[LINK] AGIMO Tweeting for your Country
stephen at melbpc.org.au
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Thu Mar 31 03:48:19 AEDT 2011
The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO)
has outlined its plans to add more elements to its social media
functionality, first assistant secretary of the organisation, John
Sheridan, has revealed in a blog outlining his speech at BarCamp 2011
Tweeting for your Country: a personal view of some principles for social
By John Sheridan - AGIMO
Last Saturday, I attended BarCamp 2011, which AGIMO co-sponsored. An
eclectic gathering of individuals, it covered a wide range of subjects
with 20 minute presentations covering matters such as Gov 2.0, social
media, robots, agile programming and lots more..
I presented on Tweeting for your Country, a further development of the
principles of social networking, in and for the Australian Public
Service, that I spoke about a week or so ago at the TransTasman CIO
conference and later tweeted.
I have had several requests to blog about these principles. It has been
our practice to post presentations we provide so that they are freely
available to all those interested. In that spirit, I have decided to post
this. Please note, they are not official policy, just my observations
developed in the 18 odd months during which I have had some
responsibility in this area.
The principles are divided into three groups guidance, risks and entry.
These three are each represented by an acronym LEFTS, RIGHT, and YES. I
have liked acronym-based principles since my dad helped me memorize the
rivers of NSW for geography in primary school. Of course, I cant
remember them now but I blame the drought for that.
Locate: to be successful in social media, you need to go where your
audience is, not expect them to come to you. Its not like the Field of
Dreams. Just because you build it, it doesnt mean theyll come. Use
hashtags on Twitter, find discussion groups or similar on Facebook,
employ the RSS feeds on news sites all these will help you find your
Engage: people expect you to be involved, not just a tourist. Social
media is two way communication.
Follow: tweeting without followers is like solitaire even if you win,
no one cares. Following people who are interesting or involved in the
issues in which you are interested (hopefully both!) will encourage them
to follow you. As this occurs, you build your audience and thus the
effectiveness of your communication.
Trust [your staff]: one person cant engage with the social media
universe on behalf of an organisation by themselves. We trust all manner
of public servants to engage with the public every day, over counters and
over the phone. We can trust them on social media too.
Share: collaborate not just communicate. Social media isnt about
broadcasting (mostly theres clearly a valid case for public interest
social networking broadcasting for emergencies, etc).
Risks: all activities have risks and social media is no different. Here
are some considerations:
Context: social media comments are made in a context but can be quoted
out of it. Make sure your public comments cant easily be maliciously
reused. Use links to provide the context so others can follow what you
Media: when media people friend you they may not really be your
friends! Nevertheless, social media tools do provide a useful mechanism
for establishing the facts for readers. Commenting politely and factually
on an online story to correct a misleading headline (sub-editors, Im
looking at you) or wrong information can stop a runaway story in its
tracks. In a government context, it can stop such a story from becoming a
full fledged media inquiry in the mainstream press, and the need for
subsequent ministerials and question time briefs.
Profile confusion: be careful to distinguish between speaking in an
official, professional or personal capacity. If you arent commenting
officially for your organisation but people could think you are, make
your status clear. For example, as I said at the outset of this post,
these are my personal views, not AGIMO policy. The subsequent headline
could say AGIMO executive states
but the status is clearly explained.
Of course, the more senior you are, the harder it is to maintain the
distinction thats why they are called risks.
Incremental: you dont have to start your social media engagement with a
major campaign. Start small, manage expectations, build your profile over
time. Test things out, be prepared to deal with dead ends and occasional
failures. Expect mistakes and plan for them. Gracefully apologise for
mistakes and quickly correct them. The audience is more forgiving than
you might think.
Groups and Lists: public servants know about organisation and so does
social media. On Twitter you can create lists of followers to make
following easier. This is particularly useful if you have varied
interests and follow people in each of them. At work, I can keep an eye
on my gov2au list and while watching the Brumbies, I can concentrate on
the rugby list. If you are following lots of people, this can be very
Hierarchy: dont forget your day job. Although it can be really
interesting, its unlikely youre being paid just to do social media.
Before you make a career of it, make sure your boss is happy about it.
Also, anarchy doesnt rule. Commenting about work related matters is
tricky. It should be okay to tweet about what you know and what you do.
It probably isnt okay to tweet about what other people do and what you
Trolls: dont feed them. Trolls make comments to attract attention, stir
up controversy or just to be difficult. They are easy to recognise but
hard to resist. You have to try. Also be wary of Twitter tough guys.
These are people who are much braver behind a keyboard than face to face.
Arguing remotely with them wont work dont!
Yammer: Yammer is a social media tool like Twitter but only people on the
same email domain as you can see what you send. Its like an internal
Twitter account. There are other similar tools Microsofts SharePoint
has one you can pay for (basic Yammer is free). AGIMO is also considering
options to add more social media functionality into future versions of
our govdex internal collaboration service. These provide a safe
environment in which people can experiment with social media without some
of the risks of the mainstream varieties. It can be a good place to start.
Educate: social media is a new skill. Not everyone knows what to do yet.
Help others. Share ideas. Ask questions. There arent that many experts
in this field and theres nothing to feel overawed about.
Some simple steps (the four Rs): register (get a log on to Twitter or
Facebook or both), read (statistics suggest that for every one person who
writes a blog post, 10 people comment and 100 read it just reading
social media on line is a good start), retweet (retweeting is just like
repeating a joke you heard from someone else something most of us do
every day), finally really get stuck in, youll be surprised how easy
Thats it then LEFTS, RIGHT, YES!
Rating: +17 (from 19 votes)
More information about the Link