My Digital Valentine
My Digital Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today, I am using my blog to send a Digital Citizenship Valentine to the White House (WH), WH Office of Digital Strategy staff and interns, and my fellow social media leaders who participated in the #WHSocial French Arrival Ceremony for President Francois Hollande on February 11.

Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov

The Office of Digital Strategy uses digital media to promote President Barack Obama’s agenda and policies. Through its efforts, the American people have been given an opportunity to do three things:

  • To see what’s happening at the WH on a daily basis via WhiteHouse.gov and WH social media channels.
  • To engage President Obama, WH officials, and other policy makers in conversation about the future of our great nation through WhiteHouse.gov Live events, Town Halls, Facebook and Twitter chats, and Google Hangouts.
  • To express their digital citizenship by making comments and asking questions on WH social media channels, sharing and discussing what they learn with their digital network, and creating their own WH-related content to engage their network.

Four years ago, the Office of Digital Strategy began inviting Americans who serve as social media influencers and leaders in their online networks to participate in face-to-face Tweet Ups and #WHSocial events that support the State of the Union, Town Halls, and other WH events. The social media influencers and leaders have been able to expand the WH’s public outreach efforts. Their efforts reach many more Americans who get their news from social media. They have also worked to breakdown the barriers between the U.S. government and its citizens. Together with the Office of Digital Strategy, they are helping to make the Obama administration the most accessible and transparent administration in U.S. history.

Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov

In January, I was invited as 1 of 60 social media leaders (out of a pool of over 6,000 applicants) to participate in the State of the Union Social. Click here to read about my experience.

Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov

A few days after the event, I learned about and applied to participate in the #WHSocial French Arrival Ceremony. To my surprise, I was selected to attend the event as 1 of 100 social media leaders (out of a pool of 2,500 applicants). Today, I took time to reflect on my experiences and came up with 4 Reasons to Love #WHSocial Events.

#WHSocial Meet Up I hosted at the Old Ebbitt Grill on 2/10/14
#WHSocial Meet Up I hosted at the Old Ebbitt Grill on 2/10/14

1) I love #WHSocial events because they gave me a chance to meet, network, and build community with a diverse group of Americans from all over the country. That’s exactly what I did on Monday night when I organized and hosted a meet up for my fellow social media leaders at the Old Ebbitt Grill.

Me and my new #WHSocial BFFs on the White House South Lawn --Photo Credit: Dave McCulloch
Me and my new #WHSocial BFFs on the White House South Lawn –Photo Credit: Dave McCulloch

The next day, I reconnected with my #WHSocial BFFs and made new ones on the South Lawn of the White House, during the briefing with WH staff, and at an impromptu lunch at Cosi’s.

Photo Credit: yours truly -- Social media leaders at #WHSocial briefing with White House staff at EEOB on 2/11/14
Photo Credit: yours truly — Social media leaders at #WHSocial briefing with White House staff at EEOB on 2/11/14
Photo Credit: Yours truly - Impromptu lunch with #WHSocial BFFs
Photo Credit: Yours truly – Impromptu lunch with #WHSocial BFFs

2) I love #WHSocial events because they energized and convinced me to step up my digital citizenship game. Next week, I will begin using my Internet Geek Tuesday blog series to discuss digital citizenship, launch and celebrate Digital Citizenship Month (yep I am creating it) in July to encourage Americans to use their digital presence to get involved and civically engaged at the local and national level, profile #WHSocial leaders and influencers, and discuss WhiteHouse.gov information and WH online engagement efforts.

My Pinterest board of #WHSocial resources
My Pinterest board of #WHSocial resources

3) I love #WHSocial events because they inspired me to use all of my social media platforms to get the word out about President Obama’s activities, policies, and programs. I used Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Storify, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine video app, VoiceBo podcast app, and WordPress to share my #WHSocial adventures this week.

Check out my #WHSocial Pinterest board which contains over 50 pins filled with articles, blog posts, videos, and photos that discuss the French President’s State visit.

I really enjoyed creating Vine videos featuring my fellow social media leaders in action as they prepared for the #WHSocial briefing at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Interviewing my fellow social media leaders with the VoiceBo app was a lot of fun. I also enjoyed using it to give updates about my #WHSocial preparation and reflections.

Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter were probably my most favorite social media tools to use while live tweeting during the #WHSocial events.

Photo Credit: Me and Kori Schulman at #WHSocial briefing at EEOB on 2/11/14
Photo Credit: Me and Kori Schulman at #WHSocial briefing at EEOB on 2/11/14

4) I love #WHSocial events because they gave me an opportunity to meet and talk with WH staff. During the #WHSocial briefing, I asked Kori Schulman, Director of Online Engagement, how the Office of Digital Strategy was leveraging the support of people who have participated in the #WHSocial events. I suggested creating a #WHSocial Ambassador Program. Yesterday, I received an email indicating that a #WHSocial Alumni Program is in the works! And that’s just one more reason to love #WHSocial events!

Next week, I’ll be sharing more about my #WHSocial adventures. So drop by! Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day Weekend!

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