This afternoon I’m presenting to a small group of City of Santa Cruz employees (Three Practices for Integrating Social Media into the City of Santa Cruz). While I’m focusing on social media for internal communication, collaboration, and workflow, yesterday’s earthquake highlights the value for communicating with the publicAlex Howard had this to offer

While both DC residents and people across the United States took the opportunity to joke about the quake using Twitter, a more sobering reality emerged as residents found themselves unable to make phone calls over overloaded cellphone networks: social networks offered an important alternate channel to connect with friends, family and coworkers. In the context of overloaded networks, the Department of Homeland Security offered earthquake advice: don’t call. In fact,DHS urged [sicWhite House amplified that message:

Other city government uses are more mundane but still highly valuable. Both Pittsburgh andBoston reach out to crowdsource the identification of facilities and street issues. I’ve downloaded the Boston focused Citizens Connect iPhone app to demo tomorrow. After you report an issue you receive a tracking number that you can use to follow up. I’d be interested to know how tightly tied the app is to Boston’s facilities department workflow systems. While issues of emergency outreach and recent rapid transit protests are my hook, the meat of the presentation will focus on of internal uses of social media in support of organizational effectiveness and efficiency. Creating a single source of truth, whether it be a department wiki on how to manage hiring issues or team calendaring, can be a great first step. (Team calendaring etiquette.) Summary of my advice to the City of Santa Cruz:

How does your city use social media? Any advice for cities in the early stages of social media integration?