I get asked from time to time for examples of how social media is being used in government, not just at DIUS but elsewhere. From mentions on Twitter or in blogs I follow, I can generally reel off two or three examples of X. But for a while I’ve wanted to have a more structured list of good examples of social media innovation by government – a bit like the Power of Information Review wiki does for online communities and mashups outside government.
So as a side project, I’ve knocked something together in the DIUS Sandbox.
digitalgovuk is primarily a Delicious.com tag. I’ve mentioned before why I think social bookmarking tools like Delicious are so useful. In this case, Delicious makes it possible to run a sort of collaborative database of URLs and browse and filter them as a set. Even better, it offers an RSS feed with up to 100 items for that tag, which you can do more or less interesting things with. I’ve added a slightly rough-and-ready Thumbshots site preview thumbnail to help illustrate the list a bit, along with Disqus-powered commenting and a UserVoice tab for feature suggestions and bug reports, plus one or two things to protect against spam tagging.
I’m hoping the tool will be able to help me (and potentially anyone) answer questions like:
- which UK Ministers, Permanent Secretaries or agency Chief Execs actually blog in an official capacity?
- how are government departments using Twitter?
- how widely used is WordPress in government?
- who’s got a YouTube channel?
- (and most excitingly) who has launched a new blog/Twitter account/wiki/something else recently?
The last point depends on the tool making the leap to become a truly ‘social’ list, and this is where your help is needed. If you know of a good use of social media by a government organisation with a public URL which isn’t on the list, please tag it in Delicious with ‘blog’ or ‘localauthority’ or whatever and add the special tag ‘digitalgovuk’. And if you’re involved in launching one yourself, tag it so that others subscribed to the RSS feed can hear about it.
If you have any feedback or suggestions, please let me know.