Social Media: The Norm

I came across an article today that I thought brought up an obvious (but much needed) point. The article says that CIO of Michigan gave a presentation and “[stated] that Online tools and social media are now the norm.”

This is an important point that government officials who are resistant to using social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc) need to understand: this isn’t something unusual. It’s what citizens and businesses use on a regular basis.

It’s also valid to point out that, as a government, you won’t be one of the first to use them… so you can learn from others’ successes (and mistakes).

Are Facebook and Twitter new concepts? Sort of… but communication and relationship building was happening way before these platforms came along. They’re just new places to communicate and build relationships. And, they happen to be what many citizens and businesses are using to connect with each other.

And if your citizens (and businesses) are using social media to connect and share information… why shouldn’t you at least consider it?

Yes, you’ll need to first understand the legal side of things and have a plan going into it. But, you won’t be the first to have done so.

What do you think? Does your local government use social media to effectively communicate? Let me know in the comment section below…

Image credit: NIST

A similar version of this was originally posted at the IT company that I work for’s product blog (Disclosure: the product deals w/ transparency, gov’t, & technology and our company works with government in multiple ways to help them with gov 2.0 and related technologies)

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