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