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Better Connected 2010 looking into Local Councils Social Media Activities

The rise of social media… just ride 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 evaluations on 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 all together. The truth is, there are some warriors amongst us who took the leap of faith and trusted their gutt instincts and have reaped the rewards! And I feel they should be recognized for their efforts and most importantly in a 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”??? hehe ;o)

So its 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? Its 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 to 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 message, 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!

Liz xxx

About Liz Azyan

Liz is a CREATIVE digital professional dedicated to helping individuals, governments and businesses realize their digital goals. She offers digital consultancy services on her website Liz is also a Google Fellowship Recipient (individuals selected based on their work and initiative in the arenas of technology, politics and social entrepreneurship), an invited expert panel on the Guardian’s Public Leader Network and has spoken at many public events and conferences on the subject of digital engagement.