Irony, thy name is Joanna Doven.

Alternate title: In which I defend Joanna Doven and then teach her how the new Facebook Pages work.

In what might be my favorite twist of irony since [insert awesome ironic thing here, Alanis], in the immediate aftermath of Joanna Doven, press secretary to Lukey Ravenstahl [AKA, All your twitters are belong to us], talking to the media about the common sense of having a social media policy to govern Council’s use of it during Council meetings, she herself made a social media boo-boo that I can relate to, but in her case, IS A MUCH LARGER BOO-BOO.

However, it was just that. A mistake. A boo-boo. Social media faux pas. Like replying to all when you meant to reply to one. Etc.

Let’s take a look at what happened.

Joanna used the City of Pittsburgh’s Facebook account to “Like” Vince Pallus’ page after writing this on her personal wall:

“Are you a City resident that is disgusted with the actions of some Council Members? Make sure you fan Vince Pallus for Pittsburgh City Council, running against Darlene Harris…he’s a good guy and will work hard for the people of Pittsburgh, not to just to get his own road paved!”

So, stick with me. As “Joanna Doven” she supports Vince Pallus and said so. But she “Liked” him as “City of Pittsburgh,” accidentally, she says.

And Doug Shield laughed maniacally and probably bopped up and down like a kid about to get a lollipop from the doctor as he said to the press: “She should not be linking the city of Pittsburgh to a political campaign, which is exactly what she did.”

Never one to turn down media exposure, a political analyst chimed in … aghast:

Doven said it was a mistake — just a Facebook glitch. Political analyst Joseph Sabino Mistick called that a “lousy” explanation.

Except it’s not, and I’ll get to that in a sec, just stick with me here. STICK WITH ME. DON’T YOU DARE DIE ON ME.

Joanna issued this statement:

“Before work hours and from home, I wrote a personal statement on my personal Facebook page supporting Vince Pallus for Pittsburgh City Council. In this statement, I encouraged my friends to “fan” or “like” Vince Pallus’s Facebook page. Right after, I myself fanned his page. From my personal Facebook account I am also able to administer the City of Pittsburgh Facebook page. I can only guess that because I am an administrator on the City of Pittsburgh Facebook page, that it appeared on Vince Pallus’s page that the City of Pittsburgh also “liked” him. When I became aware of this fact, I immediately removed the City of Pittsburgh “like”. I have an inquiry into Facebook as to why this happened. I have “liked” people or organizations from my personal Facebook page without this happening. To be clear, the intention was for Joanna Doven, the individual, to “like” Vince Pallus, not the City of Pittsburgh. In the meantime, to ensure this does not happen again, I have changed the administration functions for the City of Pittsburgh Facebook page so that in order to administer that page, you must log-on to a separate Facebook account.”

Internet, you recall the reason I revealed my identity was because I effed up on Facebook, do you not? So I feel a bit for Joanna, granted in her role, she needs to be EXTRA EXTRA CAREFUL, JOANNA!

However, I doubt it was a facebook glitch and more just Joanna switching between Joanna Doven and City of Pittsburgh without realizing it or doing it and forgetting which she was using facebook as, due to recently instituted changes to the way facebook pages work.

Let me demonstrate!

I administer basically three facebook things. 1. My Ginny Montanez account. That’s my personal stuff. Don’t friend me there. There are lots of pictures of me looking REAL BAD there. 2.  Jane Pitt, my formerly anonymous account.  Jane Pitt is the administrator of the That’s Church page, much the same way Joanna Doven is the administrator of the City of Pittsburgh page.

Still with me? CLEAR!

It used to be if I wanted to “Like” something on facebook, I had to be Jane Pitt. That’s Church couldn’t “Like” your page. NO THUMBS UP FOR YOU!

Then, about a week ago, ch-ch-ch-changes!

I’m still not used to all the changes, and yesterday while using facebook as a “Page”, it recommended for me that I might want to like “Burgh Baby” and I was all, WAIT. I THOUGHT I ALREADY DID.

It was like this on my right margin:

So I clicked on “Like” and boom! Realized that That’s Church had just “Liked” Burgh Baby much the same way Joanna probably switched over to using facebook as “City of Pittsburgh” and it realized from her previous mention of Vince, that she might want to “Like” him too. She probably clicked it and BAM! GRANT STREET DRAMA!

Then I realized that “That’s Church” can also COMMENT as “That’s Church.” Cah-razy.

Now, please, City Council, Joanna, Lukey, I know I’m a nobody, but LISTEN TO ME. Just this once, I think I’ve got something worthy to say to you.

THIS is why the City needs the social media policy for all employees. This is why council must be sure to spell out in detail how council can and can not use social media during work hours and during council meetings.

The City of Pittsburgh page must be tied to a personal administrator page, therefore, as long as Facebook is set up this way, there is going to be the risk that whoever’s personal account is linked to it, might accidentally like, say, “That’s Church” while logged in as “City of Pittsburgh.”

The social media policy should outline what Joanna can and cannot do on personal time if she wishes to continue to administer the city’s facebook page. It should be specific. It should determine what should happen if a mistake like this happens again, AND IT WILL. It should leave no stone unturned in an effort to protect the City from lawsuits it can’t afford.

Stop the ridiculous fighting and running to the media all, “Neener neener neener” and do what’s … are you ready? … ready? … BEST FOR PITTSBURGH.

Instead, everyone is so contentiously hateful of one another that simple things get blown to high heaven like they were loaded with C-4.

Chill out. Joanna made a mistake. Mistakes will continue to happen as long as social media is evolving the way it is. Instead of picking at each other and being “baffled” by each other and scolding each other in the press, how about you just sit down and fix. this. shit?

Which is supposed to be the reason you got into politics in the first place, is it not?

Joanna has faults. YES. Lukey has faults. BIG ONES. But, my city council friends, whoever it is that each of you have got telling you you’re perfect? Fire them. They’re lying to your face.





24 Comments

  1. Dan
    February 21, 2011 10:38 am

    Really wish she would have liked something like cheese whiz or fluff.



  2. It's Time!
    February 21, 2011 10:47 am

    Yes, Ginny, you are right. A lawful city policy on use of social media would be best for Pittsburgh. Drafting one wasn’t just another chance for the Mayor to “pee-pee on Council’s front lawn.”

    Will you allow me to point out the story behind Joanna’s goof?

    Lukey wants to replace Darlene Harris, who took his seat on City Council after serving for years on the School Board, because having gotten his nod, she now doesn’t necessarily vote however he tells her. He wanted a stooge, I mean, ally.

    So his gang recruited Pallus to run against her (and probably recruited the other guy too, as a spoiler), and that’s why the Mayor’s staff “likes” Pallus. I wonder if they were TOLD to “like” him…

    Either way, it’s a WAY bigger problem that Joanna “liked” Pallus as the City of Pittsburgh. BIG step in doo-doo. Or — if you’re of another frame of mind — maybe NOT a mistake. Wink wink.

    Pallus will win the endorsement because the committeemen in this corrupt party agree with the mayor that he has a right to award “his” council seat to someone who will vote his way 100 percent of the time.

    He’ll replace her and still not have a bloc of five, though, because in lieu of coalition building and persuasion, he governs as an inept bully.

    I personally do not care who wins. I just think it’s another sad commentary on city politics — that it doesn’t matter how good a council member’s constituent service is and how hard she works, but whether the mayor approves.

    Pittsburgh. Sigh.



  3. arj8138
    February 21, 2011 11:05 am

    Can’t you just make a hollow personal account and tie that as the admin on the facebook fan page?

    That would be a better solution than restricting personal use of social media. And much easier to transfer power should someone quit or get fired.



  4. Magnus Patris
    February 21, 2011 11:14 am

    I think Isabella is actually embezzling from the Fireside Girls. Either that or Ed Rendell (apparently Governor of the Tri-State Area) gave them $45million in a lame duck bailout.



  5. bucdaddy
    February 21, 2011 11:39 am

    Twitter, texting, Facebook, MySpace, cell phone, even e-mail, all that stuff makes it 100,000,000 times easier to eff up than old media, where you actually had to take two seconds to think before you sat down and typed out a letter or picked up the phone. Now everyone is just an instant from sticking his/her foot in his/her mouth forever, looking like a fool at best and getting fired at worst. This is the best of times, this is the worst of times, but mostly worst.

    That’s part of the reason I avoid most social media like it had ebola, because I’ve been known to pop off about stuff when I have no idea what I’m talking about (the other reasons are 1) I’m too cheap to pay for this junk and b) too lazy to learn to use it).

    Hell, I probably shouldn’t even be hanging around THIS crackhouse. I’m just asking for trouble. Nothing good can possibly come of it. ;-)

    *looks out window, checks lawn*



  6. Kristin
    February 21, 2011 11:58 am

    I understand that mistakes happen, but Ms. Doven is not the average citizen. When you are admin of a government page, you have to triple-check your actions before you do anything. It never should have happened. You are being paid to keep on top of changes to FB policies. If you can’t handle it without major mistakes like that one, then someone else on the staff should. You have to be much more careful than you would be if you were managing your personal pages and your blog’s page. I also take issue with the spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office making public statements regarding personal political views. When you are the spokesperson for an organization, your personal actions often reflect back on that organization. You should maintain an air of neutrality in public forums. You can quietly offer support to a candidate and speak your views to your family and close friends, but you shouldn’t be posting them on FB or Twitter. That can create bad will that can have a negative impact on your ability to



  7. Kristin
    February 21, 2011 11:59 am

    I understand that mistakes happen, but Ms. Doven is not the average citizen. When you are admin of a government page, you have to triple-check your actions before you do anything. It never should have happened. You are being paid to keep on top of changes to FB policies. If you can’t handle it without major mistakes like that one, then someone else on the staff should. You have to be much more careful than you would be if you were managing your personal pages and your blog’s page. I also take issue with the spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office making public statements regarding personal political views. When you are the spokesperson for an organization, your personal actions often reflect back on that organization. You should maintain an air of neutrality in public forums. You can quietly offer support to a candidate and speak your views to your family and close friends, but you shouldn’t be posting them on FB or Twitter. That can create bad will that can have a negative impact on your ability to do your job effectively, IMHO.



  8. Legallypgh(Kathy)
    February 21, 2011 12:07 pm

    Can I just say that it’s kinds funny when @kristen posts about “Joanna can’t make mistakes” she then posts the same comment twice?!?!

    I’m not picking on anyone, just being humored by the irony.

    I’ve witnessed way too many email and other social media gaffes to know that we are all one wrong posting away from getting canned…

    So, I should probably go!



  9. bucdaddy
    February 21, 2011 12:17 pm

    Is that coach still on the Steelers’ staff, the one who sent his porn to everybody in the NFL?

    *What hath God wrought?”



  10. unsatisfied
    February 21, 2011 12:35 pm

    after reading this, that new bridgestone tires commercial really hits home….you know, the one with the office guy who is told that he accidentally cc’d everyone in the company on a response, then drives around like a maniac to knock their PDAs, cell phones, computers, etc. out of their hands…then is told by his co-worker that he in fact didn’t cc them……funny.



  11. CarolineFB
    February 21, 2011 12:36 pm

    Lukey’s had his fair share of governmental gaffes (social media and otherwise) because of his misguided feelings of entitlement. His staff is no different.

    YAY suburbs!



  12. Cindy T.
    February 21, 2011 12:54 pm

    @#10 unsatisfied — that is the BEST commercial. I thank God I’ve never done that (yet). Easy to do though especially if you are in a hurry or trying to do two things at once.



  13. Baba Wawa
    February 21, 2011 12:59 pm

    if the politicians didn’t do stuff like this every now and then, what would we have to make fun of? (besides the pirates)!



  14. calipanthergrl
    February 21, 2011 1:08 pm

    Examples of this are rampant. Take, for example, the red cross employee who posted a tweet about getting trashed to … the Red Cross twitter account (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/16/red-cross-rogue-tweet_n_824114.html). So, no, I don’t fault JD for the mistake. Should she take care that she post from her personal account and not the city’s page? Sure. Is the topic on which she posted (to #1’s point) unfortunate? Absolutely. But mistakes happen. Regrettably, the in-fighting/paranoia/conspiracy theorists surrounding Pittsburgh politics have turned this molehill into a mountain.

    I think Ginny’s hit the nail on the head – the city needs to draft a comprehensive social media policy that applies to ALL employees. The city should just probably do it sooner rather than later.



  15. Just wondering
    February 21, 2011 1:24 pm

    She made a mistake and like others have pointed out, it’s a mistake that any of us could have easily made. I believe that she really did intend to press “like” from her personal account. Here’s my question though . . . If city police officers are forbidden from publicly endorsing a politcal candidate then why is it okay for the mayor’s staff to do so?? I’m not sure what the policy is for other city employees. Maybe someone can offer some insight?



  16. spoon
    February 21, 2011 1:28 pm

    If I can manage 6 twitter accounts and multiple facebook ones without issue while being kicked in the ass the city should be able to do one sober.

    what a joke.



  17. Butcher's Dog
    February 21, 2011 2:19 pm

    @kristen didn’t post exactly the same twice. Her second post finished the last sentence, which was only half done when she (presumably) hit send the first time. Just sayin’.

    I’m with bucdaddy, though…too much for this old fart to handle. And am I the only one for whom “who you liked” snits smack of, say, eighth grade? Seriously. If this is all it takes to set us off, may God have mercy on our souls.



  18. LisaTurtle
    February 21, 2011 5:13 pm

    Well, I’m with you on this one PittGirl. Anyone who has never butt-dialed or accidentally “liked” a page they were creeping on take one step forward. Also, best part was, if you saw the story, you know our esteemed city council folk featured in the story were salivating over the “gotcha” moment… but, the best part was, all they did was give Vince Pallus a free commercial… and all the people in District 1 who watch WTAE and didn’t know who Vince Pallus was or that there was a Vince Pallus know who is is now.



  19. John
    February 21, 2011 5:36 pm

    When will this all be over?? How many more years???



  20. Kristin
    February 21, 2011 5:59 pm

    @legallypgh It is funny that, of all pisys, that one snuck through twice. I blame the Droid. :-) On the other hand, I’m a nobody, not a spokesperson for anything — thank god! My point was that you have to be more careful than the average citizen when you oversee an official page of an entity.



  21. Julia
    February 22, 2011 1:32 pm

    This is all just pretty funny to me. Having never made such a public social media mistake like that (yet), I could only imagine how embarassing it would’ve been to realize seconds after the fact that you posted under the wrong name. Oops! :)



  22. Maria
    February 22, 2011 4:58 pm

    Hadn’t heard about the Red Cross goof (#14) but what an awesome way to handle it.



  23. Kevin
    February 23, 2011 12:41 am

    Anyone know Joanna’s qualifications for the job? My guess is that she’s related to someone, given that this is Pittsburgh politics.

    I kinda agree with double-posting Kristin (sorry, Kristin): Joanna’s not just a regular city employee; she’s the supposed expert on social media.



  24. btezra
    February 23, 2011 2:18 pm

    what a complete tool we have as mayor here in Pittsburgh
    WTF was Pittsburgh thinking when they voted for Steelerstahl??