Weekly Update: Podcasting, Paywalls, & #CityHallSelfie Prep

Weekly Update: Podcasting, Paywalls, & #CityHallSelfie Prep

Dear ELGL members,

I’m writing this update from the Airstream trailer we’re “camping” in for the weekend, and listening to Sublime because once I read Ben’s blog about them, I needed to be transported back to college.

Last Monday, I received my first paycheck from ELGL. It was somewhat surreal to start getting paid by an organization that Kent and I founded in our spare time. Then it turned into a hobby, and then a passion. I’m grateful for the Board of Directors planning and focus to make this a full time job, and I’m grateful to our members for supporting a paid staff position.

I really enjoy the entrepreneurial nature of running ELGL, and the fact that I get to focus on local government makes it a perfect job for me. Over the last year, Sarah Medary has been my career coach. We had a summary interview last week and I had the chance to reflect on the past year and my personal growth from being unsure if running ELGL was something I wanted, to being so passionate about this job. The combo of getting my first paycheck, and the chance to reflect on this year of ELGL work, was a really meaningful part of my week. 

Have a great week –



Last week I got the closet to being a stage mom as I’ll ever be… I made my daughter host an episode of GovLove. Well, I didn’t “make” her do it – she’s super chatty and loved the idea of talking into a microphone – but instead of talking about her favorite topic (right now: the Descendants 2 movie) I asked her to interview a family friend about his local government career.

She had great questions (my favorite “what’s the scariest thing about your job?”) and even heckled her guest a bit about his alma mater and UNC’s basketball dominance. The episode airs later this month, and we’re hopeful you’ll listen to it with your kids. Getting kids excited about local government is important to us, and this is one way we’re trying to highlight local government careers.

I also talked with the city of Corvallis, Oregon and Benton County, Oregon this week for a different GovLove episode. Corvallis (the home of Oregon State University) is the first city off of the I-5 corridor in the “path of totality” for the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse, so we talked about how the community is preparing for this very rare event. Every hotel and campground is booked solid, there are tours coming in to Corvallis from overseas, and the anticipated demand on local services is unprecedented.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is predicting it will be the largest traffic day in Oregon history. The eclipse episode will air on Tuesday, so tune in if you’re geeking out as hard as I am about eclipse mania.


The Digital Work Group has had a lively two-week discussion about the concept of paywalls on ELGL.org. As you probably know, we post content that requires membership to view. Our DWG discussion has focused on what content should be behind that paywall, and what should be free. Arguments in favor of paywalling content relate back to making membership meaningful. Arguments against paywalling relate to the mission of widely and broadly sharing local government information.

This discussion also dovetails with the Association Management Software (AMS) selection process I told you about last week. Our goal is to ensure that we make membership meaningful *and* share information about local government far and wide. I think the DWG did a great job discussing the merits of paywalling, and moving into the future, our members will see a healthy balance between sharing information with everyone, and sharing exclusive information (like job postings, member directories, and vendor information) with only our members.

#CityHallSelfie Prep

Last year, this was me when a selfie would come across Twitter on #CityHallSelfie day: I’d post it into a Facebook album, map the selfie location, and provide a cheerful response. We had 2,500 selfies last year, and with this year’s #CityHallSelfie day already getting so much coverages, I am anticipating we get even more this year. I want all of the selfies to be recorded and recognized (and also categorized for Bang the Table’s trophy and selfie stick awarding).
This year we have a rad team of ELGL members and we’re going to split the country into regions and divvy up time slots, so a big group of us can take turns posting pictures into the Facebook album, posting the locations into a map, and providing thanks and responses. These fine volunteers will be primarily posting from @CityHallSelfie, but you should also follow them (use this handy list!) so you can see how they’re preparing for the big day.
  • East Coast – Ben Kittelson, Nick Smith, Ellis Johnson, Erin Schwie Langston
  • Central – Matt Yager, Matt Crozier, Noor Shaikh, Laura Hardwicke
  • West Coast – Joey Garcia, Kirsten Wyatt, Kendra Davis, Kent Wyatt