It’s not your children’s Facebook anymore
Digital IQ study underscores the role social networking plays in policy-making and public engagement
- By Paul McCloskey
- Jan 20, 2011
Among public-sector organizations, the use of social media is moving out of its formative stage as a platform for simple publicity and promotion and well into an era of usefulness as a tool of policy-making and public engagement. This is not your teenager’s Twitter or Facebook anymore, suggests Scott Galloway and Doug Guthrie in a study of the Digital IQ of the public sector.
Primary examples of the arrival of social media cited in the report was their finding that more than 80 percent of Senate candidates and 75 percent of House candidates who won in last fall’s midterm elections had more Facebook “likes” than their challengers.
Perhaps the most striking evidence of the power of social media in public organizations was the State Department’s request that Twitter delay taking down its site for maintenance during the 2010 Iranian elections. Or maybe it was the millions of dollars raised by the Red Cross via its Text2Haiti earthquake relief effort.
In either case, the study provides ample evidence that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and media like it have arrived as powerful tools of government policymaking.
Paul McCloskey is senior editor of GCN. A former editor-in-chief of both GCN and FCW, McCloskey was part of Federal Computer Week's founding editorial staff.