Lori Bush: Obsessed with Technology

From the blog of Lori Bush, Cary Town Council At-Large member.

Cary, NC – So, if you didn’t know it before hand, it’s got to be abundantly clear by now. I’m a nerd. Or a geek. Maybe the right term is technology obsessed.  Whatever the right term is, you get the picture.

Which is why this is a great and fun week for me!  Not only is the proposal that Councilman Don Frantz and I submitted for the Town of Cary Technology Task Force starting to take shape, but this weekend is CityCamp Raleigh.

Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Technology Task Force – Come one, Come all

In January you may remember that I wrote about my goal of Cary “reclaiming” our Technology Town of NC moniker. Soon after that, I met with folks across the town about how THEY wanted to engage with the town.  I met with the members of our Information Services Advisory Board (one of Cary’s volunteer boards and commissions), I checked in with local Technology gurus, spoke to folks at the UNC School of Government, and connected with people from other cities and towns.  I did research online, watched countless videos (check out the great one from TED about “Coding a better government“), submitted a Code for America application, and spoke with several government CIOs.

My goal – to find innovative ideas to bring to the Town that could leverage technology to increase citizen involvement, awareness and engagement.  Basically, to make it easier for our citizens to find out what’s going on across town, to get to the information that you need quickly and on any device, and to deliver that information in the way that YOU can best use it.

On April 19th, Councilman Don Frantz (check out his blog) and I co-sponsored a proposal that wouldcreate a Technology Task Force of Cary citizens, to determine how the Town’s use of technology services can better serve its citizens. This task force will review, evaluate, and prioritize new and emerging technologies that will facilitate better engagement, citizen outreach, and service delivery all with that end goal in mind –  making it easier for citizens to communicate with the Town and consume available information.

The task force will consist of no more than 8 people, and we will be looking for folks that are passionate about technology and how it can be used to improve services and communication in Cary. Look for more information coming out this week, I promise to post to Facebook, Twitter, my Blog…well, you get the idea.

Want to be part of a ninja team of technologists and local citizens?  We will take applicationsstarting on June 1st, or you can contact our Town Clerk, Sue Rowland at:sue.rowland@townofcary.org, or Karen Gray,  Deputy Town Clerk at: karen.gray@townofcary.org.  They will be happy to point you to the information and application process.

CityCamp – like a cool camp for nerds

[Editor’s Note: This section refers to an event last week]

The other “technology” related item this week starts on Friday, and it’s called CityCamp Raleigh. CityCamp is what’s called an unconference.  That is, a participant directed and driven conference, very different from your standard conference planning.  It’s where the participants are ACTIVELY engaged, not just listening; providing a unique environment for innovation, creativity and exploration.

The CityCamps that have been run across the country focus on innovation for local and municipal governments and community organizations.

This is CityCamp Raleigh’s 2nd year – and they have planned 3 days of open sourced talks, workshops, and hands-on problem solving.  From their website:

CityCamp brings together government, business, neighborhood, non-profit, and academic communities to work toward next generation solutions for Raleigh. You don’t need to be technical either–we need ideas from a variety of participants to help create solutions.

Yes, it’s focused on Raleigh, for now – but there is so much we can learn and do together.  I believe this is a great opportunity to work across our city/town lines to  shape our collective future, and to have technology help bring us there.

CityCamp starts on Friday – check out the Agenda and come downtown to participate. It will be a lot of fun!  (Make sure to follow the fun on Twitter @citycampral)

<shameless plug on>  Yes, I am on a panel.  And yes, I’m very excited!  <Shameless plug off>

If you didn’t get that, don’t worry.

TriangleWiki

And finally, I continue to help on the very coolTriangle Wiki site.  If you aren’t familiar with aWiki – a wiki is a website where users can update, add, edit and delete content, very easily.  (Wikipedia is a Wiki.)  The term wiki comes from the Hawaiian word meaning “quick.”  If you have ever been in Hawaii, you may remember seeing the shuttle bus, called Wiki Wiki.

The TriangleWiki is a place where you can go to find all kinds of cool info about the Triangle.  Organized by region, you can look on the website for information that might otherwise be hard to find.  Maybe you want to find some of the coolest parks in the area, or services for seniors, or tips and hints on public bus routes, or upcoming events.  A community sourced landing spot, it will be a great place to collaborate as well as discover new information, as well as providing your own insights, history and knowledge.

A few of us have been working on the Cary section – adding information and details as we can.  The CityCamp Raleigh folks will have an opportunity for you to come and add content during a sprint on Sunday.  Check it out, and add to the conversation!

 

Featured photo by Liz West. WikiWiki bus photo by Andrew Laing.

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