Posts filed under ‘government 2.0’
With the launch of Change.gov, commentary on Obama’s social media strategy and success have been made here, here and here. Yup, here too. Some are even calling Obama and the government integration of new media tools through Change.gov the Digital New Deal while others wonder about the extension of the Obama brand and community – post election.
Social media is awesome. Grand. Influential. Amazing. In my professional role working with government agencies, I must admit that my first reaction to Change.gov was, “Sweet, I can’t wait for this priority on social media to trickle down among other government agencies. Man, that would make our job so much easier.” Or, would it?
Because now, instead of talking about why to do it, the opportunity to implement may [hopefully] increase, meaning we must show results. And, Obama set the bar high.
Granted, Obama’s campaign is an amazing case study that aided in achieving an important end objective – getting Obama elected. However, Obama’s online success is due to more than social media.
- Obama’s campaign was newsworthy as according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism. This encourage the public to be interested and engaged. The study found that:
“Overall, the presidential campaign filled 54% of the newshole as measured by PEJ’s News Coverage Index from Oct. 27-Nov. 2. That represents a slight uptick from the previous two weeks when the election was at 52% (Oct. 20-26) and 51% (Oct. 13-19). The race for the White House was the dominant story in all five media sectors, most notably in cable, where it accounted for 84% of the airtime studied, and on the radio airwaves, at 65%.”
- Obama created the Obama-brand. If you work in government, you may understand some of the government’s sensitivity to the word brand. And from the outside, how the public might react to the government branding or marketing itself. (Hence, the whole debate back when to transition from health communications to health marketing.) However, the Obama-brand has become widely accepted and adapted while maintaining a consistent message to diverse audiences across a range of platforms.
- The number of resources available. Obama’s fundraising numbers were out of the roof. Not every project is as fortunate. This is why highlighting and emphasizing ROI is important and critical.
- Obama was the first, and it was sexy. Being the first is always advantageous. In the government 2.0 sector, Obama led the way in showing how to leverage a comprehensive social media plan to create an online presence that connected with the overall program’s mission. Not only did he do it, but he made it sexy by implementing creative elements that encouraged not only online users, but also online ambassadors.
- Obama and his team understood the essence of social media online and off line. This is the biggest one I think. Obama’s message tapped into the cornerstone of social media – help me, help you, help me, empower America. Did you get lost in that? Web 2.0 is about the conversation and Obama is encouraging conversation with him and among each other. The Change.gov Web site communicates it best:
“Share your vision for what America can be, where President-Elect Obama should lead this country. Where should we start together?”
He took the essence of social media tools and made it his mantra. He is change, but he needs you to help create that change. You want change, but you need him to lead that change. Brilliant.
In your opinion, what other factors outside of social media helped mold Obama’s online success?
For those that have been following the “Let Our Congress Tweet Campaign,” the news is in. Congress can now Tweet (as well as YouTube, Flickr and other 3rd-party sites) when communicating with constituents.
This campaign was the 1st official policy issue brought forth through Twitter. Individuals supporting the campaign were asked to tweet:
“Congress, change the rules. Talk to us on our social networks. http://letourcongresstweet.org/ Let Our Congress Tweet! #LOCT08.”
The campaign with links to media coverage can be found here. In response, the Sunlight Foundation has created @CAPITOLTWEETS has been created for those who want to receive tweets sent out by members of Congress. This allows interested individuals can get a @CAPITOLTWEETS widget to include on their blog or Web site if desired that updates every 10 minutes with tweets from Congress members.
The rulings official wording is and can be found on Speaker Pelosi’s blog:
In addition to their official (house.gov) Web site, a Member may maintain another Web site(s), channel(s) or otherwise post material on third-party Web sites. (more…)
Related, in June, I compiled a list of ALL government Twitter accounts available. This post has been very popular, and many more have since been a) suggested and b) created. Thus, here is the update, beginning with none other than….Congress members who Twitter. Colleague @ariherzog also maintains the Government page on the Twitter fan wiki for future updates. Enjoy!
- Joe Biden (D-Del.)
- Sen. John McCain (R-Az.)
- Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.)
- Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)
- Chris Dodd (D-Conn.)
- Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
- Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)
- Barack Obama (D-Ill.)
U.S. House of Representatives
- Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii)
- Gresham Barrett (R-S.C.)
- Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)
- John Boehner (R-Ohio)
- John Boozman (R-Ark.)
- Michael Burgess (R-Texas)
- Dan Burton (R-Ind.)
- Eric Cantor (R-Va.)
- John Culberson (R-Texas)
- Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)
- Randy Forbes (R-Va.)
- Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.)
- Randy Kuhl (R-N.Y.)
- Tom Latham (R-Iowa)
- Bob Latta (R-Ohio)
- Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.)
- Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.)
- Candice Miller (R-Mich.)
- George Miller (D-Calif.)
- Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
- Tom Price (R-Ga.)
- Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.)
- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (D-Fla.)
- Tim Ryan (D-Ohio)
- Christopher Shays (R-Conn.)
- John Shimkus (R-Ill.)
- Mark Udall (D-Colo.)
- Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
- Joe Wilson (R-S.C.)
- Rob Wittman (R-Va.)
- John Yarmuth (D-Ky.)
- Ron Paul (R-Texas) (FAKE PROFILE)
Executive Branch (including Cabinet, departments, and agencies)
- The White House: Communications Office
- The White House: Office of National Drug Control Policy
- Department of Agriculture: Food Safety Information Center
- Department of Commerce: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: National Marine Sanctuary
- Department of Defense: DipNote Blog, @dipnote
- Department of Defense: Maxine Teller, Public Affairs
- Department of Defense: Mark Drapeau, Research Fellow, National Defense University
- Department of Defense: US Joint Forces Command
- Department of Defense: Department of Army: US Army
- Department of Defense: Department of Navy: Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division: HJ Armstrong, public affairs
- Department of Energy: Argonne National Laboratory
- Department of Health & Human Services: AIDS.gov (AIDS Conference)
- Department of Health & Human Services: AIDS.gov (Main)
- Department of Health & Human Services: National Institutes of Health: NIH Communications Office
- Department of Health & Human Services: National Institutes of Health: Jim Angus
- Department of Health & Human Services: Office on Women’s Health
- Department of Homeland Security: Emergency Preparedness
- Department of Homeland Security: Leadership Journal
- Department of Homeland Security: Transportation Security Administration blog team
- Department of Homeland Security: US Citizenship and Immigration Services
- Department of Interior: National Park Service: Brooks Camp at Katmai National Park
- Department of Interior: National Park Service: National Center for Preservation Technology & Training
- Department of State: Country-specific Information, travel department
- Department of State: Dipnote, official blog feed
- Department of State: US Embassy, London
- Environmental Protection Agency: EPA
- Environmental Protection Agency: EPA News Releases
- Environmental Protection Agency: Greenversations blog
- General Services Administration: Federal Citizen Information Center
- GSA: Office of Citizen Services and Communications: GovGab
- GSA: Office of Citizen Services and Communications: GobiernoUSA.gov
- GSA: Office of Citizen Services and Communications: USA.gov
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Astrobiology Institute
- NASA: CoLab, advising and consulting on NASA collaboration
- NASA: Desert RATS
- NASA: Earth Observatory, echoed at Natural Hazard
- NASA: GLAST
- NASA: Hubble Space Telescope
- NASA: Jason-1 project
- NASA: Kepler
- NASA: Lunar Atmosphere & Dust Environment Explorer
- NASA: Lunar Crater Observation & Sensing Satellite
- NASA: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
- NASA: NanoSail-D mission, first solar sail created for nanosatellites
- NASA: NASA EDGE
- NASA: PharmaSat
- NASA: PreSat
- NASA: Public Affairs
- NASA: Solar Dynamics Observatory
- NASA: Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
- NASA: Emma Antunes, web manager
- NASA: Ames Research Center: Public Affairs Office
- NASA: Ames Research Center: Kimberly Ennico, payload scientist
- NASA: Goddard Space Flight Center: Linda Cureton, chief information officer
- NASA: Goddard Space Flight Center: Ravi Sharma, engineer
- NASA: Innovative Partnerships Program: Doug Comstock, director
- NASA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Cassini, flying around Saturn
- NASA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Earth Vital Signs
- NASA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Mars Exploration Rover
- NASA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory: News, unofficial feed, not endorsed by JPL
- NASA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Phoenix Mars Lander
- NASA: Langley Research Center: Bil Kleb, computational aerothermodynamist
- NASA: Marshall Space Flight Center: Daniel Kanigan, public affairs
- National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency: Chris Rasmussen, social software knowledge manager/trainer
- Office of Personnel Management: OPM
- Securities and Exchange Commission: SEC Investor Education
- Social Security Administration: Lee Alviar, public affairs specialist in Dallas
- U.S. Geological Survey: USGS
- U.S. Geological Survey: Earthquake & Tsunami Warning
- U.S. Geological Survey: Dave Govoni, paleontologist
- U.S. Intelligence Community: Andrea Baker
- U.S. Intelligence Community: Heather Cox
- U.S. Intelligence Community: John Hale
- U.S. Peace Corps
- U.S. Small Business Administration: Business.Gov
- Bob Barr (L), former U.S. Representative from Georgia, presidential candidate in 2008
- John Edwards (D), former U.S. Senator from North Carolina, presidential candidate in 2004 and 2008
- @secgen – The U.N. Secretary General
- @peacecorps – The Peace Corps
- L.A. California Fire Department
- Mike Huckabee – Former Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate
U.S. State Government Leaders
- @schwarzenegger – California Gov. Arnold Schwarsenegger
- @GovernorGibbons – Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons (No longer actice and beware the fake account @FakeGibbons)
- @govgranholm – Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm
- @johncherry – Michigan Lieutenant Gov. John Cherry
- @PeterKinder – Missouri Lieutenant Gov. Peter Kinder
- Mark Boughton, Mayor of Danbury, Connecticut
- R.T. Rybak, Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota
U.S. State Government
- @coloradogov – Colorado Government
- @kygov – Kentucky Government
- @vermontgov – Vermont Government
- @UtahGov – Utah Government
- @SCGOV – South Carolina Government
- @www_maine_gov – Maine Government
- @rigov – Rhode Island Government
- @wsdot – Washington State Department of Transportation
- @NevDCNR – Nevada Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources
**This article I wrote was originally published at ReadWriteWeb on September 10, 2008. And P.S., I still don’t have the internet, but the install is scheduled for Wednesday…hence the blogging delay. Thank you for your understanding!
And we’ve got the answer. Three of them actually: Listen, learn, and let go.
Let’s face it, Web 2.0 is a buzzword. And when it comes to government, change, and innovation, we have to reach beyond buzzwords. Surprising to some, the government isn’t too far beyond.
The other week Mark Drapeau, Government 2.0 columnist for Mashable, suggested that the government is currently in a state of 1.4, at least when it comes to Twitter.* I would agree, however, as my lovely professors back in grad school taught me to say, “it depends.”
Government is doing some amazing social media initiatives to better serve their constituents, and why not – social media is all about increasing the democratization of communications. The government serves its people, and thus, it’s a perfect match.
We government-familiar types know of the greatness that is CDC – from their virtual world explorations in Whyville and SecondLife, to their numerous podcasts, e-cards, MySpace page and blog, and their CDC-TV channel, they are leading the way. But there’s more.
The EPA has its own cause on Facebook for its EnergySTAR program to stop global warming. The U.S. Intelligence Agency has it’s own data-sharing and social network-esque called Intellipedia. TSA uses its blog Evolution of Security as instrumental to its customer service abilities. Not to mention, there are currently 7 head directors and decision makers with their own blog. But, I will admit that some areas in government just need some more coaching.
If you are within government or outside of government, here are three helpful strategies to be the social media maven for your agency: Listen. Learn. And Let go.
These three strategies are listed in no particular order as they all circle one another. Think back when you learned how to ride a bike. You did not let go of the training wheels, until you have learned how to ride the bike. But, you couldn’t learn how to ride the bike, until you listened to the instructions. Same deal.
The more you learn about the space, the more comfortable you will become. This will involving listening to webinars and speakers on the topic. For starters, the CDC is having a live web dialogue on September 18th with an expert panel to talk about how government health agencies can integrate social media practices into their initiatives. There are currently 217 people signed up!
Listening also involves learning how to search, and how to search effectively. Largely, learning how to navigate the RSS feeder. I know it looks intimidating. I was at first too. But, it’s called Real Simple Syndication for a reason, because it really can be simple. Check out Google Reader or Bloglines or email me, and we can work together.
While listening, you will learn. It’s inevitable. I have best found that learning is maximized when you live with what Geoff Livingston said best in one of Buzz Bin blog posts, “You cannot underestimate the value of remaining teachable.” Attending speakers, applying your knowledge and participating in the space as an individual all help facilitate learning.
For example, Sec. Mike Leavitt and a group of world leaders came together in 2007 to create the Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog. Through this short-term blog, conversations and discussions were shared leading up to an offline Leadership Forum. Taking the lessons learned from this experience, Sec. Leavitt launched his own blog on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in August 2007.
As your listening and learning combines, eventually, you will feel more comfortable in letting go. And letting go can include baby steps. Like, the case of Sec. Leavitt, you can build upon past activities. Do gather the statistics. Do highlight other case studies.
• Perhaps, instead of creating your own social network, it begins with placing a web badge or banner about your initiative on a social network.
• Perhaps, instead of creating a Twitter account feed, you conduct Twitter searches for your government agency’s name and important keywords.
• Perhaps, instead of creating your own blog, first do a guest entry on an already established blog.
• Perhaps, when pitching new information or publications to traditional news outlets, see if that media organization has a relevant blog column or social media reporter and share your information with him or her.
The ideas are endless, which is why being relevant is core. Let’s not be doing things for the sake of doing them. Let’s connect in meaningful ways. The tools may be new, but the importance of relationship-building and support remain constant. I’m excited to have the opportunity to highlight in this Government 2.0 column ways our government is being innovative as we all listen, learn and let go together.
*Context and attribution corrected.