The Problem With Government Social

Life, and death. 

Wanting to know more. To understand.

To share - make a connection.

These are the elemental fibers of social media. They are real, not a fantasy.

Government-generated content too often feels like an affront against what it's supposed to be.

It's like there is a party, and we broke into the party, going "hey, we're cool too."

I don't mind corporate social media as much, because they're explicitly selling.

But much government content, no matter how professional, often has a propagandistic feel, especially in the context of so much scandal.

Unless it's pure educational fact. Not self-serving. Beneficial to the people it reaches.

There are reasons why so much of government social media, and communication for that matter, looks the way it does. It's safe. It's marketing. But it's junk food - not healthy in the long term.

Every agency has its scandals and controversies. Good, informational use of social media could diffuse these. 

The government should not pretend to personify itself - to be a "friend."

It should provide content that answers questions and solves citizens' problems - the problems they collectively hire each agency to solve.

It's a philosophical difference, you see? One rooted in the original intent of social media. Which was to serve as the community well, the town hall, the gathering place. 

Meaningful, comprehensive information is not dry and boring. It's not a reputation risk to share. It's what people want from the government. Open data is really this.

Good social media - great social media - is not an option. It is our job.

* All opinions my own. Photo via Wikimedia.