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Better Connected 2010 looking into Local Councils Social Media Activities

It was certainly interesting to learn that the Better Connected report will also be reporting on local government social media usage in next year’s report!

By Liz Azyan , in Interviews , at November 10, 2009 Tags: , , , ,

The rise of social media… just rides the wave baby!

It was really interesting to attend yet another session about social media at a conference. However, this session at LocalGovCamp Lincoln seemed to bring in some interesting debates and honed into the real issues that UK local government is facing in terms of really embracing social media or making any sense for it in the public sector.

However, in all the commotion, I managed to catch up with Helen Williams who is a Socitm Insight Associate as well as a Better Connected Report Reviewer and ask her thoughts on social media in local government.

It was certainly interesting to learn that the Better Connected report will also be reporting on local government social media usage in next year’s report! This is really exciting news for local government from my point of view because as its important to see how we can better local government services online, isn’t it just as important to have a proper and ongoing evaluation of emerging trends and technologies that have an impact on our communities?

The “fair enough” debate

I think by now, I’ve heard it all and seen it all when it comes to the debate on whether or not to use social media in local government or public sector altogether. The truth is, there are some warriors amongst us who took the leap of faith and trusted their gut instincts and have reaped the rewards! And I feel they should be recognized for their efforts and most importantly in time on uncertainty for most councils to dive into social media, good practices are hard to come by.

So if we can start to share our experiences, wouldn’t that help to understand how it can fit into the bigger picture?

We gotta “Fight for this love”?

So it’s great that the Better Connected Report will outline these wins or losses and evaluate them to create a path for success in the future. How do we learn if not from our mistakes? It’s not how many times you fall, its how you get right back up and try again! :o) If you still don’t get social media, make sure to have a look at this, just a quick outlook on how it works…

So don’t think that we are ever suggesting that social media replace traditional media. It works side-by-side with traditional media and it is also here to stay. Just like the telephone or mail. It will evolve into voicemail, mobile phones, text messages, emails and etc.

Social media is….

Look at it like a microphone, magnifier or hearing aid, it allows you to speak louder, see closer/better and hear/listen better.

Make sense? Looking forward to your comments!

Hope this was useful!



  • It’s gratifying to see that next year’s Better Connected report will report on local government social media usage. Government bodies have been working online for over decade now and this technology is a logical and exciting progression that many councils have already embraced. This new generation of online services will allow local government agencies and their stakeholders to work together better by supporting multiple levels of engagement. They’ll become empowered to inform, consult and collaborate more effectively as part of their “duty to involve”. Ultimately the only way for these organisations to “get social media” is for them to start piloting an appropriate involvement system and to begin seeing the real world benefits in action.

    John Glover, Managing Director, Inovem