Is ‘The Fear’ fleeing local governments? Join #localgovchat tonight at 9 EST

Since starting #localgovchat last month, the biggest surprise to me has been the fear of social media – but not the type of fear I initially suspected. Sure, putting your agency out there publicly and openly can be a bit intimidating. I get that. We didn’t have that problem, but I get it.

But I have been truly blown away by how scared many government bodies were making themselves about records retention and a lack of Terms of Service agreements. Maybe my colleagues and I were being naive – or our general counsel did not really know what we were doing – but we didn’t worry about them. The conversation last week covered a lot of these issues and during the chat this piece popped up about the Obama Administration’s recent memo regarding the use of social media. While the true intent of the memo has changed abit, essentially “the result of the (memo) is that federal agencies under the Obama administration have been handed freedom to engage online without having to worry quite so much about collecting and archiving every blog comment, retweet, or Facebook wall post.”

It made me wonder how local government communicators and local open gov advocates are pressing this issue with their own lawyers. Should you wait? Do you have the in-house experts with enough knowledge to get a clear answer quickly? If not, do you know where to go? Are you really concerned about this? Should I have been more concerned two years ago when my agency startd using Twitter?

We would definitely love to continue this discussion this evening on #localgovchat at 9 pm EST and invite anyone with expertise to please help us understand why this is so important. Please come join us.

– Mike Rupert @localgovchat @rupertmike

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