While attending the Government 2.0 “unconference”, I was struck by the number of people playing technology buzzword bingo instead of discussing real problems and solutions. This wasn’t surprising, since it’s easy to be drawn to the Cool New Thing™, which for government is social media.
However, all social media is not alike. Usually that label is used to denote user-contributed content and two-way conversations. It’s a reasonable working definition, but in practice social media is usually focused almost exclusively at the creation of what I’ll call “low fidelity” content. That includes tweets, posts, videos, wiki entries, etc.
Don’t get me wrong — these all have value to an organization trying to attract a larger audience. In fact, they’re a great way to get broad audience participation. But, that breadth comes at a price — the participation itself is shallow. BTW, feel free to substitute “constituency” or “customer” for “audience” if that makes more sense to you. (more…)