RPD’s Failure to Communicate

The Dolores Park community, especially Dolores Park Works volunteers, know and appreciate that Rec and Parks Area Manager Eric Andersen, Team Leader Adrian Field, their gardening team and the apprentice gardeners team perform an solid job every day with the resources available maintaining the so often over-loved park lawn, overflowing trash cans, routinely vandalized clubhouse and portable bathrooms and rusted irrigation system. Our sincere thanks to each of you. This post is not about you.

The Dolores Park community also knows that Rec and Park’s community communication and engagement regarding key Dolores Park programs like the vendors and park/playground renovations approach non-existence and dysfunctional by any standard, especially 2011 Gov 2.0 best practices.

After months of Dolores Park Works advocacy to Rec and Park following the 2010/11 Great Failure to Communicate, Rec and Park’s (big breath) Deputy Director of Community and Governmental Affairs Alex Randolf on behalf of his boss Sarah Ballard and General Manager Phil Ginsberg sent to us this roadmap. (I’ve posted the email to SF Docs because Alex failed to post to Rec and Park’s own website.) Go ahead and read it.

The good news:

  • Dolores Park is first in line to receive the benefits of RPD’s Gov 2.0 outreach and communication strategy.
  • Social media integration and feedback is part-and-parcel of the Gov 2.0 strategy.
  • Collaborating with community groups is part-and-parcel of the Gov 2.0 strategy.

Excellent intentions, if vague or absent specificity.

And now the bad news:

  • The Gov 2.0 launch date provided is “early summer”. That’s not a date.

Moreover, major time-sensitive RPD projects are underway. Dolores Park park renovation meetings have already begun (more on that in a forthcoming post). The Dolores Park playground renovation begins in three weeks.

  • Simply put, RPD is implementing its Gov 2.0 strategy backwards.

Geeky details follow, so feel free to skip: Navigate the SFRecParks.org Dolores Park Project page and you find yourself swept away to SFRPD.org/wp-dev/ — a WordPress-powered blog development site. Excellent. But wait, RPD is publishing backwards, copying content from the new dev blog back to its static site, and in the process eliminating searching, sorting by category, tag or author, Like-ing, tweeting, sharing or linking and minimizing search engine visibility. Huh? Why run WordPress only for it’s text editor?

Given the current RPD communications cockup, it’s Dolores Park Works dubious honor to provide some temporary work-arounds to the Dolores Park community to track RPD’s Dolores Park renovation, playground renovation, vendors program and maintenance posts.

Note that both these work-arounds rely on Rec and Park continuing to provide public access to Web resources that are evidently intended to be private so YMMV. Click the “+ Follow conversation” button in the comments area to be email alerted when new work-arounds are necessary.

Dolores Park Works will continue advocating for RPD communication and engagement Gov 2.0 best practices on behalf of the Dolores Park community. More as it comes.

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About Rob Lord

Dolores Park Works Co-founder, Steering Committee Member