Archive for November 30th, 2009

This weeks #socialmedia Tweetchat topic: The Impact of Social Media in Government

gov20-mediumFor the past 7 months or so, the #socialmedia chat has focused on what social media can do for businesses.  We’ve covered b-2-b and b-2-c, we’ve looked into how social media affects internal departments as well as external communications.  Well, now it’s December.  For the month of December we promised to shake it up a bit and start to take a look from different perspectives on how social media is influencing different sectors and what the future holds (or at least 2010).  For the first day of December we will focus on the business of Government and what impact social media has had and will have.

First, the term being used to associate social media and Government is Gov2.0.  For this purpose, I will refer mostly to gov2.0 in this context for the rest of the post.  Second, why now?  Why is gov2.0 the soup du jour for describing the change needed in government?  Roughly, it started with the Howard Dean campaign for president in 2004.  As an early front runner for the Democratic ticket, he started using the web in very different ways to help run his campaign.  Gov2.0 got a sharp uptick in popularity as it fueled President Barack Obama’s successful run in 2008.  Then in 2009, President Obama issued The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Act) of 2009 offering close to $787 Billion in stimulus funds for agencies.  However, the Act requires an extraordinary level of “transparency” on the part of Federal, State and Local agencies.  While the Act’s intent is to create new levels of transparency at all levels of government, there are no guidelines on exactly how.  Many are looking at the application of social technologies and methodologies to meet the demand for more transparency and inter-departmental coordination.

Today there are few great examples of government using social media to complement its efforts to either better communicate with constituents or coordinate better across agencies.  There are many people who talk about it like Steve Radick from Booz Allen Hamilton who authors a well-read blog and some who are actually in charge of doing it like Jeff Levy who’s the Director of Web Communications from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Then you have Brian Drake from Deloitte saying gov2.0 is not moving fast enough  and on the other side Larry Lessig who cautions too much transparency can be detrimental and all are paving new roads with their work as the Gov2.0 movement is certainly in it’s infancy. 

So how can businesses, who have dipped their toes further into the waters, help Government not have to re-learn all the mistakes that have already been made?  Conversely, government has been dialoguing with their constituents for decades already and what learnings can transfer over to businesses, some of whom are communicating for the first time with their consumers. 

I know you are thinking who in the world would agree to take on this monster of a topic.  Well, with a bit of coaxing, we believe we have the perfect person.  Kim Patrick Kobza is the CEO and founder of Neighborhood America (disclaimer, I work for Neighborhood America and started www.hashtagsocialmedia.com along with Marc Meyer and Terry McKyton as a skunkworks project).  Kim has been bridging the experience gap between government and private enterprises for much of his career.  His thought leadership and actual work is sought after by many leaders in governement, those behind the gov2.0 movement and companies alike.  Kim blogs here and Neighborhood America published a Gov2.0 readiness kit under his guidance here.

Topic: The Impact of Social Media in Government

Government 2.0 is being promoted as one of the most transformative trends in governance. But what does it mean? And what meaningful impact can social media have in the relationship between citizens and their government?

Q1) What does Gov 2.0 mean to you?

Q2) What can government agencies & companies learn from each other’s experiences in implementing social media strategies?

Q3) What do you think are the primary barriers for citizens and agencies in implementing gov 2.0 strategies?

This chat will be held on Tuesday December 1st at 12 noon EST.  The format will stay the same with the first question at noon with Q2 and Q3 to follow in 20 inute increments.  Follow along on #SM36 on on our LIVE site.

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Social Media Thought For The Day #2

I often times find it interesting that some social media consultants suggest that one way a company of any size can insert themselves into the social stream quickly is to start a blog. Well, yes that’s true but…

Starting a blog, having a blog, nurturing that blog and actually making money at it are all very distinct things.


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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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