Government 2.0 enthusiasts worth following on Twitter

Cross-posting on “Shaping Network Society” blog:

I am a Twitter enthusiast and as one of those people who do spend a lot of time online, I noticed that Twitter is one of the information channels, that help me get access to information, that is otherwise not on my radar screen or I would not get access to.

Twitter – for me personally as a Government 2.0 researcher – therefore has the potential to bridge structural holes in the communication and information structure that I have built over the years.  In addition, I noticed that it is expanding my attention network of a) topics I should pay attention to, and b) people and their public conversation streams that are interesting to know.  In a new information paradigm of the US government to move from a need to know to a need to share strategy, I thought I would share a few interesting people whose information and conversation who might be interesting to listen in to.

Without trying to convince anyone of the power of public conversations happening on Twitter, I put together a list of people and organizations that might have helpful information for anyone interested in Web 2.0 in government:

@timoreilly: Tim O’Reilly is the found and CEO of O’Reilly Media, traditionally known for publishing IT-related books, is now a supporter of Government 2.0 and hosts conferences on the topic. Definitely worth following -> I learned a LOT!

@mcaffee: Andrew McAffee, a former professor at Harvard Business School, has coined the term Enterprise 2.0. Andy addresses corporate but also general Web 2.0 problems and is asking questions using the hashtag #andyasks -> add the tag to the new search function, so that you can revisit the information purring in every few days.

If you like tweets from space live from the repair team of the Hubble telescope, space astronaut Mike Massimino is tweeting his observations directly from the space shuttle: @Astro_Mike. NASA itself was one of the first twitter users within the US federal government: @NASA.

As the swine flu (H1N1) developed and the threat level has increased to a pandemic disease, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the US has adopted a comprehensive Web 2.0 approach to reach potential groups that are at risk at the virtual locations they might be frequenting the most. I posted a blog entry on this on my blog with an overview of tools used. On Twitter: @CDCemergency).

There are tons of government agencies present on Twitter and BearingPoint has put together a huge list that can be found here:

I have selected a few government agencies I am following and find helpful:
–    Department of State: Official Blog of the U.S. Department of State @dipnote
–    White House @whitehouse
–    US Army @USArmy
–    Tweet Congress: Aggregator of tweets from Members of Congress @tweetcongress
–    USA.gov – the one-stop shopping portal of the US Government: @usagov
–    Transportation Security Administration (TSA): @tsablogteam

In addition, the tweets of government-related IT publications and organizations might be helpful to learn about ongoing initiatives and news:
–    One Laptop Per Child @olpc
–    Govdigest @govdigest and DotGov @dotgov are compiling up to date information and are retweeting information from other accounts, spreading the word to their followers and multiplying the attention base.
–    UN Secretary general @secgen is using Twitter to as an online calendar, listing whom he is meeting with each day.
–    GovWik
–    Government Technology Magazine

As I am located in the US, this post and my list of favorite Web 2.0 people is very much US-centric. Please leave your suggestions for additional Twitter accounts in the comments!

Follow me on Twitter: @inesmergel

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About Ines Mergel

I am Full Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Konstanz, Germany. Previously, I served as Assistant and then Associate Professor (with tenure) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY. In my research, I focus on informal social networks in the public sector and the adoption and diffusion of digital service innovations in government organizations. I teach classes on social media management, digital government, public management, and social network analysis.

One thought on “Government 2.0 enthusiasts worth following on Twitter

  1. Thanks. That’s a really helpful list. I think we have a really great opportunity to have a citizenry that is more engaged than ever with elected officials, but the question is whether or not they will listen and act upon the engagement.

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