Thursday, February 19, 2009

when federal agencies limit social media

When I worked for the federal government, the web had just come into being, so we were all about websites. And now that we're into web 2.0, federal agencies (much like organizations in other sectors) are all over the map in their adoption of social media options for communications, as this questioner implies in my session at the Capital Communicators Group yesterday. Today, I analyze federal social media use and help federal clients develop social media options. And while you can't always get past the clearance requirements -- some, for example, help websites stay accessible to citizens with disabilities -- it's important to remind your agency that good social media policymaking doesn't get in the way of the utility of these tools. (For example, a blog that takes weeks to get reviewed and approved isn't really a blog--it's a slowly updated website.)
I'm a big believer in sharing what other agencies are doing, and happily, there are several sources for federal communicators who want to make the case for social media. Try these resources and links:

  •, itself a social network for federal workers and anyone interested in the federal space, has lots of federal social media communicators blogging, Twittering and posting about their social media efforts and source documents. Dive in here!

  • The Federal Web Managers Council has posted its workplans and documents here, a rich trove that includes this paper on real and perceived barriers and solutions for social media use and examples of federal agencies using online tools.

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