I’ve been doing some work recently here in the Isle of Man exploring a number of different options around pushing Government content through Social media channels. The reasons behind this are two-fold, primarily to distribute content from Government onto channels which other people are watching, and secondly to embrace and encourage other content being produced by talented individuals concerning the Isle of Man.
Distributing Government content on other channels
My friend Sherrilynne has an interesting analogy when looking at Social Media channels. She compares social websites to a dinner party where people may or may not be talking about you and always poses the question as to whether you want to participate in this conversation. To drive the analogy further, I compare someone publishing content to announcing that you’re going to be engaged. Sure you can do this in the comfort and privacy of your own home; but no one is going to find out about it. If instead you announce it at a dinner party, then you’re generating immediate buzz around the announcement and generating a wave of conversation that can spread around your community.
Embracing other people’s content
The secondary reason for looking to these channels is an awareness of other people creating content about the Isle of Man and wanting to enforce and even encourage that sort of content creation. As with all brands/topics people are going to create both positive and negative content in any space they have; but taking an active part in those conversations gives us the choice as to what we want to discourage or discourage, what we want to lend credence to and what perception we would like to reinforce.
It’s quite an interesting challenge but really only the first steps in a journey. Where I would like to see this heading is adoption of digital engagement channels that isn’t “owned” by the technology department, but by the different parts of Government. At the end of the day, the future of the country should be shaped by the individuals who live here; and improving communication between different parties around the country will lead to better place for everyone.
As with any change, there are going to be challenges along the way. I came across an interesting quote on Seth Godin’s Tribes this morning:
Fear of change is built into most organisms, because change is the first sign of risk
I thought this was quite poignant and explains why so many people are averse to change. But as long as we’re aware of the impact of the change on what we’re doing and believe it’s for the greater good, then we need to be brave and take the necessary steps.
In the meantime, check out the Isle of Man Government’s YouTube channel, the Isle of Man Government’s Twitter channel and the Isle of Man Government’s Flickr channel. The YouTube channels is the most interesting at this stage because it’s the one I’ve spent most time on; and it’s indicative of where these conversations could be heading.