Making Social Media out of New Media

As government connects with citizens through new and existing social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and through video and imagery publishing sites like YouTube and Flickr, they are finding new outlets for publishing information. While using these new streams demonstrate governments’ progress to use new media, in many cases they are simply being used to push out still more content without providing for, or showing interest to collect feedback from or collaborate with citizens. In effect, they are using new media without taking advantage of the social media aspect offered by these solutions.

One negative result that can come from this practice is that citizens, who watch their emails to public officials and agencies go answered, will now find more examples that add fuel their perception of government’s indifference to connect with them online.

However, there are some good examples where government agencies have found successful ways to use new and social media and create best practices for their constituents with options to enjoy a richer experience on their Web site, or on an external, social network site.

This week, NextGov published an article for “Best Practices for Government Web Sites.” They provide five examples and a good overview of successful sites using new and social media and describe why they were selected. It’s not who is using the most Web 2.0 tools, but how these agencies maximize the experience between visitor and content and the visitor’s interaction with the content and the publisher of that content (the agency).

Note: You can read the full post on this topic at www.aheadofideas.com

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