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Social @Work – “How tos” vs “Don’t dos”

As an Air Force vet, it’s hard humbling to point to another service and say, ‘Damn, they do that right.’

It’s especially hard humbling when I have to say, “Damn, the US Army* did that right.”

The US Army’s Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, Online and Social Media Division created a handbook on how

to use social media. How Army leadership can use social media. How to consider OPSEC (operational security) concerns about geotagging photos, check ins, or comment submissions. How to use social media in a deployed environment. How to use social media for crisis communications. How to effectively use US Army branding on official pages. Even some of that Holy Grail – how to measure the effectiveness of social media.

“How To.” Not “Don’t Do.”

Damn. They did it right. They didn’t just do it right, they did it brilliantly right.

So fellow GovLoopers, let’s benchmark off of the Army’s approach and talk about our best practices about using social media for the workplace. Many organizations have a Facebook/Twitter/Flickr/LinkedIn account for external purposes. But let’s go further –

Let’s develop our own “How To” guide for how to use such tools to increase productivity amongst and within an organization. Many across government and industry are looking for a repertoire of stories about how social tools can do more than just make us happy at work – they can help us make our work better.

Some questions for the community –

– – How have you used collaborative or social media tools on your project? How did it affect how your project ran? What would you do differently?

– – When a wiki is created, how does it make the work process and product better?

– – When employees come to a community and talk about what they’re working on, how does the interaction with the community make that product better, tighter, and make the product come out faster?

– – How has your organization used e2.0 tools successfully? What are the key pieces that need to be wrestled with up front in order to make such tools effective? What skills are needed in order to make the platform, and the program, work?

Let’s do some of our own knowledge management: What’s worked and what hasn’t worked from the programmatic side of collaboration tools.

Let’s demonstrate govvies know how to do it right. And do it brilliantly right.

*good natured inter-service rivalry only

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Doris Tirone

You’re right Deb! How to do it right is so much better than telling people what they can’t do. We’re all grown-ups here (er… aren’t we?) so letting us figure out what works is far more gratifying (and challenging) than putting restrictions on us. Thanks for this suggestion. It’s a good one!

Deb Green

Thanks Doris – it’s all too common to have a lot of guidance about what not to do, because someone’s made a mistake elsewhere. People mess up – sure. But that’s not the whole story. Let’s build it!

Dorothy Ramienski Amatucci

This. Is. Excellent! I am really looking forward to what others have to say. I would also love to hear from anyone who has experience doing sm in the private sector!

Deb Green

@Dorothy – Thanks for the enthusiasm! I am definitely interested too – I know that GSA uses a few different collaboration/e2.0 tool sets, and a number of agencies are using Yammer, Jive, etc…. I’m interested in which platforms, but most of all, interested in the human part to it – how do you get people to come to the platform, how do we keep people coming back to the platform, how have wikis worked, governance for creating communities, etc. This is super exciting stuff for me personally, and I know there’s a lot of knowledge out there on the GovLoop community that can be tapped into.

Andrew Krzmarzick

Hi Deb – I feel like I’ve been collecting some of the how-to’s examples in some of my Social Media 101 educational workshops. This one was delivered a year ago in LA – “how-to” begins on slide 30. It includes how-to and examples of most of the social media tools out there.


Maybe there are other presentations out there like this that give examples, and we could start a repository…similar to this:


Deb Green

Exactly Andy – I’ve seen the dataset for SM policy – there was a recent discussion that was looking for just that same data recently – I’m looking to build one about how to use the tools. I **love** the Slideshare you did. And YES – let’s do a 2.0 version for internal communications – adding government use cases of the technology internally. That framework for the Slideshare really works.

Deb Green

Hmm… I see we’re back on the Top 10 for GovLoop this afternoon —- c’mon lurkers…. 😀 If some of you are reading this and don’t feel you have a best practice to share, then how about some of your big questions?