Government 2.0: Some insights on how San Francisco is going Social


I spent some time chatting with Adriel Hampton about the ins
and outs of Social Media and Government 2.0.  Adriel is in a great
position to speak on the topic, being heavily involved from several
angles, as part of his work in the San Francisco’s Attorney’s Office,
in his past bid for a seat in the US Congress, and in his role
producing and hosting the Gov 2.0 Podcast series.  You can read more
about Adriel’s experience, if interested, by checking out his blog.

Government 2.0, in my opinion, is all about engagement and
transparency, providing citizens with a clear picture of what is
happening within their government and seeking to get citizens engaged
in co-creating, co-governing.  As I tweeted today, Engagement +
Transparency = Government 2.0. 

Adriel notes that he sees a lot of politicians, campaigns, and
agencies, using social media as a pure push technology,
delivering one-sided conversation.    Many people are starting out this
way, treating twitter, Facebook, and other social channels similar to
how they have always used e-mail, radio ads, TV.    When I asked who
was ”doing social well”, who is engaging and going above and beyond,
here is what Adriel said:

San Francisco is doing a great job of sharing data, pushing social
campaigns, working to get citizen engagement to ever higher levels.  In
fact, Adriel is providing training session focused on getting people
engaged on social channels.  This effort, which he calls Citizens 2.0
training, focuses first on those individuals that are already involved
with politics but not yet involved on the social front.  He works with
them to give them the training they need to bring this passion to the
broader social networks.  I am really interested in seeing how this
works out, especially if he is able to go a level deeper working with
the less politically involved.

So, how did the Attorney’s office get started?  First, Adriel had to
convince his bosses to go social, that there was value from doing so.  
They initially started out using social channels as an
additional broadcast tool, pushing out their press releases, blog posts
with details about what is going on in their offices.  Much like the
State of Washington is doing in their Department of Transportation,
they are working to get the story out, the full story, good or bad. 
They have done a really good job of building an online press room with
media kits for their big cases.  While the newspapers can typically
only write a small amount about any given case, they use they use their
presence to push out much more detailed information, enabling people to
get the full story.  This gives individuals, businesses, agencies, a
chance to be their own press.

Other things I like about their efforts:

  • On their twitter account they clearly identify all of the people involved with the account.
  • They typically initial responses so that you can see who has
    responded.  I have seen many more accounts following this practice,
    including @MassGovernor, @JetBlue, @MidwestAirLines, and others.
  • They are posting regularly.  As I have noted before, and others
    have as well, content is king.  Keep providing fresh information on a
    regular basis, otherwise people will not be there to listen.

Do you have questions for Adriel?  Feel free to leave him a comment.

John (aka The Social Anti-Guru)

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