Government 2.0 Isn’t Facebook (More or Less)

profileThe more I talk and think through governance and social media, the less enamoured I am with Facebook. Sure, it sounds really, really good at first, all 150 million members. And it looks easy. But if done poorly, an official presence on Facebook is worse than no presence at all.

You could have a consultant set up the best page in the world, bells, whistles and even original apps. It will look good for a few days. But it won’t stay that way.

Because social media is alive.

Tell me, what have you seen happen to these pages if not tended?

In the best case, they meander off into a sort of eternal half-life, like any dead page on the Web. But in the worst, they become a platform for dissent, a place for mobs to pummel an effigy. And, in the middle ground, the supporters are there, but they’re ignored amidst a bunch of unanswered invites to join a mob or to plant a fake plant to end global warming. (Shoot, I’ve got a little personal page and it takes at least 10 minutes a day to keep it tidy.)

So before you Facebook, think about it, make sure you’re up for the investment.

3 thoughts on “Government 2.0 Isn’t Facebook (More or Less)

  1. Facebook is just an aggregator. Get your page set up “correctly” so that it’s slurping all your other “live” feeds. This is my strategy as a person and my recommended strategy for biz/gov/etc. I don’t have to tend to my personal Facebook page because I put time into flickr, brightkite, twitter, etc.

    If a gov is using Flickr, YouTube, blogging, etc. then their Facebook page *will* be alive, relevant, and up to date.

    $0.02

  2. The work required to keep on top of a Facebook page is an interesting point. Any Web project that ends up looking “abandoned” or not properly cared for will do more damage than good.

    I wonder if another point to make might be the barrier to entry. Facebook would require your constituents to have a Facebook account. It’s free, but it does require some work on the user’s part to get to the information.

    Conversely, Twitter or Flickr have public viewable pages. Shouldn’t we let our constituents get the information on their terms?

    On a separate topic, I really like the blog. Thanks for taking the time to put down your thoughts.

  3. Pingback: Eights Top Tips For Gov 2.0 Practitioners « Adriel Hampton

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