Archive for the WikiWay Category

UPDATE: How to follow Pete Forsyth and Wiki Strategies

Posted in WikiWay on June 2, 2014 by Pete Forsyth

The blog you’re looking at was active in 2008 and 2009. If you feel like digging through the archives, please enjoy!

But if you’re looking for blog creator Pete Forsyth’s current blogging, which generally focuses on Wikipedia and the collaborative Internet, you might be better off looking at the Wiki Strategies blog.

Pete Forsyth

Pete Forsyth

Wiki Strategies

Wiki Strategies


June 2011 update

Posted in WikiWay on June 7, 2011 by Pete Forsyth

I haven’t blogged here in a long time — but I’ve been busy! Here are a few of the things I’ve been working on:

Please feel free to track me down at one of these sites!

Health care poll results

Posted in WikiWay on September 14, 2009 by Pete Forsyth

From August 12–13. Hmmmmm….

Picture 19

Should the government tweet?

Posted in WikiWay with tags , , , , on June 1, 2009 by Pete Forsyth

Ted Wheeler is getting some heat for his desire to have a modern media expert on staff at the County, working with tools like Twitter and Facebook. He’s doing a pretty good job of justifying his position, but it’s pretty ridiculous that he should even have to do that. Let me explain why this whole discussion strikes me as being completely ludicrous.

Last week, a bill I’d been working on (unpaid) was before a legislative committee in Salem. I had expected it to be heard on Tuesday, but at about noon on the previous Friday, I learned that it was going to be up at about 3pm that day.

So I canceled appointments with clients, and arranged to get from Portland to Salem. I then delivered my testimony, reflecting about 6 months of volunteer work facilitating a discussion among a broad group of business, policy, and government experts.

The committee chair did not listen to a word of my testimony (maybe 45 seconds); he was talking with the committee secretary about something more important.

On the whole, a massively inefficient, and somewhat humiliating, interaction. It’s fun to learn the steps to an odd 19th century ritual, but pretty frustrating to be required to do it just in order to sum up my work to a decision-maker.

I didn’t let it stop me, but many people with something to offer do. They don’t even consider the possibility of meaningful communication with their government institutions.

I, for one, applaud Ted Wheeler for daring to ask how government can become better at leveraging modern technology to better communicate with the public.

Am I suggesting that I should have been able to “tweet” my testimony? Of course not.

But here are just a few groups that have recognized that Twitter is an important dish on the modern communications menu, and have invested substantial capital or sweat into getting it right:

  • The Obama campaign
  • Innumerable news outlets
  • Innumerable retail businesses
  • Many elements of the Portland small business community
  • Any modern communications consulting business
  • etc., etc., etc.

To those of you who claim you’re “too old” or “too unhip” to get it, you’re wrong. If you think Twitter is a trend, or diminishes personal interaction (rather than enriching it), you’re wrong. In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re in the midst of a communications revolution — and many of the tools that emerge represent significant progress. 20 years ago, you were telling me that email was a toy for academics and computer geeks, and would never catch on. 5 years ago, you were saying something similar about blogs. Pardon my lack of interest, but admit it — your track record isn’t that good.

If you genuinely want to understand how Twitter or related tools can fit into an effective communication strategy for the County or any other institution, I’d be happy to sit down and have a discussion.

But, fair warning: I’ll charge you a lot of money for that discussion. That kind of consulting is in pretty high demand these days.

One of the finest songs of all time

Posted in WikiWay with tags , , on December 16, 2008 by Pete Forsyth

Written by Leonard Cohen, performed by John Cale.

It’s our turn: tech tools for government

Posted in customer service, open government, politics, WikiWay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2008 by Pete Forsyth

I’m working on a piece of legislation, and we need your help. It’s something that will help us all make Oregon, and the rest of the world, a better and more prosperous place to live. Please add your name to the page linked above, and please also consider pitching in to develop the bill!

In recent years, I’ve been amazed by all the exciting new ways of developing idea that are emerging new technology. I spend way too much of my time writing and editing articles on Wikipedia; I read blogs, and ask questions in the comments; and obviously, I’ve taken a crack at keeping my own blog. I check in on what my friends are saying on a couple times a day; I listen to talk radio shows, and call in or email when it seems like they’re missing something. And pretty often, I meet and get to physically shake hands with someone that I’ve known for months or years, and worked with extensively.

But at the same time, I’ve been pretty disappointed by how little government seems to take advantage of these kinds of tools for innovation, policy development, disseminating information, and generally keeping people up to date with what’s going on in their world and how they can change it. There are some rays of hope, but by and large, government approach to the Internet is still struggling to catch up to 1995.

This January, with a fresh crop of legislators heading to Salem, we have a chance to work for a kind of change that will help us all stay better-informed about what our government is doing, and about how to influence it in our areas of passion and expertise. The Obama supporters among us may be shouting “Yes We Did,” but I believe that “Yes We Can” remains the better phrase. We may have succeeded in electing a president who will be more open to innovative ideas, but our job of supplying those ideas — and developing the same kinds of conditions on a local level — is just beginning.

The bill I’m working on — and hope you will help us work on — will address at least four areas: Continue reading

Mt. Tabor: Architectural design concepts

Posted in customer service, open government, politics, WikiWay with tags , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2008 by Pete Forsyth
Dozens of citizens attended Opsis presentation of the concepts, 8/2/08.

Dozens of citizens attended Opsis' presentation of the concepts, 8/2/08.

The Mt. Tabor Central Yard & Nursery Planning Group’s architect, Opsis, recently presented six draft “concepts” for our proposed redesign of the Mt. Tabor Central Yard and Nursery. These concepts are intended as resources as we work toward a final proposal.

Here, I have rendered the concepts using mapping software. This allows you to click on things to view notes, zoom in, etc. Hope this is a useful tool for evaluating and refining the concepts.

These are not yet complete; please let me know about any additions, corrections, or clarifications needed.

The percentages refer to the amount of program needs that are met by each approach; 6% is equivalent to 1 acre.

Concept A1

Concepts A1 and A2 look at what fits into 7 acres within a fence, with greenhouse/head house & container garden on upper nursery. They also consider the addition of a community garden in the Long Block, and improvements to open spaces. 84% of program needs met in A1.


Continue reading