2015-07-06T13:40:35.701-04:00I have retired from PR and have decided to work full time to bring a single payer healthcare system to DC. Under Obama's Affordable Care Act states, including DC, can create their own single payer systems. Such a system would save DC taxpayers millions or dollars in addition to guaranteeing healthcare to every DC resident. It is cheaper for the entire city to self insure itself that pay millions of dollars to private health insurance companies in addition to contracting with providers. It would save residents of DC millions of dollars to pay a reasonable healthcare tax, such as Canadians do, rather than extortionate health insurance premiums. Follow my work at Alice Marshall on Medium. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help.
2013-06-07T12:01:05.474-04:00Presto Vivace Blog has moved, it is now part of our corporate site.
2013-05-23T14:49:18.602-04:00Technology support is notorious for its poor quality. Early on in the history of the Internet management decided that customer relations was not a core function of a company and that it could be outsourced. The consequence of this was that customer service was reduced to statistics, how many calls were handled and how quickly were issues resolved. Much hung upon the definition of resolved.
2013-05-22T21:13:46.563-04:00May's NetSquared meeting was a behind the scenes look at WAMU's Metro Connecton. Producer Tara Boyle and host Rebecca Sheir explained how they and their team of freelance reporters put together they show. A theme is chosen and they work up a series of stories connected to that theme.
2013-05-16T12:04:40.185-04:00Judging from the results of my survey every business should be on Facebook. It is by far the largest social network. So why do I continue to stay away from Facebook except for personal use? I just don't think that it is the correct venue. Selling software on Facebook would be a little like selling software at the dog park. The decision makers may all be there, but the atmosphere just is not right.
2013-05-17T11:46:20.427-04:00Given the small number of responses (fewer than 50), I cannot regard my survey as statistically significant. Having said that, the results are not without interest.Most of the respondents were commercial sector, only one civil servant, a retired civil servant, a writer, a political activist, and two journalists. This is not surprising given that I aimed the survey at small entrepreneurs.By far the most popular source of tech news is corporate web sites. This is in line with previous surveys and is a result that never ceases to amaze me. Clearly it behooves companies to pay attention to their website as people look to it as their preferred source of news. Close behind is the Google News Alert. Clearly everyone is their own executive editor. Subject matter rules, if you have the correct key words in your copy, you will get the traffic. We pay attention to SEO for a reason.The remaining preferred sources of news, in descending order:Federal Computer WeekNew York TimesWall Street JournalGovernment Computer NewsCNETWired MagazineWashington PostUSA TodayGovernment Technology MagazineFederal TimesCIO MagazineGoogle Tech NewsPC MagazineThe EconomistWashington Business JournalFinancial TimesBloomberg'sForbesTimePublic CIODefense NewsMIT Tech ReviewCNN TechInc MagazineThe Pew Internet & American Life ProjectPotomac Tech WireMSNBC.comPC WorldWTOPAmtower Federal DirectDorobek InsiderCorporate Press ReleasesI also asked respondents to volunteer other sources of news which I had not listed and received the following replies:Industry AnalystLinkedInGovLoopThe Verge, Ars Technica, Twitter And:Too many left off the list to specify here. Essentially, the list needs to be upgraded to include many more web-based sources. For me, as a developer, Smashing Magazine would rank high on the list.And finally:None of the above, they are useless for my business. I had to create custom Google Alerts, and even those miss the mark. Creative Cow, Videomaker.com, Redshark News, the NAB show, and newsletters from various sites with products I am interested in.I always find the "other" responses the most useful in my work as a PR practitioner. No surprises in the section on favorite business and tech blogs, Slashdot and Tech Crunch were the overwhelming favorites. Other favorites in descending order:Ars TechnicaTech DirtBoing BoingRead/Write WebJoel on SoftwareNone - that is don't read blogsCMS WireSchneier on SecurityCoding Horrorand, pleasantly enough, one respondent reads Presto Vivace BlogOther blogs that were mentioned:Bill Salm, Gizmodo, and Hacker News (YC)I just put a space for respondents to lists their favorite business and technology podcasts, as I don't listen to podcasts. Responses included CNN, Paul Castain, and In Beta. One respondent said, "Those related to tutorials for the software that I use, but even those are rare. Podcasts are otherwise a waste of time, since you can't "speed read" and skip the jabber fluff, ads and jingles, or go straight to what you want to know very easily. News podcasts are too long, with too many stories. Each story should be a single file, so we can cut to the chase what we want to know without having to waste with the useless stuff."Most respondents don't like aggregators, None was the most popular response, closely followed by Reddit. Clearly Reddit has arrived. PR practitioners must pay attention to Reddit, but be very careful. I am going to write a post about how to handle Reddit. The other poplar aggregators in descending order:GovloopThe Federal Contractor NetworkTechmemeIn "other", I received the following responses:LinkedInand "More time wasting fluff sites." Facebook is by far the most popular social network. Although, had I included LinkedIn as a choice it might have been the favorite. As it is, it was volunteered by two respondents, and mentioned in the "other" choice throughout this survey. LinkedIn is the community where people talk about their work[...]
2013-05-07T21:33:42.805-04:00I am still collecting responses to my survey of What Tech Washington Reads; but I thought that one response was worth sharing. I asked which social networks respondents preferred, Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus (I foolishly left out LinkedIn). One responded thus:
All the above have been taken over by ads and internet marketers. They are no longer social sites, but anti-social ad networks. Farcebook is the biggest farce of the bunch with impossible clutter to wade through, and Twitter is stuffed with compulsive twits. No thanks!Clearly it behooves marketers to tread lightly. I am still collecting responses, you can participate here.
2013-05-03T16:49:02.037-04:00Judging from my Facebook feed, the chances of a business creating viral content are not good. People are interested in promoting their causes, political, social, cultural, and religious. They are not interested in promoting brands.
2013-05-03T13:20:42.973-04:00Recently, this blogger has received requests to run guest posts. Clearly, marketers have read all the SEO literature, attended the webinars, gone to the conferences, and are ready to manufacture back links. I don't think this is possible.
2013-05-02T14:54:52.239-04:00Gone are the days when we eagerly read each others blogs. People, at least tech people in the Potomac area, seem more focused in their reading. Twitter appears to be where engagement is taking place.
2013-05-01T12:02:19.341-04:00Rob Pegoraro has heard about a disturbing trend:
I learned a few things, none more disturbing than this: That some journalists--mostly tech freelancers, I was told--now regularly ask publicists to tweet out links to their work, noting that they get paid by how much traffic their stories generate.Not a proud moment for the reporter, but as Pegoraro suggests, perfectly predictable. For the record, no one has asked me to do this.
2013-04-30T14:10:26.036-04:00By now we are all familiar with the unfortunate person on Twitter who accidentally uses the company account when they meant to use their personal account to say something. To reduce the chance of this happening I always use a different browser for client work, that way you are clear in your mind on what you are working on.
2013-04-26T15:26:05.916-04:00You can buy a sponsored link on Reddit for as little as $20. Or you could buy some paid search at your friendly neighborhood search engine. Or you could advertise on Twitter. There are many legitimate things you could do to drive traffic to your site. Unlike comment spam, these techniques would actually work.
2013-06-10T14:41:51.563-04:00GSA News Blog from the Government Development Center
2013-04-24T14:23:23.663-04:00First of all social media is a subset of media. Certainly special considerations apply to social media, but it should be treated as an aspect to your overall media relations effort.
2013-04-23T12:57:19.927-04:00The National Information Exchange Model (the data model used by law enforcement and first responders) has made NIEM 3.0 available for public review from today until May 6, 2013. NIEM is looking for both technical and non-technical comments. If you have an opinion about this now is the time to comment
2013-04-18T12:58:55.233-04:00George Hulme explains it brilliantly:
it's the holistic optimized way to a solutions approach to communication utilizationFor paid search a proper keyword library is absolutely essential. However, using it for blogging and other online copy writing will produce the sort of copy that only a search engine bot could love..
2013-04-16T20:03:59.241-04:00Do you know the names of the reporters who cover your industry? If you are a flack you do; but if you are a business owner you might not. You might know who your favorite reporters are, but not everyone who covers your industry. You should know them (or hire someone who does know them). If those reporters are on Twitter, you need to follow them.
2013-04-16T17:07:01.515-04:00Jessica Robertson gives us the Federal Communicator's Toolbox for Personalization.
2013-04-10T10:55:20.077-04:00The April 3 workshop was mobbed, the Department of Commerce auditorium was filled to capicity. I assumed that it would be thinly attended like the meetings of the Federal XML work group; but there must have been something like 500 people there. Clearly people are interested and are planning on following the process very closely. I hope that means that we will build a better standard that gains broad compliance.This workshop was designed to gain industry's perspective. The first panel had Russell Schrader of VISA, Terry Rice of Merck, Michael Paypay of Northrop Grumman, and Reid Stephan of St. Lukes Health System.Russell Schrader of VISA described the Executive Order as sensible, and was pleased with the request for private sector feedback. He also expressed the need for international cooperation, and that there is so much more to be done.Schrader described security as being core to VISA's brand promise. He reminded that audience that VISA as one of the founding members of the Payment Card Industry Council, and suggested that PCI offers a template for cyber security coopoeration. He described the PCI system as scalable from the small merchant to the large.Schrader described cyber security as a continuing process, that there is no box to be checked. He described VISA's approach as Prevent, Protect, and Respond, saying that, "we try to stop trouble before it begins."Schrader called on NIST to build on what already exists and aim for global scalability. He was especially concerned that NIST not create contradictory procedures.He stressed the need for information sharing, and that it was necessary to create a legal framework for law enforcement. (I assume that he meant over and above the work of NEIM.)Michael Paypay, Chief Information Security Officer for Northrup Grumman, described his work as "where the rubber meets the road". He said that it was extremely important to Northrup protect the information that the government has entrusted to them.Paypay described the defense industry as having a collaborative approach, going on to describe himself as "representing all my aerospace brothers." He said that cyber security not an area where aerospace competes, but rather they cooperate.Paypay observed that there is no common lexicon of roles and responsibilities in cyber security. He also said that bench-marking against other people can be a problem. He described government "best practices" as very helpful, in particular NIST 800-53.He said that it was important to identify what is appropriate for your business, going on to say that you cannot simply protect protect your perimeter; but that it was necessary to build a layered defense, and go through each layer in order to identify risk.Reid Stephan said that it had been an eye opening experience to join health care industry, we are catching up to other industries. He said that the National Health ISAC looks to existing standards such as the 800-30 guide to risk assessment. He suggested that it was better to integrate existing standards and best practices rather than building something from scratch. Stephan pointed out that cyber security risk management had to be balanced with business risk management, going on to say a risk based approach rather the control based approach would be more practical.Stephan lamented the lack of robust intra and inter industry collaboration, and that the framework needs to address this sort of collaboration. He went on to observe that the cyber security framework will will never be finished, but become a dynami[...]
2013-03-28T16:16:13.918-04:00It is sad how many IT companies, especially government contractors employ such language to describe their business. Look at the website of almost any IT company and you will be hard pressed to work out what they actually do. I cannot work out why marketers are so obtuse about this.
2013-03-26T22:37:22.347-04:00Brite Technologies offers free instructions for virus removal to highly skilled computer users. What a brilliant idea.
2013-04-22T17:17:05.570-04:00Security Debrief, Security Debrief is a blog dedicated to homeland security, terrorism and counter-terrorism, intelligence and law enforcement that provides context to the debates, policies and politics that are playing out in Washington, D.C. ...