Category Archives: Social Media Registry

New book published: “Social Media in the Public Sector”

I am excited to announce the release of my first sole-authored book: “Social media in the public sector“. It will be officially introduced to the public at the annual NASPAA conference in Austin, TX, on October 18, 2012.

The book is based on my research that started about three years ago. My initial interest started with the success of  Obama’s Internet strategy to reach audiences via social media who are unlikely to interact with politicians or government in general. As the open government initiative developed in the U.S. federal government, I started to interview public managers to understand how they are (re)organizing their standard operating procedures to use social media for regular governing operations in support of the mission of their organizations. The book provides insights into the strategic, managerial, and administrative aspects of social media adoption in the public sector.

The publisher’s book page includes resources for professors who would like to use the book in their e-government classes, including week-by-week Powerpoint slides and an article published in the Journal of Public Affairs Education that outlines my teaching approach and learning experiences.

The book went through a thorough double-blind peer-review process and I would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their invaluable feedback.

Next month an accompanying field guide will be released.

Here is a link to the instructor resources on Jossey-Bass/Wiley’s website.

Blurb:

In today’s networked world, the public sector is tapping into new media applications to increase government organizations’ participation, transparency and collaboration. The book contains a review of the current state of the public administration literature and shows how Government 2.0 activities can potentially challenge or change the existing paradigms. It includes an overview of each of the tools used to increase participation, transparency and collaboration. The book also highlights case examples at the local, state, federal and international levels. The author offers recommendations for the implementation processes at the end of each chapter and includes suggested readings and references.

Endorsements

Comprehensive and compelling, Social Media in the Public Sector makes the case that to achieve Government 2.0, agencies must first adopt Web 2.0 social technologies. Ines Mergel explains both how and why in this contemporary study of traditional institutions adopting and adapting to new technologies.
Beth Simone Noveck, United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer (2009-2011)

Ines Mergel moves beyond the hype with detailed, comprehensive research on social media technologies, use, management and policies in government. This book should be required reading for researchers and public managers alike.
Jane Fountain, Professor and Director, National Center for Digital Government, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Professor Mergel has produced a foundational work that combines the best kind of scholarship with shoe-leather reporting and anthropology that highlights the debates that government agencies are struggling to resolve and the fruits of their efforts as they embrace the social media revolution. Social Media in the Public Sector is a first and sets a high standard against which subsequent analysis will be measured.
Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

Dr. Mergel is an award-winning author who again wields her story skills in this book. She excels in explaining in concrete, practical terms how government managers can use social media to serve the public. Her book puts years of research into one handy guide. It’s practical. It’s readable. And it’s an essential read.
John M. Kamensky, Senior Fellow, IBM Center for The Business of Government

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A Manager’s Guide to Designing a Social Media Strategy – IBM Center for the Business of Government

IBM’s Center for the Business of Government has just released a special report titled “A Manager’s Guide to Designing a Social Media Strategy“. The report is based on my research and ongoing conversations with social media directors in the U.S. federal government.

From the report:

The 2009 White House Open Government Directive requires all federal government agencies in the U.S. federal government to “open new forms of communication between government and the people.” In response, agencies quickly adopted a wide range of social media platforms, such as blogs, wikis, webcasts, and social networking sites that have become popular channels to increase participation, transparency and collaboration of government agencies with the public. However, there were few government-wide standards. In June 2011 the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) therefore released a report urging federal agencies to set up policies and procedures for managing and protecting information they access and disseminate on social media platforms (GAO-11-605).

Social media encourages widespread spontaneous use and the platform providers frequently change the technological features. Government agencies therefore need to develop clear guidelines so that social media administrators, lawyers, public affairs officials, etc. are all on the same page to avoid violations of and compliance with existing laws and regulations.

This Manager’s Guide is designed to provide a quick overview of issues agency managers need to address as they engage in the social media world. It is organized into three parts. The first part outlines the main components of a social media strategy. The questions posed in this section can be used to help design an organization’s social media strategy. The second part presents tactics that government organizations can use so that social media can help fulfill the mission of their organization. The final part presents support available from the General Services Administration (GSA) to assist agencies in their social media activities.

GSA’s Social Media Registry is live!

GSA has launched a new tool called the Social Media Registry. Users in the federal government can submit their official social media accounts and officially register them with GSA. Users that are trying to understand whether a social media account is actually an official account owned by a federal government agency, can submit the URL to the account and receive instant verification.

This will increase trust both in reusing content (for example retweeting or sharing links), but also increases transparency and confidence in the use of social media by government.

Disclaimer: My research assistant Lindsey Tepe and I have helped during the last few month to detect accounts, code them by a set of categories that will help government understand for what kind of content and interactions the social media accounts are used.

As of April 2012, a total of 699 organizational units (including initiatives, teams, and individual senior officials’ accounts) have created 2,956 Facebook accounts, 1,016 Twitter accounts, 695 YouTube channels, and 498 Flickr accounts: