Posted by: peterhact | September 19, 2011

The recent Local government event on twitter

This is a comment that i posted on a local forum, but i felt it needed greater exposure. There seems to be a growing number of people who categorise social media as a fad, and many others who embrace it.

The forum that this comment was originally posted on uses twitter to cast a wide net, via feeds, but here they were, damning the very tool that they use. I found it to be a tad hypocritical, considering that their membership would be limited to local readers if they had no social media access to “spread the word”.

The comment was placed against an article about a local government using twitter to engage with their constituents. It was only the second attempt, and, as a new concept, was having some varied levels of success. Some people liked the idea, others thought it was a waste of time, but all agreed that it was a step in the right direction….

“Twitter can be utilised in these sorts of discussions with the simple addition of a hashtag search, saved as a column or screen via a free app / product. I use Tweetdeck specifically to seperate the comments out as a part of a “conversation”. I also have participated in TweeterView Interviews where the tweeterview application drives the tag and collates the information.

Twitter isn’t for everyone, nor is facebook, linkedin or Google Plus. Bagging out the users of these mediums as you aren’t interested in using them is like saying all people who drive a car or ride a bike are morons. they aren’t, and it is an incredible generalisation.

There are people in the Social media environments who are interested in what was had for dinner, breakfast or what you are wearing, but they make up more of the social side of social media. It is an unfortunate term, as some of us engage with clients, gain feedback, sort out problems, set up meetings, and generally use social media environments as yet another way to interact with our existing or potential clients.

Several members of the forum community are on twitter, some are old users since left the forum, others are in both mediums. It is another communication system, it doesn’t replace forums, it complements them.

Marketing people use Social Media. Sales people use social media. Advertising, developers, everyone can use social media, it is a case of whether it is an effective use or not.

With respect to the event, it is a case of how the “conversations” are captured, and whether the ministers actually responded to the questions personally later on for clarification. During the first event, I received follow up messages from the ministers who initially answered my questions, just to ensure that I received the information I had been seeking. The first event was run during the day, not after hours. This may have been the reason for the calibre of questions and their responses.”

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