Meet the patient, witty and always engaged MDOT social media administrator

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On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a conversation with Jesse Ball, who coordinates social media at the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

Ball talks about his background, growing up in the Upper Peninsula, graduating from Michigan State University, then working in California and Michigan media markets. In 2008, he became MDOT’s first social media administrator.

Understanding that without engagement, social media is just media, Ball talks about the importance of connecting and going beyond one-way communication.

The department’s Office of Communication puts an emphasis on transparency and sharing information for people to understand often complex transportation challenges. Ball explains the satisfaction he draws from correcting misinformation and providing fact-based answers.

Because transportation touches everyone’s life everyday with so much work being done in plain sight, it is to be expected that people will have many questions and comments. Ball talks about working with people across the department - Planning, Finance, engineers in Transportation Service Centers across the state - to gather accurate and timely responses to myriad questions.

He also explains his random Van Halen reference in a recent Facebook conversation.

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