Interior Enters YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter Age



10/01/2009


Contact: Julie Rodriguez
(202) 208-6416


WASHINGTON, DC — In a continuing effort to improve transparency and openness at the Department of the Interior, Secretary Salazar announced that he is launching four new web tools that will help Americans connect with the nation’s heritage, natural resources, and cultures.

The public will now be able to follow the work of the Department of the Interior and its agencies on YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter. Secretary Salazar has also begun sending emails directly to all of the Department’s 67,000 employees with updates on important initiatives and has opened a suggestion box to which Interior employees can submit ideas and feedback to the Secretary and senior management.

“For years, the Department has trailed far behind other federal agencies in the world of technology,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “Now, with the New Media tools at our disposal, we can not only improve transparency at the Department of the Interior, but better share with the American public information about the natural, cultural, and historic resources of which we are stewards. I am also pleased that at long last I am able to send e-mail messages directly to employees and hear back from them through our new suggestion box. This is an exciting new era of New Media at the Department of the Interior.”

The following list shows what the Department will be launching.

YouTube
The Department of the Interior’s new YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/USInterior. This channel will house videos produced by Interior and will also highlight videos produced by bureaus. In addition to this channel the US Geological Survey and the National Park Service have also launched YouTube Channels at www.youtube.com/USGS and www.youtube.com/NationalParkService

Facebook
Ken Salazar has joined his counterparts Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on Facebook. The Secretary’s Facebook page can be found at http://Facebook.com/SecretarySalazar.

The National Park Service also has an active Facebook following at: http://www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice. In addition NPS has launched a Facebook application that allows visitors to share their photos and memories of their trips to our National Parks, as well as send their friends digital postcards from their favorite sites. http://apps.facebook.com/mynationalparks/index.cfm

Flickr
The Department of the Interior launched a Flickr page at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/USInterior. Currently, DOI is using Flickr to post photos from the Secretary’s events and active travel schedule. Future plans include posting historic photos from across the Department using Flickr Commons to provide greater access to our vast collections of historic and scientific photos.

Twitter
The latest news, updates and happenings at the Department of Interior will now be accessible via Twitter. (http://www.Twitter.com/USInteriorNews). Several other bureaus with Interior have also launched active Twitter accounts including the National Park Service (http://twitter.com/NatlParkService) and the U.S. Geological Survey (http://twitter.com/USGS). The U.S. Geological Survey is also using Recovery Funds to fund a graduate student project that will track responses to earthquakes via Twitter. In this exploratory effort, the USGS is developing a system that gathers real-time, earthquake-related messages from the social networking site Twitter and applies place, time, and quantity data to provide geo-located earthquake detection within 60 seconds of an event’s origin time. This approach also provides a central directory of short first-impression narratives and, potentially, photos from people at the hazard’s location. You can follow the project on Twitter at http://twitter.com/USGSted