• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Tell us what you'd like us to do

Page history last edited by Michael Hessling 15 years, 4 months ago

Government Social Media

home > feedback

What should we do that we're not doing now?

Comments (14)

Reggie Washington said

at 2:56 pm on Mar 17, 2009

Can you recommend any resources for learning how to program in facebook for a person who has no prior experience?

Sarah Bourne said

at 11:06 pm on Mar 18, 2009

Public records! What tools and techniques are there to capture tweets and blog comments and everything else? For instance, I was just reading a blog about Twitter that goes into some useful details:

Managing 140-Character Records
There comes a time in any information-generating technology's life when things get serious and someone says, "Hey, what about the records?" That discussion was sparked on Twitter this week by a great post on Bits, Bytes & Archives. How can we capture and preserve Twitter feeds for the future?"

Blake Newman said

at 11:33 am on Apr 6, 2009

I think it is important to first establish whether a Tweet counts as a record.

The National Archives and Records Administration is pretty specific on what is and is not a record and will be the first to tell you that many bits of data and information are not records and should not be maintained.

For example, if the Tweet is simply a TwitterFeed from a RSS News feed generated from your website and is not an original document then it is not a record and should not be "captured" or maintained. Draft or interim documents are not records, references are not records, copies are not records, etc.

Jean-Paul Boucher said

at 10:32 am on Jul 25, 2009

Absolutely!!!! I have to disagree with Blake. A Tweet from a government-sponsored account (like the CDC's now infamous "Swine flu has been categorized as a Pandemic" Tweet) should be recorded as official communication between the government and the public. That is exactly what the Federal Records Act and NARA are attempting to capture as records.

This issue seems to be a major one. When, how and why the government should retain and record communications utilizing commercially-provided communications tools (Facebook, Twitter and hundreds of others) needs to be addressed. Everything that I have read on the issue is that it has been identified as a major problem, but no solutions have been defined or developed. We need those and we need them now. Thanks for bringing this issue up, Sarah!

kolpeterson said

at 7:52 am on Mar 19, 2009

My sense is that a lot of people are thinking about creating guidelines for their staff to make edits to entries on Wikipedia.
'What's our policy on editing Wikipedia?". And, indeed, some agencies and departments have already developed internal guidance.

However, since this is question that so many organizations are pondering these days, it would be an interesting experiment for us to try to
collectively create a draft guidance that all government agencies (fed, state, local) could use internally if they wished.

Maybe a good place to do that would be here on the new Social Media Subcouncil wiki where it would be accessible to both government employees as well as non-governmental people. (Right?)

We could think about the issues involved in editing Wikipedia and try to
craft a broad guidance that any governmental body could use internally
as they wished. At minimum, the language would serve as a reasonable
starting point for governmental organizations that are struggling with
that same question.

And, it goes without saying that it wouldn't be binding policy or
guidance; I'm sure that there are many governmental organizations that
aren't positioned well to participate or partake in the editing of
Wikipedia for their organization at this point.

Sarah Bourne said

at 8:37 am on Mar 19, 2009

Create a repository for accessibility test findings of external social media sites. No point in everybody doing their own tests, and it can be a way for us to - as a block - exert some pressure to address them.

Sarah Bourne said

at 9:59 am on Mar 19, 2009

Advice on defensive registration of "look-alike" COM/NET/ORG, etc. domain names. An example of why we might care:
"Fraud! If u r in visa-waiver country u need ESTA form--it's free online from dhs.gov but #1 google is 'ESTA.US' which charges $49.25!! yikes"

Michael Hessling said

at 10:31 am on Mar 20, 2009

Reposting Christine's comment:

"I know there is a mistake in a Wikipedia entry on perchlorate and I want to fix it. I'm not an expert on perchlorate, but know something about it from my work at EPA.  How do I identify myself in Wikipedia, at least for this purpose?"

--&gt;&nbsp;In the absence of an official policy, you might want to check out the <a href="http://blogcouncil.org/disclosure/">Blog&nbsp;Council's best practices re:&nbsp;disclosures</a>.

Michael Hessling said

at 10:42 am on Mar 20, 2009

How about a manifesto, similar to Scoble's: http://scoble.weblogs.com/2003/02/26.html


1) Tell the truth.
2) Post fast on good news or bad.
3) Use a human voice.

Michael Hessling said

at 7:33 pm on Mar 23, 2009

Free our data: http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/03/crowdsourcing-evolution-of-congressional-websites.html

"Free your data, especially maps and other geographic information, plus the non-personal data that drives the police, health and social services, for starters. Introduce a 'presumption of innovation' – if someone has asked for something … give them what they want: it’s probably a sign that they understand the value of your data when you don’t."

subbob said

at 6:05 pm on Apr 5, 2009

Recommendation: Provide a repository for people to post their success stories and lessons learned with respect to changing their organizations from within.

Last weekend's Gov 2.0 Camp and the subsequent coverage allowed me to connect to many people and resources, even though I did not attend. Currently I'm putting together a training package for the staff and faculty at my College, to explain the value of network enabled collaboration.

What I've not been able to find is many "case studies in success" - perhaps it's too early because we're all still working the problem at the grassroots level.

There's a "Using Social Media To Create Social Media Training" Wetpaint wiki where I added a page there for sharing such stories also http://socialtraining.wetpaint.com/page/Success+Stories

Liz Rosas said

at 10:30 am on Apr 6, 2009

thanks for posting all of these ideas - at our next weekly discussion, i am going to bring up how we are going to go about responding to these in a formal way. i know we are at least starting to address the wikipedia issue. keep 'em coming!

Blake Newman said

at 11:55 am on Apr 6, 2009

Leverage your visibility and influence to create top-down policy and directives on government access to various websites, i.e.,

1. At DHS, I am not able to find you on, govloop.com. I get the following error message on my IE browser, "Your request http://www.govloop.com/ was denied because of its content categorization: "Government/Legal; Social Networking" or follow you on Twitter.
2. In his January memorandum, the President of the United States directed department heads to "embrace new technologies," to become more transparent, participatory and collaborative. Yet, many folks within the government are blocked access to these social media sites that would allow them to be more participatory and collaborative. How can we listen if we are not allowed to access the venues where people talk?
3. The IT/OCIO folks, in general fear security risks ... or use security risks as the excuse to block access. I'm not so sure if it is security risks or if it is simply an attempt to control user/employee behavior. Perhaps they think we are entertaining ourselves on YouTube. Or, perhaps they fear we will consume too much bandwidth if we are all looking at streaming video content. Regardless, I get the "talk to the hand," gesture with "security" written on the palm.
4. Along the same lines, I watch many government folks on the forums lament about their misunderstanding or lack of knowledge regarding Twitter and Facebook and other sites like that. Certainly, if you cannot access Twitter then you will not understand Twitter.

So, my point, if it is not already obvious, is that if we are going to be tech-savvy, web-savvy civil servants then we need to have unencumbered access to the same media venues as the folks we are trying to reach. I think it is important that a top-down directive come from GSA, OMB or the White House that directs department and agency CIOs and IT shops to open up access to non-harmful blogs and social media sites.

Luis Medina said

at 11:48 am on Jul 25, 2009

I work at the General Services Administration and we have just enacted a policy and handbook that will govern our agency's use of social media in support of the agency's business priorities. (I am in a separate area but work collaboratively with the GSA division promoting and promulgating leading practices across the federal government.) I am currently developing a strategy that I hope will assist us in protecting the agency from running afoul of the myriad of rules, policies, and regulations.

For commercially available new media tools with a negotiated Terms of Service Agreement with the Federal government, I am advising our agency employees to limit their use to cross-promotion or redundancy of information existing on one of our agency's .gov domain. If there is a business need to offer information using a new media tool that would be exclusively facilitated on this web media communication channel, then my recommendation is to enter into a contract for the use of that technology and bring it into conformance with many of the rules, regulations, and policies.

By no means do I think that this is the definitive "answer" but hope that this is a strategy by which we can better learn to use this new technology in support of the administration's call for greater transparency & accountability (not to mention increasing synergy and efficiency in affecting our agency's mission).

I look forward to your comments and suggestions.

You don't have permission to comment on this page.