I’ve always been intrigued by how Government would adopt social media.
Having worked as a Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Navy, I’m privy to the heavy bureaucratic constraints that often make it seem darn near impossible to push projects along and meet deadlines. Our communications process and structure in the Navy was very defined.
Working for a mid-size communications firm, it’s incredible to compare the two scenarios in terms of how fast and fluid I can now make things happen. I have high hopes for how Obama will help shape and influence Government’s adoption of the social Web. He did an amazing job during his campaign and continues to find ways to churn up old school presidential communication models. I’m also realistic…after all, there’s just a few things going on in our nation and the world at the moment.
That being said, there are already impressive steps being taken by parts of Government to adopt social media and I’ll be very curious to look back at the end of Obama’s administration to see how things have evolved. Mark Drapeau did a brilliant post last week on Government 2.0 identifying social media’s potential role in transforming government communication processes. Mark introduces the interesting idea of I3 (indirect, intimate influence) as a model for Government to embrace individual supporters as brand ambassadors throughout the Web.
As for now, all signs point up. As David Meerman Scott notes in his post, the U.S. Air Force is actively embracing Twitter and has been earning a good deal of cred across the Web for creating this blog assessment flowchart. The U.S. Navy and U.S. Army seem a bit more reserved but are at least researching and figuring out the best way to take next steps to embrace the dynamic Web.
It also looks like there are a host of politicians hopping on Twitter, recognizing the value of connecting with their constituents in a more accessible format. I’m sure the degree to which these politicians or their staff tweeters are effectively utilizing the site varies across the board, but it’s progress.
What’s your take? Do you have suggestions to help government adopt and embrace the social Web?