Tag Archives: newcomm

“I want a Twitter for All the Various Parts of the Government”

At least that’s what Chris Brogan said this week at the Society for New Communications Research NewComm Forum. I have to admit that I was a little scared about what he was to going to suggest next.

I had flown out to San Francisco to give a presentation on Government 2.0 at the same conference that Chris was presenting at, and he was one of the reasons that I was really excited about attending.  I’ve been to conferences where he’s spoken before and really like his informal, tell-it-how-it-is style.

So, when Chris began his presentation, I knew that I wanted to get his take on this whole Government 2.0 meme.  Here in the DC area, we’ve got a lot of “goverati,” carpetbaggers, yellow journalists as well as plenty of behind-the-scenes people who are actually making Government 2.0 happen.  It’s sometimes hard to get out of the echo chamber.  The reason I like conferences like the NewComm Forum is precisely because I’m usually one of the few Government 2.0 folks there.  I get an opportunity to meet and interact with some of the top minds in the broader social media world and get their perspectives on what’s working and what’s not in Government 2.0.

Video Set-up: I asked Chris for his thoughts on this whole concept of Government 2.0 and what he’d like to see it become.  His first response (that I wasn’t able to get on tape) was “why isn’t the IRS on Twitter helping me do my taxes?  I want to be able to go to @IRS and ask them questions about how to fill out their forms.”  He then finished his answer with the following:

What I find refreshing about Chris’ thoughts on Government 2.0 is that he concentrates not on the tools themselves, but on being helpful, on customer service.  He advocates for asynchronous communications and for engaging with the community when and where they are, rather than trying to get more comments or web traffic.

He realizes that Government 2.0 isn’t about the tools.  It isn’t about the Whitehouse getting on Twitter, it isn’t about the GSA making friends with YouTube, and it isn’t about barcamps.  These things are fantastic, all they are a means to the end.  What really matters is that people can now ask a question of the EPA at 11:00 at night and get a response back within an hour.  Or that people can now talk directly to their Congressman.  Or that local bloggers in other nations can now provide their readership with accurate information because they’re embedded directly with the Department of State’s traveling press corps.

So yeah, I agree with Chris that the government should always keep the end goal of being helpful to the public in mind.  If that means getting every Government agency department and agency tweeting, that’s ok by me, as long as they’re doing it to be helpful and not to check a box, or to market themselves, or to help someone leave behind some sort of legacy.

Use social media but remember why you’re using it.

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Join Me at This Year’s NewComm Forum 2009

NewComm Forum 2009

I haven’t done as much as I should to publicize this event, but PLEASE look into attending the 5th Annual New Communications Forum in San Francisco later this month on April 27th – 29th.  I’ll be giving a presentation that is based on the one that I gave at Government 2.0 Camp a few weeks back.  If that isn’t reason enough for you to attend, how about this – register now and use the discount code “SNCRFRIEND,” and you’ll save $100 off the registration fee and you can participate in the entire three-day conference for just $695.

Over these three days, you’ll hear from social media luminaries from across the country including an opening keynote conversation with Charles Best, founder, DonorsChoose.org, as well as speakers like:

The full program agenda is available at:

The NewComm Forum is a focused conference specifically designed to teach communications professionals the strategy and tactics to effectively utilize the power of social media and new communications tools and trends.  This year’s conference will also be co-located with the Inbound Marketing Summit.  For all you Government 2.0 folks reading this, this is a good opportunity to get out of the DC bubble of Government 2.0 and learn from what private industry has been doing for years in this space.  Just because they’re not in the public sector doesn’t mean you won’t learn a ton of useful strategies and tactics – spend a day talking with some of the people speaking at NewComm and I guarantee you’re head with be spinning with new ideas!

So, for $695, you get to go to San Francisco, hear from some of the top minds in social media, talk with them too (they’re nice people), have a few (or more) drinks at the View Lounge courtesy of dna13, and perhaps most importantly, network with other people who are interested in social media.

So what are you waiting for?  Join me in San Francisco in two weeks – I’d love to meet you while I’m out there!

UPDATE: Presentation is now available via SlideShare.

[slideshare id=1354425&doc=newcommforum09government2-0radick-090427190855-phpapp01]

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