Building a Wiki Community: Gotta Love the Social Media

A significant difference between wikis created now and those created two-to-three years ago is the advent — and proliferation of — social media. Facebook is no longer used only by college kids, and Twitter results now show up on Google searches. What a change!

In order to build a community, you must be able to communicate, interact and market that community. While you can do that on your site, it helps to have other platforms to effectively communicate with current and potential community members.

For Whorunsgov, we often use the social media sites Facebook and Twitter to inform the community about new profiles, or let others know about something a recent contributor did to an existing profile. This helps showcase the contributor’s work and accomplishment. We also suggest possible updates to profiles on the social sites. It’s a way to direct those contributors who want to help, but don’t know what to add.

Then, of course, there’s Govloop. On Govloop, our goal is to let people in the community that we cover know more about us. Govloop consists of people who live and breathe government, and could be quality contributors or potential profile subjects. We want people on Govloop to know what we’re all about, so the government community will feel more comfortable helping the Whorunsgov community.

A key point to make about all this social media interaction; we use different content on each platform. There’s no point in placing the same content on Facebook as we do on Twitter. Why would someone want to follow us on both platforms if it’s the same content? They would only need to follow one of the platforms. Plus, by having two different strategies, you can get two different types of contributors on each of the two platforms, doubling the number of community members.

I imagine it’s quite different in the government sphere. Using social media is becoming a more acceptable way for government agencies to talk to citizens, but does anyone use social media for communication within the organization or to discuss changes to a wiki-type platform?


And don’t forget to help highlight this week’s “Whorunsgov Official of the Week,” Deputy Assistant Secretary at the DOE Christopher Smith!

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