Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Nebraska Library Commission, Crane Room

Attendance: 20 people in attendance

  1. Social networking possibilities/issues/consideration / [Clint! Runge,]

    Clint! discussed the profiles and changing communication patterns of the upcoming generation.
    Message synopsis:
    The "Digital Native" generation has been raised on technology and is more familiar with sending and receiving information in this mode of communication and information gathering. They prefer to parallel process and multi-task in all aspects of their lives. They view and send their information in a random access mode and rely heavily on validation and referral from "friends" who frequently function and communicate in a "social networking" environment. This generation and the upcoming generation will tend to rely more on information gathered and received when networked in this manner. They are familiar with and thrive on the instant gratification of searching and locating the bulk of their information needs from mobile devices, internet sources, friends information referral and wiki's. They are not as inclined to locate the information they receive from previously valued sources like newspapers, magazines, television news and the like. They prefer to receive their information in 'snack bytes" and will frequently rely on friends and select "feeds" for their information gathering and sharing.

    This information is important to us as webmasters in providing a framework for our content publishing and providing information for tomorrow's society. The current "digital native" population may require a shift in how we "drive" that information to our citizenry while modifying content frameworks where citizens of our state can easily and readily interact and personalize with the content we provide. This requires that we build our communication based on a "push and pull" model as opposed to the previous "publish (or push)" mode alone ( Clint! gave an example of the CIA site on Facebook -when he took us to the site there was really nothing there except the logo. Once you have visited the page it has nothing to offer and requires no interaction with users etc).

    State agencies and non-profits agencies would do well to comprehend the concept of content being "plucked" by users and repurposed for niche groups and specific interest "groupings". The information we provide will be consumed on the fly and should be adapted and developed for that type of dissemination. Cell phones, GEO tracking and PDA's have become critical personal communication devices capable of managing, educating, socializing and rapidly informing networks of users due primarily to higher data rates and ever-changing and improving UI's and tools. Consider the fact that the model has changed from only switching on a TV or radio, or buying a newspaper or magazine to a device that is perpetually "ON" and being utilized to harvest very select pieces of information.

    To fully utilize the concept of social networking and meeting the demands of this generation one must do more than just create the content and provide the space for the user to read the content. Content providers need to provide ways for this population to interact with, share and collect the content to distribute, store and respond to within the framework of their rapidly changing, diverse and dynamic communication patterns. Clint! demonstrated a couple of fundraising campaigns for non-profit agencies they had created and successfully implemented as revenue generating sources on Facebook. (visit their website to view some of these applications and sites)

    These new communication models and patterns can change how government agencies relate to their citizens, how educators interact with their students, and how elected officials communicate, respond and serve their constituents.

    Cell phones and social networking can be keen partners for state agencies. They can help enhance citizen participation in government, and improve the efficiency of our government agencies.

    In its simplest forms we should consider minimally providing the channels for the sharing of ideas, feedback, and policy input from our citizenry to community agencies and organizations through the diverse modes of new technologies.  We would be remiss to assume that the technologies will continue to advance without the need for our participation. It would be a mistake if we choose to bury our heads for fear of what challenges the new technologies bring with their benefits.

    An "always-on" citizenry offers us opportunity as government entities to become more responsive to our citizenry at a minimum. These same technologies, as we are all well aware, can and will bring about enormous possibilities that include difficult choices that will require us to balance some of technology's  benefits against their drawbacks. But we should all be willing to encourage and engage in dialogues and discussions about the basic, fundamental considerations and implementation of the changing technologies so that we might all get a deeper understanding of the possibilities and problems.  We have begun to gather information for Best Practices Policies for these technologies and some agencies have tested the waters to a deeper level than others.  It is critical that we share information amongst each other as we engage the new technologies so that we can learn from each other how to "harvest" these ever-changing opportunities to stay vital, relevant and in touch with our end-user base. 

    Two staff members in attendance at the meeting demonstrated their efforts to the group. One was Heidi Uhing from the Nebraska Legislature.
    Heidi demonstrated efforts they are making by creating BLOG environments for our senators

    Heidi's notes on the process and outcomes       

    The other member was Andrea Davis from Nebraska Online. Andrea demonstrated a personal site she had created to encourage Green Living in Lincoln. The URL for her NING site is:

    Andrea's notes

    The meeting went long as the group continued to discuss the presentation so all previous business listed on the agenda was rescheduled for the upcoming meeting on Feb 4th. The Agenda will follow soon.

  2. Adjourn. Meeting was adjourned.

Next Meeting

Wednesday, Feb, 4, 2009
1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Nebraska Library Commission
1200 N Street, Suite 120
Crane Room (Lower Level, enter building on first floor, South side)