I’ve done some thinking about institutional problems in social media that challenge successful implementation of Government 2.0 initiatives. I’d like to recruit you to help me combat them.
First, let’s agree that social media is an art that requires a bit of learning and humility. Ask, read, discuss, and when you think you know it all, realize that, like in any human interaction, you never really will. Humility and respect for others is the key to combating the pride in social media and making it work for more of us.
Have patience; show restraint. (Yes, these are hard for me!) Before you go saving the world, check out what others are doing. Follow them, talk with them, learn from them. To harness the power of social media, we need to work together on common goals. We don’t need to blaze the same path over an over again, starting new groups, new networks and new blogs ad infinitum. Plug in to what others are doing, contribute and promote what’s good. These new technologies are great for forming working relationships and communities of interest. Avoid recklessness, treat others how you’d like to be treated, and respect the community.
Be yourself, and show integrity. When folks go around using fake names, trashing others and saying things they’d never say in public, it cheapens all of this. Let’s take ownership for this community by using our real names, faces and ideas. I think of a great training by the Obama team in Reno, where they told us to approach each person as if the candidate were with us. No Sarah Palin attacks, we’re out there representing a cause and a person with integrity. When you’re out here in social media land, think about what a respected mentor would think of what you’re doing. And make us proud.