When it comes to using social media, there’s no question we’ll make mistakes, and there are plenty of people ready to point them all out in glorious detail.
But if we never try anything new for fear of being criticized, we’ll also never learn, and I think the public understands that. I’ve seen plenty of comments in a variety of forums saying something like “yes, the gov’t goofed on this one example, but I’m very glad to see them trying out social media tools.”
On that note, I offer an aphorism, two quotations, and a blog post.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not why we build ships.
1) Teddy Roosevelt:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
2) Eric Hoffer (An American author):
In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
Finally, I try to reread a great blog post by Chris Brogan on a regular basis, titled “You’re Doing it Wrong.”
So be brave, my friends, and sail beyond sight of the shore.
Hi Jeffrey, nice to hear someone else think s government needs to learn how to learn (so to speak!), particularly when it comes to social media. There’s a great new report from the National Audit Office in the UK called ‘Helping Government Learn’ which talks about organisational learning for government more broadly, and although it doesn’t have a focus on social media, you might find it interesting Cheers! Lucy