I've been nagging Valdosta for years about putting some of their cable TV station content on the web. Turns out they are already doing some of that, which is a step towards acting like a modern metropolitan area. Received Wednesday via Tim Carroll; I added the links and the [clarification].
From: Sementha Mathews
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 11:48 AM
To: Tim Carroll
Subject: RE: "The rest of the story"
Thank you for the recent phone call. As a result, I will research the Austin, Tx media practices to see if they can be implemented in any way here at Metro 17. We used to include a council wrap segment in each show, and I'll ask Shemeeka [Johnson, Valdosta Channel 17 Media Coordinator] why we took that out. But we can easily add that back in.
City of Austin posts a video Council Update and council packets online with the agenda and videos of council meetings online with the minutes. Plus Speakupaustin, apparently in conjunction with OpenAustin, "a member-driven organizantion that promotes open government, open data, and civic application development in Austin, TX. OpenAustin was originally formed by Austin residents interested in the City of Austin's web strategy and approach." Austin is located in Travis County, Texas, which also puts its commission packets online with the agendas and adds vidos with the minutes. Ditto Leon County, Florida and Tallahassee. All linked into web pages per individual agenda items, not in one big PDF lump like Valdosta and Lowndes County currently do.
Tallahassee already has video up for its Wednesday March 13th meeting (two days ago) and they sing! With sunflowers (about 14 minutes in)! Tallahassee's video isn't as sophisticated as Austin's (Austin links into individual video items in its video), but Tallahassee has videoof its council meetings.
Last year, I began looking at what other Georgia cities do to improve our ability to reach more viewers-particularly the young business professionals, students and others that may not be engaged in our city. I had a few conversations with media coordinators, one being the one in Gainesville, Ga. He is the one who introduced me to Vimeo, which allows us to host our information on demand for those who miss the program or who do not have Mediacom. I asked Shemeeka to implement this, as it is a free service. We are now utilizing Vimeo at http://vimeo.com/metro17valdosta, and I do believe it is increasing our visibility.
Among Georgia cities, see also Augusta-Richmond County which posts board packets with its agendas and videos with its minutes, as does Glynn County, which also posts videos of its two planning commissions. Even closer to hand, both the Valdosta and Lowndes County Boards of Education often post board packet items along with agendas.
Gainesville, GA, doesn't do most of those things, but then Gainesville's population is about 34,000 and Valdosta's is about 55,000. It's true the Gainesville MSA has a population of about 173,000 while Valdosta MSA population is about 126,000, but Brunswick MSA (including Glynn County) has population of 100,000 (and Augusta-Richmond County MSA more than 3 to 5 times that, depending on whether you count the South Carolina counties or not).
LAKE has a vimeo account, although we mostly stick to YouTube because
(a) YouTube no longer enforces a very brief length limit and
(b) we prefer to post short clips so it's easy to link to them.
But vimeo works fine as far as I know.
We can and will look for better ways to get the word out. Thanks for being a partner in it by providing your feedback and council. I appreciate it greatly! :)Sementha Mathews
Public Information Officer
City of Valdosta
P.O. Box 1125
Valdosta, GA 31603
Sign up for E-News at www.valdostacity.com/publicinformation and stay in tune with the news and events happening within our city.
Valdosta's vimeo account says "Metro 17 Valdosta". Using vimeo is a good start towards acting like a metro city, so that people both inside and outside the city limits and the local cable channel can see what's going on. More can be done. And it's a lot easier now than when cities like Austin and counties like Travis pioneered this stuff a decade ago.