Periodically I come across tools and resources that I think might be useful for transportation communications professionals. Here are a few more to consider.
GovLoop - This is an online community site for government employees. I love this site for engaging with communications experts who work for government agencies. While the focus is often on federal government activities, I have been able to find great information here. For instance, I typed in the search term “pinterest” and was given a listing of several posts on various perspectives on how the social sharing site might be helpful to government communicators. Like Facebook, GovLoop lets individuals establish personal profiles on their personal pages, and build networks of people.
Twylah - This site is fun. It creates a beautiful custom-looking web page from the keywords in your Twitter stream.
Banjo - The idea of crowd-sourcing content is something like a Holy Grail for public involvement and transportation communication professionals. Banjo is a new location-based mobile tool that lets you see other Banjo users who are near you. That’s not really new and there are other services already in this space. But, Banjo has a web-based version that lets you look in a geographic area and see what people in that area are talking about and what they are doing. If the people in your area are talking about transportation headaches – slow buses, broken subways, potholes in the street – you have a tool to help you track it. I know, kind of creepy and cool at the same time.
Instagram - This is not a new tool, but I was reminded recently that it is still not necessarily a well-known tool. The Instagram app was created for smart phones. It has created an active and diverse photo-sharing community, complete with keywords, and specialized interest groups. I read recently that a San Francisco Bay Area Instagram group did their monthly photo walk (yup, they walk and take pictures together) on the BART subway system. If you do not have a smart phone but want to see what you are missing, you can view Instagram photos even without a smart phone through the Webstagram site. The site is not just for cat enthusiasts and people who take pictures of what they are eating for dinner. Several major brands are active on Instagram, including Southwest Airlines, Starbucks and NBC, and have built sizable followings in that space.