Ines Mergel

Contributor Dr. Ines Mergel is assistant professor of public administration and international affairs at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She studies the strategic, managerial, and administrative aspects of the use of new technologies in the U.S. federal government. Ines is the author of "Social media in the public sector."  Read her blog:, and follower her on Twitter: @inesmergel
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Follow Philly’s Lead and Dive into the Big Data Future

March 26, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow “Big data” is quickly making its way into conversations in government. However, it is difficult for government officials to identify what big data means for their own organizations. What are the challenges? How can they take on something new that does not necessarily connect to their core mission? And not...

New Guide Offers Tips for Collaborating Across Agencies

February 11, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The IBM Center for the Business of Government just published a new report in its collaborative governance series titled “Implementing Cross-Agency Collaboration: A Guide For Federal Managers.” Author Jane Fountain is professor of political science and public policy at the University of Massachusetts, Amhurst, and director of the National Center...

Tool helps agencies manage social media messaging

October 22, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Social media is here to stay. There is no question about that, especially after Facebook reached 1 billion users and Twitter surpassed the 500 million-account mark. What is less clear, however, is how government organizations can respond to the changing communication demands of citizens who want government to use social...

Creating Online Audiences That Break the Language Barrier

September 13, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow How are messages going viral in today’s social media economy? Who picks up content and is willing to spread a video or a statement through their own social network? This week, the Ellen Degeneres Show picked up a music video by the South Korean artist Psy and it is now...

Does the Public Have an Appetite for Political Cookies?

September 5, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This election season, people started to talk about political cookies – a new expression for the term previously used for targeted or customized ads. These are advertisements that are automatically pushed out based an Internet user's search habits. Computer cookies are files stored on the user’s computer that save the...

How to Engage the Public to Promote Your Mission

September 4, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow While everyone is watching the social media memes erupting on Twitter and Facebook around the presidential campaigns, the question remains how social media can enhance governing to provide regular government operations with a human face. In my conversations with social media directors I hear one expression over and over: “You...

GAO's Web 2.0 Proposals Could Stifle Digital Innovation

August 1, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A new GAO report released Tuesday finds that existing laws and regulations don't adequately reflect privacy needs in the changing technology landscape. The report highlights specifically that agencies using Web 2.0 and data mining tools need to find ways to protect private information. The key findings address: Applying privacy protections...

11 Tips for Crafting Your Social Media Policy

July 30, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Social media applications have become an (almost) accepted standard to explore new ways of communication between government and its stakeholders. However, government agencies willing to jump onto the bandwagon had to jump over many hurdles to make social media work for them. As early as December 2008, the powerhouse behind...

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