@Stephen – I hear all of what you are saying and more. But when it comes down to it, the use of social media based tools are less likely to be used for service delivery than they are for targeted communications.
If we are to view these tools for what they are (which is nothing more than new communications tactics) then they should be planned for and used as such, which means they need to be managed by qualified communicators who have the capability to deliver concise, timely and structured messages.
In this instance ITSC provide access to the channels, not the solution. My quote on this subject is always: “Media outlets dont let their printers dictate what the news will be and when it is delivered”. (ref: unknown spokesman)
@Mike – again it comes down to the strategic use of the most appropriate channel. If it involves confidential data, then of course the use of localised services is a prefered message delivery strategy. But not all government information to be distributed is confidential or requires confidential interaction.
@ Mike Nelson – It is reliant on the models and strategies used to communicate – each of these channels are just another tactic and in a professional sense, and in a governance sense, there is no justification for AU Government not to distribute key messages on overseas servers. For example, NSW police use twitter to distribute information to their target audiences and conduct the actual dialogue using traditional methods. Outright thinking of US Vs THEM will greatly the limit the opportunities of this media and reduces the capacity to work collaboratively. Strategic use of any communication channel to better support the AU public should not be overlooked.
See thoughts on cultral change blurb at start of document. (Maybe I should have posted it down here!!)
The Government 2.0 lead agency to establish an online forum on which agencies can record their initiatives, lessons learned, source and share documentation and enable networking amongst online focused Government employees.
Overarching thought of cultural change:
Although the report addresses a number of issues and provides some great recommendations for moving forward. Government however is still facing the major challenge of managing a fast moving environment, such is 2.0 communication, with an executive which is risk adverse and a bureaucracy entrenched in process rather than achieving results.
Which is great for the old school delivery of services, but hinders an ability to shift with client needs and requirements. As government client demographics change, a more technologically sophisticated public moves in and has an expectation of services which mirror the services of private industry.
In order to create, engage and enhance government relationships with ANY of its publics Government has an obligation to strategically plan for and deliver communications which are targeted and provide accurate information when and where our publics want it.
It’s all about the data:
To achieve this, as any private agency who is currently managing social media or 2.0 intiatives will tell you, access to up to date and consistent data channels is required. Currently individual government agencies often have their hands tied accessing current data sets or client profiles due internal processes for managing research needs. Often by the time business cases are completed and research proposals are written, the data may be out of date or no longer suited to a particular solution.
To improve this, an open channel or better access to profiles of interest groups in Australia (sourced through the ABS maybe?) may increase an agencies capability to deliver strategically placed and timely communications.
Completely agree with Simon, also in some cases state governments are leaps and bounds ahead of federal in the 2.0 sphere. The experience alone could be of great benefit to federal government iniatives, let alone the ability to partner up based on subject matter.
While it is important for IT resources to be involved in the planningand maintenance of 2.0 technologies, at the core of these applicationsis communication. For this reason it may beneficial to emphasize theimportance of the role strategic communications units have in drivingthe use, managing and ownership of these new channels as they arise.Most importantly ownership, if agencies are to these tools to improvehow we better serve the Australian public, they need to be empowered todevelop and implement strategic communications strategies and not behindered by antiquated IT approaches taken by a number of ITSC units ingovernment. It may also be beneficial for communications units to do more thanworkshop grey issues but to run test cases around those issues anddevelop plans for monitoring worst case scenarios. 2.0 technologiesallow information to spread like wild fire and without a solidunderstanding of how monitor issues which arise in this new arena, theywill neither be accountable for the spread of information nor thecorrection of misinformation.