Exploratory Social Media Project


Project started on Nov. 23, 2009 (Completed)

Over the last several years, the emergence of social media/networking has offered a possibility of transforming the way government agencies communicate and cooperate not only amongst themselves, but also with the public. While the potential benefits of social media use by government agencies are considerable, the number of issues connected with such use and the number of potential pitfalls are substantial as well.

The overall aim of this project is to provide government professionals with practical advice on policy and regulatory issues associated with the use of social media by government agencies, offer guidance on resolving some of the most pressing concerns identified, and offer suggestions on tools that would help agencies achieve their organizational objectives in respect to social media effectively and efficiently.

Scope of Work

The social media project is scheduled to be completed in September 2010. The project is currently divided into two phases:

Phase 1: July – October 20

The aim of the first project phase was to collect input from government professionals in New York state on the most pressing questions surrounding the use of social media in the public sector, and to determine on which of these issues should CTG concentrate its research efforts. The project consisted of the following three main activities:

  • An internal CTG discussion intended to collect ideas from CTG staff on potential project ideas.
  • An in-depth workshop with NYS government professionals concentrating on what are the benefits and the most pressing questions and issues in regards to social media use by New York state agencies.
  • A workshop at the New York State Local Government IT Directors’ Association conference with local government representatives aimed at ranking the benefits and issues and concerns identified at the state government workshop.

The first phase resulted in a workshop summary report that was shared with all workshop participants as well as the NYS Forum community.

Phase 2: November 2009 – September 2010

The primary aim of the second project phase is to provide practical advice on designing policies for social media use in government, as well as guidance on developing a strategy for social media adoption and implementation. There are three main components of work:

  1. Brief review of CTG business case materials and Smart IT as applicable to social media;
  2. Social media policy analysis;
  3. In-depth interviews with government professionals from federal, state and local levels concentrating on their agencies’ experiences with social media tools.

In addition to review and synthesis of available literature on the aforementioned topics, interviews with professionals from different levels of government will be conducted to provide practical examples of how government agencies manage social media use.

Final Products

Social media policy white paper and an issue brief series that will provide government professionals with a common basis for discussing strategies for social media implementation and practical advice on the different aspects of social media implementation that have to be taken into consideration when designing an agency social media strategy.

Social media training course – a training course aimed at government professionals who are charged with designing a strategy for social media implementation in their agency. For additional information about the course, please see the Training section

Press Releases & News Stories

Press Releases

CTG In the News

CTG Online News

Publications & Results


  • The New York State Forum
    Given the social media efforts currently underway at the NYS Forum, the Center for Technology in Government has established a collaborative partnership with the Forum. The Forum workgroups and their events will serve as a knowledge sharing and data collection venue for the project.