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 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.

Posted via web from marcmeyer’s posterous

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.

11 Must Save Social Media Links For The Week

I have thousands of bookmarks and chances are you do too. From a social media purists standpoint, it’s good karma to share links and websites that are worth a second look. Here are 11 of them in no particular order.

One of the smart guys out there is Jay Baer, last week he wrote a post titled the 11 Must Do’s For the Serious Blogger. As I have been wont to say on various occassions, not all of you should or can blog. Jay’s post is for those that can, and are serious about it.

Do you know what a KPI is? If you are an online marketer of any kind and don’t know, then quit reading and go work out, eat some yogurt, or go to Starbucks. For those that do know the importance of KPI’s, here’s a great little checklist of sorts titled, 35 social medis KPI’s to measure engagement.

If you use Tweetdeck or Seesmic for Twitter, you know the importance of grouping the people or topics you follow. Well Twitter responded by creating Lists. So how do you make heads or tails of that? Try out Listorious, which will bring some order to your chaos.

If you use Twitter for content and I do, it’s my filter for content. But I don’t like when I DON’T know about something and I should. There is no good way to avoid this, it will happen. Enter Twitter, which generates a personalized ‘newspaper’ for you based on what the people that you follow are talking about.

Speaking of things happening now, check out this cool little app, Surchur, real time search and real time discovery.

I’ve said this before but my friend Ken Burbary has assembled one helluva wiki of social media monitoring solutions. It is the best, most complete list that I have seen out there on the topic.

Want to see what kind of influence you have based on your Twitter presence? Well, Edelman has put together a pretty cool little tool called Tweetlevel. Don’t read too much into it though, It’s just another tool that measures your presence in the ether.

Last month JD Lasica put together a nice deck of the top 10 pharma efforts in social media that dovetailed nicely into the FDA hearings on social media 2 weeks ago. If you care about Pharma’s involvement in social media, then this is a must read, if you don’t, then keep moving…

And 2 for the road…

BatchBook is the social CRM built for small businesses and entrepreneurs, I thought this had a lot of promise because it addressed a niche that doesn’t get the same CRM love that the enterprise gets.

I read this post and already knew the answer, Is Facebook getting uncool for 18-24’s?

I hope this helps make things easier, enlightens you or simplifies your work flow. Either way, feel free to share these with others who might benefit.

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#SocialMedia Tweetchat #35-Stop Campaigning & Start Conversing – The New Marketing Paradigm











Build a relationship, garner trust and a customer will never leave.  Sounds pretty easy!?  In fact we have been talking about it since the dawn of time (social media time anyway) with the Cluetrain Manifesto that started in 1999 and identified that the Internet has forced marketing to be more about conversations than messages.  Since then we have Valeria Maltoni the Conversation Agent (a past moderator here), a great book called Naked Conversations written by Shel Israel (an upcoming moderator) and Robert Scoble and countless other examples.  So why is it that companies still market via campaigns and agencies still win business with this approach?

A classic example of movement for the sake of motion? Possibly.  Consider all the money and effort that goes into concept, strategy, creative, execution of marketing campaigns.  Brands spend all that time creating a pitch to consumers, introducing themselves time and time again, selling stuff to unwilling customers then when it’s done, they see how much product was sold, cut off the pitch to those customers and prospects then rinse and repeat the whole daunting process all over.  So where is the conversation part of this we have been talking about now for at least 10 years?  Not the cordial, “wave to each other at a cocktail party” conversation but the relationship conversation that lasts for months, years or longer?  The conversation where you find out what each other needs and wants (notice I said both), you know, a real relationship not a manufactured one.

So what does that look like and how do marketers break out of the campaign mentality?  Think about the impact of this scenario: A company with multiple brands has a consolidated marketing department focused on customer relationships.  They are in charge of courting the consumer and understanding how they live, work and play.  From that relationship, the company understands what products (Brands) can help that customer and how they add value to that consumer’s life.  Then the Brands become stewards for helping those customers buy the things they need (considering people like to buy things yet do not like to be sold).  The company pours their monies into acquiring a customer once then facilitating their purchases across the various products.  This is very different than what happens today as each Brand pays to acquire the same customers over and over across all brands independently.  This may be some utopian dream to many but the speed of communicating and the ubiquity of access to communicate is forever changing the old norms and customers have left that station.  Companies need to figure out how to adapt and soon.

We are very happy to have Tom Martin moderating this topic on tuesday.  Tom spends a lot of time in this space covering all aspects of branding, marketing and social media and brings a creative approach to his work.  He will help us work through this topic and facilitate a great learning opportunity for all of us.  The topic and questions will be:

Stop Campaigning and Start Conversing – The New Marketing Paradigm

1) What is the difference between a marketing campaign and a customer conversation?

2) How do agencies have to change in order to create conversations instead of campaigns?

3) What are some examples of brands or agencies that have succeeded in making the jump from campaign to conversation?

The chat will take place Tuesday 11/24 at noon EST.  We will use the #sm35 for the event


Posted via web from marcmeyer’s posterous

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danah boyd deserves better

Web 2.0 expo is in full swing right now in New York, and so are the idiots that can make social media and Twitter a train wreck.  I’ve been dialed in pretty much this whole week and I wasn’t really going to blog about it until I read this from danah boyd on her blog.

Unfortunately, my presentation at Web2.0 Expo sucked. The physical setup was hard and there was a live stream behind me. I knew something was wrong because folks started laughing in the audience. Unable to see anything (the audience, the stream), I found myself closing down. And so I collapsed and read the whole thing, feeling mega low on energy and barely delivering my points. Le sigh. I feel like I failed the audience so, if you were in the audience, I’m sorry. But hopefully you’ll get more out of reading the presentation than I got out of giving it.


Are you kidding me? danah thinks it’s her fault? What happened was there was a live “unfiltered” Twitter feed streaming behind her as she was talking, with bullshit snark flowing down the screen. Just a solid flow of criticism. Was she at her best? Maybe not, she was nervous, you could tell, but the people in the audience were watching the stream and not paying attention to her. Huge fail. Not sure who I’m more angry at, the folks controlling the screen over on the right side or the Twitter hacks. If you’re not going to cut danah some slack, then I sure as hell can’t let the folks at Web 2.0 expo off the hook.

I will say it again as I’ve said it before, this person is doing more in the areas of social network research herself, than armies could do. She’s smart. She get’s it and she deserves better than what she got.

The Duration of a Conversation

Chris Brogan recently blogged about the addiction of giving one’s opinion. As I read it a few questions and thoughts entered my mind on why we comment.

  1. Do we comment for the sake of commenting?
  2. Are we going through the motions of commenting because we know it has an underlying effect on our social media status?
  3. We really want to engage in a dialogue.
  4. We want to meet this person.
  5. We want this person to notice us.
  6. We want business
  7. We want something from this person
  8. We want others to notice us.
  9. None of the above. I like reading blogs

I think that the nature of why people blog has changed over the last 2 years. When Groundswell came out, the reasons we blogged were because it was clearly a way to express and connect with others. The conversations were pure and lasted longer than the current, I post, you comment-we’re done model.

Twitter has in effect reduced blogging to more of a long form vehicle for self expression only, whereas in the past it was a catchall for all thoughts both verbose and sound-bite’ish. But it has also exposed blogging to the masses as a way to promote one’s self and not necessarily one’s intellect.

Conversations through the comments section of a blog have been rendered to nothing more than a self promotional back pat and a scrawled autograph by the author.

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The Ubiquity of Social Media


Through the course of  11,000 plus tweets, 2  years of using Twitter, as well as creating, hosting, and participating in some very high level Twitter chats around the business of social media, I have oftentimes been struck with moments of absolute, 140 character clarity when it comes to all things social media.

Luckily I have been able to document those moments with the help of Twitter archives and compile them into a manifesto of sorts that hopefully helps the reader think more about the “why it sucks”, the “how” and the “wtf for”, of this maddening space.

The clarity, the thoughts and opinions are mine. You may not agree with them and that’s OK. They are meant to be talked about and discussed as much as they are to be challenged and disagreed with. They are talking points.



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