Leading from the Left

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Using Technology in New and Better Ways

There have been media reports recently about the retirement of County Manager John Link. And while that search is likely to be completed by the time this campaign is over and a new county commissioner is sworn in, I’d like to add my two cents on the search.

The County Commissioners should look for a new manager who ‘gets it’ when it comes to using technology in new and creative ways to deliver services more efficiently. In my experience, you have to have a leader at the top who understands what questions to ask and who understands that innovations can be put to work to improve public service and to reduce the costs of delivering those services. Additionally, technology can be used to provide our citizens with more information in a timelier manner.

Most people now use the internet daily for purchases, research, communication—nearly all the necessities of daily life. County government hasn’t kept up. Check out the Orange County website. It’s nearly impossible to find anything on that site.

Continuing on the theme of technology, I have added an audioblog component to the site. In other words, I’m now able to post voice messages directly to the blog for folks to check out. Pretty cool, eh?

In the category of “way cool,” I’ve recorded 4 emailable videos that will be released during the course of the campaign. Two are fundraising pitches, the first of which will be posted to my website for you to see later this week. The second two are issue videos which will be released a little later in the campaign.

I will be posting all of these on the campaign website and we’ll be emailing them to voters.

Let me know what you think of this new technology. This is new territory for local candidates….heck, there probably aren’t many political candidates anywhere in the country who are using this kind of technology yet! Consequently, I expect the campaign will be learning as we go along. We definitely want to maximize the use of this technology. Please feel free to offer advice or suggestions.

The point is to experiment with technology as it evolves in order to figure out the best way to deliver information to voters as people are in the process of making up their minds about whom to vote for.

On a final note, I’m having a campaign fundraiser this Sunday from 4:30 to 6:00 at the home of Sharon Mujica and George Shepard, 500 North Street in Chapel Hill. Come if you can and spread the word!! RSVP if you can, but it’s not necessary. Just show up for a glass of wine and some good company!!