About Digital Simplicity

Digital Simplicity was an experiment in public thinking, carried out between 2016 and 2017 by members of the City of Asheville’s IT Services staff.

The hypothesis was that staff would realize some of the many benefits of public thinking: better clarity, feedback from the outside world, and a better ability to move forward on activities that benefit our community.

What really happened was that the overhead of running a regular blog outweighed the benefits. All of a sudden the team had to think about things like tagging, SEO, headline optimization, leveraging social media, traffic optimization … all things that didn’t make sense for us to continue as an IT organization serving a city.

And that’s the point of an experiment. You hypothesize, you do it, you learn.

What did we learn? We learned a lot about digital marketing that has helped us to advise our customers in their activities. Some of the content was extremely helpful in forming our thinking about our strategy.

At the same time, we ALSO learned that you don’t need to have “your own blog” or “your own brand” to realize the benefits of public thinking.

Our future public thinking will utilize public forums such as Medium, Twitter, and other reasonably open platforms. Meanwhile, we are leaving the archive of Digital Simplicity here on Github for anyone who wants to see it.

With gratitude,

–Jonathan Feldman
Chief Information Officer
City of Asheville, NC