Archive for September, 2010

State CIOs

Just added a new page for State Chief Information/Technology Officers. This was a user request page – I would have never thought of even looking for this data, but thanks to some great advice from a few GovSM readers, we have a pretty valuable table.

As you can see, the majority of CIOs do not use social media. Those who do, however, are an excellent source for open government innovation and a transparent view into state government. Of course, if anyone in government is going to have the requisite background for understanding the importance of social media, you would think it would be the CIO. I’m sure there are states that have policies against usage, which would account for some of the non-use, but I have to imagine that most CIOs that do not use social media just do not understand its value.

Currently, there seems to be a Obama Administration policy prohibiting Federal CIOs from using social media. I have been told as much by a few people, but have been unable to confirm  – other than noting that I can’t find a single use of social media by a Federal CIO. If anyone knows of social media use by a Federal CIO, or knows of the exact ban on its use, please let me know.

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Agencies and .gov domains

I have added all the social media links for the Department of Agriculture to the Federal Agencies page. While researching the USDA, I discovered a .gov I had never heard of before – nutrition.gov. That site, coupled with yesterday’s launch of challenge.gov (I highly recommend taking a look) got me thinking about all the .gov sites out there and all the sites that most people don’t know exist. I started looking for a list of .gov sites, but met with no success. I posted the question on govloop, and the answer I got surprised me. Apparently, no such list exists, and the General Services Administration (which runs .gov) refuses to release a list publicly for security fears (!).

I’ll continue looking for a list (and asking the GSA to release theirs). However, if I can’t get a list, a new side project of GovSM will be to compile as exhaustive a list of .gov domains as possible. Would you be interested in such a list?

New articles posted

I added three new articles to the Studies page. A survey of state CIOs, an article about Twitter in Congress: Outreach vs. Transparency, and an article about the usage of twitter by police departments in the US, Canada and UK.

Keep the suggestions coming!

Scholarly articles

Added a new page today called Studies. I would like that page to be a depository of sorts for links to scholarly articles and white papers on the value of social media for business and for politicians and government in particular. This way government staff and officials will have a one stop shopping list of how and whys of social media and maybe even learn some “best practices”.

I have posted a few articles specific to politicians to begin with, but I’m sure there are more out there. Please add any articles you know of, even if it only pertains to business.

Senate Committees

A Senate Committee page has been added. Don’t get too excited, because it’s basically just a list of RSS feeds. For some unknown reason, Senate Committee staff have not figured out how to use social media, AT ALL. Other than Senator Lieberman’s active Homeland Security facebook page, the majority CST youtube page and the joint economic committee pages (I direct your attention to join as in equal House participation in the committee), there are no other forms of social media being used in Senate Committees. This is an epic failure of government not meeting basic gov 2.0 standards.

It would be one thing if social media was still in the up-and-coming stage, but it’s not. As we’ve seen, Senators and their office staffs have generally embraces facebook, twitter and youtube. It’s not like no one on the south end of the Hill has heard of social media.

It’s not a problem of “Committees” either. The House Committees have embraced social media exceptionally well, and for almost every House Committee page there is a minority committee page – something that is absent from their Senate counterparts. In this age of partisanship and new media, how can the minority HELP committee members not want to put out their own message on Healthcare and Education?

I am truly looking for an answer to this question. If someone can point me to a rule or tradition in the Senate the makes the committees public face bi-partisan when we all know it is not, PLEASE explain it me.

I set up GovSM to be a clearinghouse of who’s using what and eventually a site that can discuss best practices of social media use by government. The Senate Committees currently fall into “worst practices”.

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