Gov 2.0 Events :  Gov 2.0 Expo  •  Gov 2.0 Summit

Doing a 24/7 Job in a 9-to-5 Culture: A Balancing Act for Government Workers on the Web

Melissa Jordan (Bay Area Rapid Transit), Tony Coppoletta (Chicago Transit Authority), Joshua Robin (Massachusetts Department of Transportation)
Agile Government, Emerging Topics
Location: Room 207 B
Average rating: **...
(2.50, 4 ratings)

Meet speakers from Bay Area Rapid Transit, the Chicago Transit Authority and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. They all operate from different parts of their organizational structure – marketing, public affairs and information technology – and have taken different paths along the way to driving change within their agencies.

  • BART, Melissa Jordan, Senior Marketing Representative:

BART began its Gov 2.0 initiatives within marketing, but found allies in media, operations, IT, HR and customer services to extend its reach. We’ll talk about efforts to create guidelines, to train and support others in the organization, and to stake out a place for open data/social web that is aligned with the overall strategic goals of the company. How does BART reconcile the freewheeling and conversational aspects of web communications with the official and serious tone of a safety-sensitive government agency? It has been about developing trust, which creates opportunities for casual conversation, for fun, for empathy and emotion. You are putting a human face on your agency and that has value; your customers are more likely to give your agency the benefit of the doubt in a bad experience if they have had good personal interactions as well.

  • Chicago Transit Authority, Tony Coppoletta, manager, external electronic communciations:

In 2008, CTA was already well on its way to implementing one of the largest real-time transit information services in the country with Bus Tracker. Once rolled out system-wide, it would provide live service information, including arrival predictions, for a system with over 2,000 buses, serving 1.2 million riders on a typical weekday. Already looking for ways to make this service available to as many people as possible, an enthusiastic local development community began, independently, to find ways to pull information from Bus Tracker and put it into new contexts. A year later, the agency was not only exposing stable, well-documented APIs into the Bus Tracker system, but also releasing other sets of data, and working both with independent developers, community organizations and institutions to get real-time and base transit information out to riders anywhere and everywhere possible. Tony was one of the people behind this shift toward open data sharing, and can talk about the overall strategy and enthusiasm it’s generated at CTA.

  • Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Joshua K. Robin:

MassDOT’s Developer initiative was launched in response to a simple question: Why is it so easy to find weather information but so hard to find transit information? We concluded that an information deficit existed for transit riders because our agency made it difficult to find transit information. In July 2009, MassDOT decided to launch a Developers Page , which hosts transportation data that can be used by third-party software developers to build websites, mobile applications, and other applications that deliver customer information more efficiently and effectively to users of the Commonwealth’s transportation system. By November, more than six innovative transit planning applications had been developed using out data. Recognizing the value of opening out data, MassDOT launched a real-time feed of bus locations and arrival predictions for five bus lines. In just a few months more than a dozen applications had been developed including smartphone applications, a text message service, phone service, simple websites, and even an LED sign. As a result of this success, MassDOT has changed its approach to getting real-time information to riders shifting the focus to opening information first before creating out own service. As a first step, MassDOT plans on launching real-time location for all MBTA buses this summer.

Photo of Melissa  Jordan

Melissa Jordan

Bay Area Rapid Transit

Melissa Jordan has worked at BART as senior marketing representative since June 2008. Her areas of responsibility include content management for the www.bart.gov website and development of BART’s social web strategy. She produces BART’s Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/sfbart and blogs at http://sfbart.posterous.com/. Before joining BART, she spent two decades as a reporter and editor for news organizations including The Associated Press and the San Jose Mercury News. She is a graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Georgia.

Photo of Tony Coppoletta

Tony Coppoletta

Chicago Transit Authority

Tony manages and produces the CTA’s Web site, as well as working on ways to help the agency better communicate meaningful information to its customers. This includes initiatives to get timely and relevant information for transit users anywhere and everywhere.

Photo of Joshua Robin

Joshua Robin

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Joshua Robin is the Director of Innovation and Special Projects at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. In this role, he leads the MassDOT’s award-winning Developers Initiative and other initiatives focused on getting drivers and riders more information through 3rd parties. Through the Developers initiative, MassDOT has opened data on public transportation routes, schedules, and real-time information on some routes. Thanks to the work of MassDOT’s Developer community more than a dozen applications have been built in just a few months showcasing the power of opening data. You can follow the Developers Initiative on Twitter @massdotdev.

Comments on this page are now closed.

Comments

Hank Pronk
08/18/2010 12:26pm EDT

Excellent concepts and approach. Nice presentation.

Steve Fleckenstein
05/26/2010 12:43pm EDT

While all 3 speakers had interesting stories, only Melissa explicitly spoke to the title of the session.

Picture of Melissa  Jordan
Melissa Jordan
05/13/2010 3:30pm EDT

Thanks for the comment, Laurel! Hope people will join us even though we are an early session on the first day … we’ll wake you up with tales of our adventures and misadventures on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and other social channels, along with interesting uses of our open data – like augmented reality. Plus a Top 10 list of tips drawn from experiences with a comic book convention, a robot mime, a punk rock busker, and the director of “Zombieland”. Early birds get the fun.

Picture of Laurel Ruma
Laurel Ruma
05/13/2010 3:03pm EDT

I know public transportation data is seen as non-sensitive data, but really these agencies have worked very hard to not just release data to the public but also create strategies to collaborate with the public.

O'Reilly Media Logo techweb
  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • ESRI
  • Microsoft
  • Palantir Technologies
  • Google
  • Oracle
  • EffectiveUI
  • EveryBlock
  • Intuit QuickBase
  • JackBe
  • MarkLogic
  • NetApp
  • NIC
  • OpenText
  • Sapient
  • Spigit
  • Synteractive/Smartronix
  • Microsoft
  • Government Executive Media Group
  • Nextgov

Sponsorship Opportunities

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Rob Koziura at rkoziura@techweb.com or download the Gov 2.0 Expo Sponsor Prospectus

Media Partner Opportunities

For media partnerships, contact Jaimey Walking Bear (707) 827-7176 jaimey@oreilly.com

Program Ideas

Send an email to gov2-idea@oreilly.com.

Press and Media

For media-related inquiries, contact Maureen Jennings at maureen@oreilly.com or Natalia Wodecki at nwodecki@techweb.com.

Gov 2.0 Expo Newsletter

To stay abreast of conference news and to receive email notification when registration opens, please sign up for the Gov 2.0 Expo newsletter.

Contact Us

View a complete list of Gov 2.0 Events contacts.