I’ve been doing a lot of research over the past several months about social media for governance. In that time, I’ve seen many efforts to reform government communications – some mediocre, some good, and some great. Using the wide-open Web in a government setting is a scary proposition for most, with the dual hurdles of complex bureaucracy and a senior leadership generally unimpressed by and uninitiated in social networking.
So, I want to take a moment here to praise the work of two gals making social media work in a governmental outreach setting:
Lovisa Williams, who I met in person on Monday in San Francisco, is a leader in Second Life and In Real Life. Not only is a she a constant encouragement to Gov 2.0 doers on Twitter, she’s active in virtual world cross-border community building and in developing social media policy and strategy for the U.S. State Dept. Lovisa, rock on! (I especially love that Lovisa’s a talker who actually gives me a run for my money :-).
Sarah Bourne, the chief social media strategist for the state of Massachusetts, has done great work establishing outreach posts and listening stations for state officials on social media sites. I also appreciate that Sarah and her state post their policies openly in an easily replicable form. For example, here’s how the Mass. Attorney General uses Twitter:
- The AGO’s use of Twitter is intended as one-way communication with any who elect to watch or follow our Twitter feed.
- We follow people back who follow us.
- Twitter is one of the many ways we’re using to connect residents with their government. We’ll review and update Twitter as much as possible as we monitor and maintain many other channels of feedback, outreach and engagement.
- The AGO will not respond via Twitter to press inquiries, consumer complaints, or other constituent matters. For instructions on appropriate methods for contacting the Office, please visit the Contact Us page of the AGO website.
These two daring ladies are hardly alone. Who are your favorite Gov 2.0 doers?