I have a lot of the same concerns. It’s a very, very, very fine line between information and propaganda. Especially as we head towards an election season.

I wonder if any academics, analysts, nonprofits, etc. are studying the impact of federal social media on public discourse. As a govie, I am watching these issues unfold with fascination. Because it seems like people are acting without full consideration of the impact and consequences (good and bad).

During this time when we lack clear answers, is critically important to keep thinking about this, asking questions, discussing issues. There are some excellent forums now for doing so – not just GovLoop but also the Federal Social Media Subcouncil, Federal Web Content Managers Council, etc. It is the equivalent of continuing education for real life.

These forums can help us tackle tough things we really need guidance on. For example, when bloggers or tweeters say unkind or accusatory things, how should agency respond? I recall that the Air Force posted a nice infograph on that. It should be kept somewhere for others to refer to.

More broadly, I really feel like communicators need some sort of academic training regarding mass communication theory, the theory and practical responsibilities of a career public servant and how these are affected by social media.

Last thought…echoing the wondering about where the conversation about transparency has gone. Seems like a dead issue now. Why?

(Note – as always, all opinions my own.)