This morning I attended my very first press conference, watching as Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and city CTO Bill Schrier proudly unveiled the redesigned Seattle.gov. I must admit to a little pride myself as Knowledge As Power (KAP) was singled out for their help in the process; it was through their efforts that I got a chance to volunteer my time and work as a usability researcher, helping the city successfully implement low-cost, Steve Krug-style usability studies. (I even got my own shout out - see, my name's even in the press release!)
I'm very proud to have been party to KAP's pilot usability study program, and I harbor hopes that it will turn into a paying job in the not-too-distant future. The people at the Department of Information Technology - and the Citywide Web Team, in particular - were an absolute joy to work with, and they've done a hell of a job updating the site. I look forward to watching over the coming months as they continue to improve the site and implement our recommendations (that document should be public very soon).
Also, I continue to be caught off guard by the fact that Mike and I are on a first name basis. I was tickled pink that he came over and thanked me personally for donating my time, clearly very happy that I was involved in the process. I was, too - life has kind of gotten in the way of me getting involved in local politics, and it feels really good to be making a difference in what little way I can. It's so personally fulfilling, I can't quite put into words how good it feels; I wish I had a nice nest egg hidden away somewhere so I could continue volunteering my time and helping them out.
All I can do is hope that some other departments in the city find our services valuable enough to be willing to pay for them.
P.S. If you're interested in the work KAP does, you should follow @KASPower on Twitter.