma would have called this fishing for compliments. Andy Sernovitz would call it word-of-mouth marketing.

SMUG Extension: Applying Social Media in Election Administration

Below is the presentation I’m scheduled to deliver on Friday, May 29, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, as part of the Innovations in Election Technology conference:

Following Super Tuesday on Twitter

Sallie Boorman from APCO Worldwide mentioned in this morning’s session that her company has created a SuperTuesday account in Twitter to follow today’s electoral festivities. It’s also connected to their Virtual Vantage Points blog. Since I’m missing the Minnesota precinct caucuses, I’m going to check it out. You should too.