Representative Gov 2.0 & the Identity Crisis

What do you thing the greatest barriers are to elected officials and constituents interacting through social media? The barriers atop my list are identity and representation. Why would officials expose themselves to the open Web if they rep a specific, local constituency? And how are they to sort through all the noise?
If you believe that social media has potential for increasing citizen participation, informing policymaking, and creating better government – as I do – a first step towards engaging policymakers is to get real constituents online and using social media. That’s the aim of local Citizen 2.0 trainings I’ve helped put on (on Facebook at
The next step is a localized way for citizens to engage with their representatives on social networks. If x number of constituents – vs. random activists – engage with an official using social networks, they will have real impact. Reps will pay attention when social media means real voters, volunteers and donors. That’s why I’m excited about projects like Designed by Jim Gilliam and the Open Forum Foundation, GovLuv filters outTwitter activity to connect local reps and their constituents, highlighting their activity in one conversation stream.
As more citizens embrace social media as a way to interact with their reps, such filtering will be a game changer.
What do you think?

~ Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant and host of Gov 2.0 Radio.

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