Question Five: Government and Social Media

Question Five: Government and Social media in modern workplace

  • What are the drivers and inhibitors of social media implementation and adoption in government?
  • What are the similarities and differences of government versus private sector social media implementation and adoption?


“It’s going to be interesting to watch presidential elections in around 2040, when voters can dig up candidates’ teenage angst pics and posts from old social media and discussion forum archives,”. – Mikko Hypponen

This week is about the government and social media, how the government is now using social media as part of campaigns and connecting with the world. As we all know that the most powerful president in the world is on social media, when he joined social media the tables turned. Most people believe that President Barack Obama won his presidential campaign through the use of social media. President Obama’s ever present campaign slogan was, “Change we can believe in”. His campaign spread all over the world with more than 5 million supporters on 15 different social media networks.

In New Zealand most Members of Parliament have been using Facebook since November 2007 with 92 out of 121 Members of Parliament using it which is approximately 76% of MPs. This is also when most of the Green Party Members of Parliament were reported to have real Facebook accounts. Social media is believed to have influenced the 2008 general elections campaign and as the use of social media increases it is more likely to impact election campaigns in the future. Unlike the government who are very active on social media private sectors use flyers, posters and the use of word of mouth as they are not very good at using social media due to lack of resources, the lack of insight into customer inquiries and issues via social media and lacking efficiency means of communicating with the public.


Open Government Maturity Model

The U.S government proposed an Open Government Maturity Model based on field studies with U.S federal healthcare administration agencies,  the model was developed to assess and guide open government initiatives which focuses on transparent, interactive, participatory, collaborative public engagement that are largely enabled by emerging technologies such as social media. The Maturity Model identifies focuses, core capabilities, processes, outcomes, and metrics for each maturity level.Government agencies should address challenges associated with implementation, leadership, governance, and culture.Government agencies need to focus on achieving one maturity level at a time.

The model has five maturity levels :

  • Initial conditions – Information broadcasting
  • Data transparency –  Transparency in governement processes and perfomance and data quality
  • Open participation – Conversation, public feedback, interactive, voting, ideation, crowd sourcing
  • Open collaboration – Open collaboration with the public, co creating value added services, interagency collaboration
  • Ubiquitous engagement – Increased transparency, participation, collaboration, continuous public engagement, integrated public engagement


Open Government Maturity Model source: Government Information Quarterly from science direct.com

This model shows that s government agencies move to a higher maturity level, the public is more engaged and thus greater public value of open government is realized. On the other hand, a higher maturity level faces increased technical and managerial complexity and greater challenges and risks.


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