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When State servants use social media

Original post at http://blog.e.govt.nz/index.php/2008/12/16/when-state-servants-use-social-media/

Over the last 3 years we (in New Zealand, but also around the world) have seen a steady increase in the use of social media by State servants:

sanctioned government agency blogs,
State servants blogging about their organisations in their spare time,
State servants responding to blog posts,
State servants writing guest posts on blogs,
sanctioned government agency wikis,
State servants editing articles relating to their agency on Wikipedia,
State servants starting Facebook groups

This trend looks likely to continue. It is for this reason the State Services Commission (and indeed some overseas jurisdictions) have created draft guidance for New Zealand State servants using social media. We have channelled some of our findings from the SSC blog into the guidance.

This guidance does not cover the technical or administrative ins and outs of an agency running their own blog or wiki (though hopefully this is not too far away), simply how to monitor and interact with existing social media sites. The guidance is heavily derived from the Standards of Integrity and Conduct which we feel is most of what we need.

View the draft guidance at: http://webstandards.govt.nz/index.php/Talk:Social_media_monitoring_and_interaction

Our guidance is by no means finalised and we really hope you will share your input with us (by commenting here, at the Web Standards wiki, or emailing [email protected]) by February 13th, 2009. The final guidance will be available shortly after that date.

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Pretty cool stuff Matt. And happy birthday. I think you will see more and more gov’t agencies providing some social media guidance. I know at the university my lady teaches at they are included social media (Facebook) 101 in orientation. The IBM guidance is another good one.

Adriel Hampton

You know that socmed guidelines from a guy who dresses like a pirate (or Royal Navy, circa 1820?) in his avatar will be something we can live with! Happy B-day from me as well, Matt.

Mark Danielson

Loved this: “What we’re not talking about here is online direct democracy. Even if Kiwis go crazy for online participation, it is still up to New Zealand’s elected representatives to make the final decision on matters of public policy. What good participation processes can do is be one more way to create a good information base for those decisions — tapping the “wisdom of the crowd”, so to speak, to create better government.”

I’m making a pitch for public servants and citizen blogging on our site. It’s rough going. Here’s the Administrator yesterday as I pitched him again, “All that stuff looks good, so see if you can do all that, just skip the comment boxes or whatever you call them. And we don’t want people to do this blogging on City time, do we?” Ahhh – high hurdles here.

Matt Lane

Sorry Denise,
New Zealand is not a federal system, so when I say State servant, I mean civil servant or public servant. And yes, it is generic enough that anyone would benefit from it.