Monday, June 30, 2008

Social media initiatives at my agency - what is your agency doing?

Part of my interest in social media at the moment is related to how I'm encouraging its use within our agency.

I'm very interested in hearing about what other agencies are doing.

At work we have a team rolling out a community of practice using a wiki-based system, with an extranet to follow. I hope to replicate this for other areas of the business that could benefit from such a system.

We have a rating/comment system being implemented into our intranet to further help content authors and the intranet management team (part of my team) understand where our content requires significant improvement to meet staff needs. It's not quite social media, but it's a step towards it.

After our major 1 July deadline we will be documenting a strategy and approach for internal blogs and forums, with the support of our Internal Communications team - then hopefully introducing the enabling tools with ICT's assistance.

We are also preparing to engage more actively in public online discussions around our agency and its services, in a measured and structured manner. Around this I'm looking seriously at whether we should introduce online participation principles, as has occurred in the UK.

We have initial plans, with some buy-in from our Media group, to trial the enhancement of our media releases to make it easier to get them into Digg and Reddit, and potentially deliver them via Twitter or similar tools.

Finally I'm encouraging the members of my team (currently spread across several states) to make use of appropriate tools to aid contact and collaboration. Phone and email work reasonably well for us, however I want to explore how we can further improve engagement in a less interruptive way. Over time I'd love to extend this to other areas as appropriate - I'm already aware of more than 60 Facebook and Linkedin users in the agency, so the grassroots growth is already occurring.

If your agency has any social media initiatives underway that others could learn from, please let me know


  1. At the State Library of WA there is our blog, the YPS (young person services) blog, our reference bookmarks on magnolia and even a facebook app to search our catalogue. As well as a few password protected wikis for special projects.

    Compared to other Government Agencies in WA we are unfortunately well ahead of the pack.

  2. Hi Nick,

    I'm impressed - particularly with your Facebook app - can you share any details on how the Library created this, whether it was a grassroots approach or supported at the top?



  3. Craig, the request can from the top.

    A number of our staff including managers and senior management use facebook (as well as other social networking services)

    An Australian University created a facebook app to search their catalogue. Our staff found out about it and the CEO asked if we could do one, seeing we used the same cataloging software.

    So I did, it is far from perfect (it needs quite a bit of cleaning up) but it works and it only took a few hours.