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Managing Social Media - in the Government Context

Government agencies are increasingly looking to leverage social media to improve the quality of government services and elicit greater citizen engagement. Developing a social media policy is an important first step for government agencies considering using social media and can ultimately serve as a key enabler for responsibly and effectively leveraging social media tools.

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Mapping the boundaries of social media use in government: organizational, professional and personal
The boundaries between interests and uses of social media appear relatively straightforward on paper, however, in practice, social media use by professionals in the workplace is often guided by different interests at difference times. This blurring of boundaries between interests and uses of social media by employees from organizational to professional to personal presents a set of challenges to government organizations, among others. As more and more government entities enter the world of social media, questions about employee access, acceptable use, employee conduct, and account management surface.

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Designing social media policy for government: Eight essential elements
Government agencies are increasingly looking to leverage social media to improve the quality of government services and elicit greater citizen engagement. Developing a social media policy can be an important first step for government agencies considering using social media and can ultimately serve as a key enabler for responsibly and effectively leveraging social media tools. Yet, many governments are struggling with what such a policy should encompass and convey. This report outlines the different reasons government employees engage in social media use and begins to answer the question, what are the core elements of a government social media policy? Our analysis identified eight essential elements for a social media policy: 1) employee access, 2) account management, 3) acceptable use, 4) employee conduct, 5) content, 6) security, 7) legal issues, and 8) citizen conduct. The report closes with brief guidance on strategies for getting started.

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Exploring Value in Social Media
In President Barack Obama’s first day in office he issued a memorandum to federal agencies calling for the development of an Open Government Directive that focused on increasing transparency, collaboration, and participation. The directive requires agencies to take actions to expand access to government information, improve the quality of government information, create a culture of open government, and evolve policy in this direction. The directive points to “the use of new technologies,” many of which are based on social media platforms, “to promote greater openness in government.” Most recently, the administration issued a memorandum further encouraging the use of social media by clarifying that the Paper Reduction Act of 1995 “does not apply to many uses of such media and technologies.”

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Making Smart IT Choices: Understanding Value and Risk in Government IT Investments
IT innovation is risky business in every organization. In the complex public sector environment, these risks are even greater. This handbook is designed to help any government manager evaluate IT innovations before deciding (with greater confidence) to make a significant investment.