Posts Tagged 'government'

Feds Launch Social Media Group


In December 2008, the members of the Federal Web Managers Council presented a white paper to the Obama transition team addressing perceived and real barriers as well as opportunities for government entities to engage in a social media environment.

Recognizing the challenges many government agencies face in moving towards implementing a social media strategy, the Federal Web Managers Council formed a Social Media Subcouncil to grapple with these issues. Later that month, the Subcouncil was formed out of a diverse and highly charged group of Web managers and public affairs social media practitioners from all levels of government, led by Jeffrey Levy and Joyce Bounds.

Our charge is to pull together best practices and other resources for the benefit of government agencies. Our members are working hard to develop formal recommendations and guidelines for using these technologies to the Federal Web Managers Council.

The quality of content and collaboration that has occurred in a virtual space is impressive, especially given that many of us have never met in person. We want to provide research and engage in discussion at familiar and trusted locations. The Subcommittee will share information and provide updates through the Webcontent.gov portal as we work through various issues of social media engagement. You can find us on GovLoop, Twitter and the government-only Web Manager’s Forum’s social media community blog – please drop us a line and introduce yourself!

The Subcouncil wiki will enable us to engage and work with the community at large – whether you are a civil servant or outside of government and interested in social media use. Your participation throughout the process is vital to help us learn and succeed. We’re just getting off the ground, but do have some information already posted to the wiki.

This is your government, our government, and we want to hear from you. If you have a network that we’re not reaching directly, please share it and let us know what conversations we might be missing. If you have a great story to tell in how your agency has made it happen, we want to know. If we’re not doing something that you think we should, let us know!

Whether you are in government or simply interested in social media use in government we welcome your input.

We will be posting regularly to the Wiki and through blog posts to share information and announce research projects and results. To see what we’re reading or find interesting, check out our Delicious account as well. Invite us as a friend, follow our Tweets or subscribe to the wiki feed – we’re excited to work with you!

Amanda Eamich is Director of Strategic Communications and New Media at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and member of the Social Media Subcouncil. You can connect with her on Twitter or GovLoop

This blog was first posted at Govloop by the Social Media Subcouncil  on 3/16/2009.  Importing here with the hope to reach a broader audience.

The Facebook Phenomenon – How Government is Getting Into The Act

Let’s face it, Facebook is huge.  More than 150 million people around the world are now actively using Facebook and almost half of them are using Facebook every day. This includes people in every continent—even Antarctica.  Now many government agencies are deploying their own version of this popular social networking site to share  information and connect with niche communities.

ExchangesConnect is a social network administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State.  The site is geared toward people interested or participating in international exchange and learning more about other cultures.  Have you participated in a exchangesconnectstudy abroad or student exchange program?  Or know someone who has?  Imagine being able to connect to those people after returning home.  ExchangesConnect aims to help you do that and much more.  Recently launched in October 2008, ExchangesConnect already has more than 7600 members and over 60 active groups.

This spring NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center will debut an internal social network for its employees.  The site will mimic Facebook and feature individuals’ profiles, expertise and personal interests, said Linda Cureton, chief information officer at Goddard.  Spacebook seems to be NASA’s latest foray into social networking after their massive success with the @MarsPhoenix account on Twitter.

A-Space (A is for analyst), dubbed the “social network for spies”, was reportedly launched in September of 2008 as a social network for the intelligence community.  The effort is spearheaded by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, or DNI, a post created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, to coordinate foreign and domestic security.  A-Space was developed specifically for prominent intelligence organizations such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Security Agency (NSA) with a total of 16 intelligence agencies participating.  The site aims to give spies a chance to interact with their peers and share data like they never have been able to before.  A-Space even made Time Magazines list of Best Inventions of 2008.  Naturally, the A-Space network will not be open to members of the public and only intelligence employees with the prerequisite level of security clearance will be granted official access.

And of course, you can’t talk about government social networking without mentioning Govloop.  It may not be federal agency run but is aimed at federal employees.  Govloop was launched by federal employee Steve Ressler in his spare time with the goal of connecting the government community.  It’s proving to be a great way for government employees at the local, govloopstate, and federal levels to collaborate, share ideas, and ask for advice and assistance.  Govloop now boasts more than 6000 members, 800 blogs, 300 groups, 250 discussions, 2000 photos.  Are you on Govloop?  I am.

The US isn’t the only place government is getting in to the social networking game.  In late 2008 Transport For London (TfL) – the government owned company running the public transportation system in London – launched a social networking site called Together For London. The purpose is to gather ideas from customers about how to make London a better place. Registered users can create an avatar (called “Little Londoner”), start and participate in discussions, and even set up a campaign.

P.S. I wonder if the Dept. of State employees can even access ExchangesConnect since it is built using Ning, which is blocked by many government agencies.  Hmmm…..


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