Why you should attend the Social Media for Government Conference in Ottawa

For the past three years, I’ve had the privilege of chairing the Social Media for Government Conference in Ottawa. And I’ll be chairing the next conference to be held in just one month, from June 21 to June 24.

A great learning experience

This conference is an opportunity to learn about how social media is being used by government and to discuss the challenges and opportunities it presents.

Speakers from all levels of government – federal, provincial and municipal – will be sharing their experience with social media and the insight they gained. Organizations presenting case studies include: Public Safety Canada, Alberta Environment, Army Public Affairs, the U.S. Department of State,  the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman, the Public Service Commission of Canada, the Ottawa Public Library,  the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, Norfolk County and the cities of London and Ottawa.

I’ll be speaking as well. On the day before the conference proper, I’ll be presenting a Social Media 101 Workshop and on the first morning of the conference, I’ll be co-presenting with Pierre Killeen about public engagement in the age of social media.

Save $400 off the registration fee for the Social Media for Government Conference

If you’ve read this far, it’s fair to say that you’re interested in learning about the adoption of social media by government. So, here’s a great offer.

People who registered for the conference before April 30 were eligible for an Early Bird Discount of $400. But April 30 has come and gone and that discount has expired. That’s the bad news.

Now the good news. Just mention my name when you register for the Social Media for Government Conference and you’ll receive a $400 discount off the registration fee. That’s the equivalent of the Early Bird Registration – and you can use my discount right up to conference day. It doesn’t expire.

Why I attend the Social Media for Government Conference

I chair and participate in this conference as a volunteer. I do it because it’s one of the best learning opportunities available to me in Ottawa.

Based on my experience over the past three years, I know you won’t regret attending this conference. You’ll learn a lot and meet some smart people. What more could you ask for?

Inside PR – Third Try Lucky

Finally, on the third try, Martin Waxman, Gini Dietrich and I managed to record an Inside PR episode with all three of us together live.

Try 1: Inside PR Episode 2.01: Gini discovered that she had erased the recording of her audio after we finished recording. Martin and Gini got together the next day to re-record the episode. I was unable to join them. So, our producer, Yasmine Kashefi, edited in my introduction and – 30 – segment.

Try 2: Inside PR Episode 2.02: I blew it in a spectacular way. I ran down the batteries in my Zoom H4 and then discovered that I didn’t really know how to operate it. Lesson here: Don’t use a recording device without reading the manual. (Something familiar here to the relationship of men and maps?) I was booked for meetings for the following two days. So Martin and Gini record the episode without me.

Try 3: Inside PR Episode 2.03: The gangs all here. Finally!

I’d welcome your comments on what we’ve discussed or your suggestions for future topics you’d like us to cover.

Consumer Recommendation: eBook Readers by Sony and Kobo

Knowing that I’ve been using a Sony eBook Reader for the past six months, a friend asked me whether I’m happy with it and would I recommend an eReader for personal use and as a gift.

My answer: An unqualified YES. I’ve become totally enamored of my eBook reader.

For the past six months, I’ve been using the Sony Touch (PRS 600) Reader (on SonyStyle.com; on SonyStyle.ca).  It’s a touch sensitive reader that lets me turn the pages by swiping my finger on the screen. I can also highlight passages by double tapping and sweeping my finger across the text, write notes with a stylus or use the soft keyboard. And I can look up words in a built-in dictionary simply by double tapping on them. All fantastic. But also expensive at $300. And the screen treatment that makes it touch sensitive also dulls (slightly) the e-ink screen.

Oh, and one more thing. At only about 10 oz., the Sony eReader is light enough to hold comfortably for a long reading session. This is a real advantage over the Apple  iPad, which feels like a brick in comparison.

My wife just bought a Kobo eReader – and I’ve decided that this is even more ideal for most people. You download the books by hooking the reader up to a computer – either via USB or Bluetooth (neat). It’s as light as the Sony and, at $149, a great value.

I use the Kobo eBook store to purchase books and download them to both devices. It’s a great experience. Simple to purchase and download books. Kobo’s slogan is “eReading. Anytime. Any place.” And they seem determined to deliver on this promise. You never lose them! Once you’ve purchased the books, they’re always in your online Kobo Library. So, if you break or replace your hardware reader, you can simply download your books to a new reader.

Kobo also has released a reader App for the iPad, so you won’t be forced to use the Apple book app (if you have a dislike for walled gardens.)

One great thing about both the Sony and Kobo eReaders is that they let you magnify the size of the text on the screen. Thanks to Adobe’s ePub software, the words rearrange themselves in an uninterrupted flow on the screen, regardless of whether you use the smallest or the largest font size. I use this feature a lot late at night when my eyes are tired. And I can’t imagine going back to having to squint at small print on a physical book page.

So, Yes, I would wholeheartedly recommend an eReader – and I’d suggest that you take a look at both the Sony and Kobo eReaders. And once you have it, do take a look at the Kobo book store. I use it and I love it.