Twenty Theses for Government 2.0, Cluetrain Style


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  • Hashtag for this session is #gov20clue
    Hashtag for the conference is #newcomm
    Who wants to use my Flip camera to film this session? I’ll post to my YouTube channel
    Hold up Cluetrain Manifesto book
  • I lead Booz Allen’s Government 2.0/social media practice
    Public relations/communications background NOT IT
  • Brand hi-jacking
    The debacle that occurred when went live – same thing is happening now. Only instead of domain names, it’s occurring with account names/URLs on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
    Ignoring social media because of its inherent risks means that you’re not able to spot emerging news, potential crises, or even good news that you want to promote
    The conversations are already happening and they’ll continue to happen with or without you.
    The government needs to go to where the conversations are taking place rather than trying to bring the conversation to them.
  • Everyone was all abuzz over who Obama was going to pick as his CIO and CTO. Yeah, that’s important, but what’s more important, what has driven Government 2.0 to where we are now are the webmasters, public affairs officers, interns, and yes, the CIOs too. Government is filled with the entrepreneurial, the ambitious, and the people who want to make a difference. Social media has given these people a voice.
    It’s about the person who has seen the potential of social media to make a change for the better and who has done something about it.  It’s about the guy who convinces his administrator to do a press conference on Twitter.  It’s about the group of people who self-organize a Government 2.0 Barcamp.  It’s about the IT specialist who starts an entire social network dedicated to Government 2.0 in his spare time.
  • The oldest editor of the Top Secret version of Intellipedia, the IC’s wiki, is 68 years old.
    Take a look at the people on Twitter talking about Government 2.0 – look at their ages. This isn’t something that can be generalized as a Gen-X thing – it’s not about the young or the old or the experienced and the newbies. It’s about people who see an opportunity to change things for the better. That’s the common thread, not how many birthdays people have celebrated.
    I’ve given presentations to groups of SES clients and to group so of college students. The number of people who have blogged, tweeted, or edited a wiki has been pretty much the same across both groups.
    Using Facebook to plan your next frat party is VERY different from implementing social networking behind an organizational firewall to improve communication and collaboration. Younger employees may pick up on these things a little more quickly, but understanding the business value of them is another story entirely.
  • Stop identifying tools to use
    Government agencies think social media is “cool” when it’s not about that
    Developing a blog just to parade it around to other agencies at conferences and say “we have a blog” doesn’t do anything.
    Great – you have a blog now. What does it do for you? What value does it provide?
    Look at the TSA’s Evolution of Security of Blog – the blog has allowed us to show that we’re human and not a bunch of soulless govbots. The blog has allowed us to become much more transparent and even those who would rather see TSA fail have commended us for allowing a forum for them to vent. We’ve got officers and leadership from airports around the world paying attention to the blog. It has to have some impact on the way we do business. There is even one case in Seattle where the Federal Security Director has his leadership discuss the blog at daily meetings.”
    The blog has even changed policies – the MacBook Air looks very different through an X-Ray machine than the typical computer. Because of the blog, TSA was able to discover the inconsistent management of how they were handled, and so they were able to elevate it up to TSA HQ.
  • Don’t tell me it’s too hard or that your boss doesn’t know YouTube from an iPod.  Those are excuses, not reasons.  If YouTube is blocked where you work, get it unblocked.  Write a white paper justifying why it shouldn’t be blocked.  Meet with your boss about it.  Meet with your boss’s boss about it.  Start a blog where you talk about it.  Volunteer to give a brown bag presentation to your office.  Just DO something!  Take the initiative and work on changing how your organization works - don’t just sit there sulking, saying, “I wish we could do social media here, but we can’t even get on Facebook so there’s no use.”  Bringing social media to your organization isn’t something that happens from 9-5.  It happens from 5-9, after everyone else has gone home.
    Macon Phillips at Government 2.0 Camp – “Just do it”
  • The Fed 100, the FCW Rising Star awards – winners are found at all levels of the government.
    Don’t punish or block everyone out of fear of one or two rogue employees.
    Risk aversion vs. risk mitigation
  • AT Government 2.0 Camp, the predominant message was “Mission, Tools, Metrics, Teach.”
    At the heart of everything has to be the mission. Is social media helping the agency/dept. accomplish their mission?
    Determine what you want to accomplish, find the tool that will help you do that, determine what success looks like, and then teach your stakeholders what you’re doing and why.
    Intellipedia is a wiki that was developed so that the people from across all 16 agencies in the Intel Community can share data and intelligence so that they can develop truly collaborative intelligence analysis. It wasn’t about the wiki – it was about needing a better way to share information after 9/11. A wiki happened to be the tool that would do that.
    Chlorine IEDs
    National Intelligence Estimates
    Breaking news
  • The Legal department and IT security departments should not be thought of as adversaries. They should be partners and as such, need to be brought into the fold eventually. Sure, you might be able to install a wiki for your little group, but to get organizational-wide adoption, you need to become partners with those whom you may consider your opposition.
    The Navy’s Office of the General Counsel established OGC Online, a social network behind the firewall that enabled them to share best practices in their jobs.
    Need quote from Carey from Navy here….
    Lisa Schlosser, former CIO at HUD realized that they were blocking YouTube and Facebook and other social media sites for no other reason than fear. She instructed HUD to unblock them.
  • Agencies, like the Air Force and the Military Health System, are starting to move toward a model of risk mitigation rather than risk avoidance.
    Quote from Faggard…..
    Airmen from across the Air Force, not just Public Affairs, are now able to communicate directly with the public. The Air Force provides guidelines and best practices for these airmen to use. Will mistakes be made? Absolutely. But, will those few mistakes outweigh the benefits of opening up communication?
  • Government 2.0 Camp was an unconference with more than three dozen sponsors from companies large and small
    More than 500 people – contractors and government included
    Panel presentations with people from Booz Allen, Deloitte, BearingPoint, and government were common
    Collaboration and information flow freely contractor to contractor and contractor to government
    One government Director and I had a convo where she told me that one large contractor came into their office and pitched their social media capabilities in a 50 slide PowerPoint deck. She said that a bunch of people from her office were active on Twitter, had their own blogs, etc. yet no one from this company had ever engaged with them. These “experts” weren’t on Twitter, weren’t blogging, etc. She was wondering just how clueless these guys were.
    Try just talking with the government. Be a human being. Why is so difficult for people, especially contractors, to just talk with someone and get to know them without some pre-text of trying to sell them on something all the time? Talk with them and get to know them as people. Offer them valuable content through your blog, your tweets, your conversations. When they have a need, who do you think they’re going to reach to – that company with a slick Government 2.0 Powerpoint or those people with whom they’ve been conversing with for a while now?
  • I love this one – guess what, most senior level people in the government are pretty damn smart. They want to be able communicate with their workforce, and they typically like to do that too.
    Two examples of this – we had one Director-level client who wanted to start a blog because they had been reading articles about the benefits of blogging, and their own internal blogs had been getting a lot of buzz. He asked my communications team to help figure out how he could do this. We went and inserted blogging into our communications plan, and drafted up a little one-pager type of thing with best practices and tips for blogging. However, one of the project managers saw this and just flipped out. He had us go back and create a huge PowerPoint deck with standard operating procedures, approval chains for comments, control gates for blog postings, etc. Because of this, we had to delay his first blog post by a week. In another unrelated meeting, he asked when he could do his first blog post and we explained that we weren’t ready yet because we were working on an SOP, etc. He gets visibly frustrated – “I just want to talk to my people – it shouldn’t be this hard. All I’m asking from you is some guidance on the best way to do that, not to create some deliverable!?” Later that day, he was drafting his first blog post.
    Lloyd Howell example – I’m not ghostwriting your blog for you…
  • This one was inspired by Gary Vaynerchuk. He says that “listening to your customers is a powerful thing, but actually giving a shit about them is AWESOME!”
    The same principles apply with the government. It used to be about getting all your information out there and giving the public an opportunity to read/download and then send an email or phone call with their feedback. Now, it’s about going where the public is – whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube and engaging with them. It’s the @comcastcares model of government – they’re going out and engaging with the public and as we saw earlier with the TSA and the Macbook air, changing policies and giving the public what they want.
    FEMA Administrator Paulison conducted a press conference on Twitter where he was actually responding to citizen concerns. Whether this was the best vehicle for this type of thing or not isn’t as important as the fact that he recognized that there were conversations happening about FEMA on Twitter and he not only wanted to listen, he wanted to participate.
  • There’s a whole other world of Government 2.0 that doesn’t get talked about nearly often enough.
    While all the press is about the government using YouTube and Twitter and Facebook, entire agencies and in some case, across agencies, are using wikis, blogs, podcasts, and other social media behind their firewall to transform their Intranets.
    Diplopedia is the State Dept.’s internal wiki
    Intelink is a full-scale, collaborate Intranet open to anyone with a .gov email address. Blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, customized homepages, Flickr-like application, YouTube-like application
  • Every SINGLE one of my clients has said something to the effect of “well, they might have been able to do that, but we’re a very a unique agency and that just won’t work here.” Just stop. Yes, we’re all very unique and special in our way – I get it. But stop using that as an excuse.
    EVERY agency and department has to deal with privacy, data security, culture issues, leadership support, lack of resources and a whole host of other challenges. Rest assured, these challenges have been identified and addressed in many different areas of the government.
    The Federal Government’s Social Media subcouncil made up of reps from across the government are dedicated to helping you through this.
    We’ve seen it all
  • Now, I couldn’t really put a picture on this one unless I wanted to really slam a colleague or client of mine so I decided to use myself.
    Essentially, one of the biggest barriers to social media in the government are the people who have lived off their years of experience, their titles, their certifications and degrees for so long that they’re terrified of what people may think about them. “Why would I use a wiki to post my materials – I’m the expert in X, Y, or Z and if I post my data, people will just steal it.” Or, “I don’t have to justify myself to anyone”
    Well, guess what, new “experts” are emerging every day and people don’t care how many acronyms come after their name or who they work for. How do you think I became the social media lead at my firm? I don’t have some fancy title after my name – all I have is my content – my blog posts, wiki entries, forum discussions, presentations, etc. All of it is freely available for anyone in my company to view. If they think that I know what I’m talking about, they’ll get in touch with me, if they think I’m full of it, then they’ll keep searching. This is happening all over the government, where people are using social media to personally brand themselves.
  • Lest we forget, remember that data security is a very real concern.
    This is a concern for all who are involved with social media, but takes on a whole new level of meaning within the government. Sure, if someone accidentally leaks information about the secret recipe for KFC’s chicken, that hurts their brand and their bottom line.
    But if the information on some of these social media platforms that the government is using is leaked, thousands of people could die. National security can be compromised. The stakes are much higher.
    Rep. Hoekstra tweeted his trip to Iraq and generated a whole host of concerns on the part of security professionals about what should and shouldn’t be shared. But to their credit, they treated this as a behavior issue, not as a technology issue. Social media isn’t the problem – the people’s usage of it is the problem.
  • For god’s sakes, with all of this Government 2.0 stuff, be humble and be willing to make admit when you’re wrong.
    White House was very open about the fact that they were trying out different video sharing applications, both free and paid. They were using YouTube, and then moved to another company’s solution, and were very open that they were just trying to find the best one to use. They realized that there trade-offs to using each one.
    As a government agency out there in the social media community, you have to be a human being. Admit when you mess up. Be authentic and build trust with your public.
    However, don’t back down from something you believe in. Stand up for a program, a tool, a policy change that you believe in.
    Vivek Kundra, Obama’s new CIO, created the Apps for Democracy program while he was serving as CIO for the District of Colombia. You think that developing and implementing a program where any Tom, Dick, or Harry was given access to official government data to create tools and applications to improve government was met with open arms? Of course not. He did, however, recognize it’s potential, it’s ability to save money and foster real innovation and he pressed forward with his idea. It’s now held up as one of the most progressive programs led by a local government and is inspiring similar programs across the country. You think this had anything to do with him getting his latest position?
  • You don’t have to take on social media in your organization alone. Even if your org is not doing anything with social media, there are dozens more that are. There are hundreds of people who have walked, or are walking, in your shoes. Go out and find them, talk to them, and learn from them.
    They’re all more than willing to talk with you and collaborate with you.
    One trait that’s consistent across 99% of people involved with the Government 2.0 movement – they’re doing it because they realize there’s real potential for social media to change how our government operates and that they’re leading the charge. They want to help.
    10,000 members of GovLoop
    The social media subcouncil
  • And finally, there are no rules to Government 2.0
    Get out there, get involved, and help define it.
    What would you re-name Govenrment 2.0? Any suggestions? Read Mark’s post on Mashable and add your comments there. Tag them with the #gov20clue hashtag.
  • Twenty Theses for Government 2.0, Cluetrain Style

    1. 1. + “Jump on the Government 2.0 Cluetrain or Get Hit by It” A Look at Government 2.0 from the Lens of the Cluetrain Manifesto Conversation Insight Action Results
    2. 2. + Who is this guy talking right now?  Steve Radick, Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton  Lead of Social Media/Government 2.0 Practice  Comment on my external blog – Social Media Strategery  Connect with me on LinkedIn  Find me on Twitter  Take a look at my photos  Watch my videos  See what I'm bookmarking  Connect with me on GovLoop  Watch me live at Qik
    3. 3. +The risks of doing social media are greatly outweighed by the risks of NOT doing social media. "Although some may dismiss the site as a simple prank or minor irritant, the fact is that the information presented was false and misleading and could lead to unwarranted concern by the public." - Police Chief Art Acevedo
    4. 4. +Social media is not driven by the position, the title, or the department, but by the person. I wanted an online home for people around government to connect and share ideas to improve government. And it wouldn’t matter if you were junior or senior, federal or state or local, in Alaska or D.C. So I spent a few months researching the technology and on Memorial Day 2008 I launched GovLoop to about 10 friends. Now we have over 8,400 friends on the site.” - GovLoop Founder, Steve Ressler
    5. 5. +Younger employees are not necessarily any more knowledgeable about social media than older employees.  Stop assuming they are. Facebook Users (Age 55+) 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 55+ Age NumberofUsers (inmillions) 2008 2009 Facebook Users 0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0 0-17 18-24 25-34 35-54 55+ Age NumberofUsers (inmillions) 2008 2009 276.4% Growth! 194.3% Growth!
    6. 6. +Social media is not about the technology but what the technology enables.
    7. 7. +Policies are not written in stone.  With justification, passion, and knowledge, policies and rules can and should be changed.
    8. 8. +Assume that your employees are good people who want to do the right thing and who take pride in their work.
    9. 9. +Government 2.0 is about accomplishing the mission, not about looking cool.
    10. 10. +The legal and IT security departments are not Government 2.0 villains; they can and should be your partners. Actively engage with them. OGC Online Lisa Schlosser, former chief information officer at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) "We realized our security tools are pretty good and our bandwidth is good, so why are we blocking it?" Schlosser says. "We opened it up. We will see how it goes and if there are problems or security concerns, we will relook at the decision."
    11. 11. +Mistakes can and will be made (a lot).  Stop creating safeguards to eliminate the possibility of mistakes and instead concentrate on how to deal with them when they are made.  
    12. 12. +Instead of marketing your social media capabilities, skills, experience, platforms, etc. to the government, why don’t you try talking with them?  
    13. 13. +Agency Secretaries and Department Heads are big boys and girls.  They should be able to have conversations with their workforce without having to jump through hoops to do so.  
    14. 14. +You can’t just listen to what the public has to say, you have to also care about it too.  
    15. 15. +Government 2.0 isn’t just about using YouTube, Facebook and Twitter – Government 2.0 exists behind the firewall as well.
    16. 16. +Your Government agency/organization/ group/branch/division is not unique. Your challenges, while unique to you, are not unique to the government.
    17. 17. +You will work with skeptics and other people who want to see social media fail because their weaknesses will be exposed. Steve Radick • Blog Posts • Wiki edits • Discussion Threads • Shared Documents Steve Radick • PhD • MBA • PMP • M.P.P.
    18. 18. +Information security is a very real and valid concern.  Do NOT take this lightly.
    19. 19. +Be humble. You don’t know everything so stop trying to pretend that you do.  It’s ok to be wrong.
    20. 20. +But, be confident.  Know what you know and don’t back down. You will be challenged by skeptics who do not care about or understand social media.  Do not let them discourage you.
    21. 21. +You are not alone.There are true social media champions throughout the government.  Find them.  Talk to them.  Learn from them.
    22. 22. +Government 2.0 is still being defined. Join the conversation. Help define it. Help provide the solutions.