My Top 10 Picks from the New "Cluetrain Manifesto" for Gov 2.0

Writing for the Social Computing Journal, Steve Radick, offers "Twenty Theses for Government 2.0, Cluetrain Style"

Here are my favorites:

1. Every agency can use social media - no exception."Your Government agency/organization/group/branch/division is not unique. You do not work in a place that just can't just use social media because your data is too sensitive. You do not work in an environment where social media will never work. Your challenges, while unique to you, are not unique to the government."

2. Expect to confront skeptics, careerists, and other difficult people."You will work with skeptics and other people who want to see social media fail because the transparency and authenticity will expose their weaknesses (and) you will work with people who want to get involved with social media for all the wrong reasons...These people will be more dangerous to your efforts than the biggest skeptic."

3. Look inside the organization for expertise first."Before going out and hiring any social media "consultants," assume that there is already someone within your organization who is actively using social media and who is very passionate about it. Find them, use them, engage them."

4. Expect to make mistakes and shift the focus toward managing them. "Stop trying to create safeguards to eliminate the possibility of mistakes and instead concentrate on how to deal with them when they are made."

5. Stop glossing over concerns about information security. "Information security is a very real and valid concern. Do NOT take this lightly."

6. Fight the impulse to be territorial about it or to make it "somebody else's problem.""Stop trying to pidgeon-hole (social media) into one team or department."

7. Don't let social media policy be framed by those who would put employees down. "Today's employees will probably spend five minutes during the workday talking to their friends on Facebook or watching the latest YouTube video. Today's employees will also probably spend an hour at 10:00 at night answering emails or responding to a work-related blog post. Assume that your employees are good people who want to do the right thing and who take pride in their work."

8. Give people the tools to communicate, then get out of the way."Agency Secretaries and Department Heads are big boys and girls. They should be able to have direct conversations with their workforce without having to jump through hoops to do so."

9. Don't fall into groupthink when it comes to social media - encourage productive debate. "It's ok to have debates, arguments, and disagreements about the best way to go about achieving "Government 2.0." Diverse perspectives, opinions, and beliefs should be embraced and talked about openly."

10. Don't think that simply tolerating negative feedback is enough."It's not enough to just allow negative feedback on your blog or website, you also have to do something about it. This might mean engaging in a conversation about why person X feels this way or (gasp!) making a change to an outdated policy. Don't just listen to what the public has to say, you have to also care about it too."


Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, and, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.