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The Double Edge Sword of the Social Network

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Those implementing social media in local government agencies face a different set of challenges than private sector implementers. From agency culture to policy to terms of use agreements, the issues need to be identified and managed for successfully implementing these networks.

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The Double Edge Sword of the Social Network

  1. 1. The Double Edge Sword of the Social NetworkCarol A SpencerDigital & Social Media Manager NJ GMISCounty of Morris, NJ April 25, 2012
  2. 2. We’re social.We’re mobile.We network.
  3. 3. The World has Changed
  4. 4. Social & Mobile are the Norm Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Microblog Network Network Flickr YouTube Pinterest Still Photos Video Online Pinboard Google Vimeo Foursquare Email, Apps Video Location app Scribd RSS Feed WordPress Documents Subscription Blog SlideShare Skype Blogger Presentations Phone, chat Blog
  5. 5. General Challenges• Going where no man has gone before.• The speed of government.• Too much noise. Too many products.• Bleeding edge: Is anyone using it?• Legal hurdles – Terms of Service Agreements – Credit Cards / Purchasing – Policies: • What others can say on your sites • What you can say and how to say it on your own sites • What your representatives can / should say on other sites – Copyright Infringement• Employees – Regulating workplace use – Job descriptions – extra pay? – Training: tools, terms, tone – Regulating outside use / first amendment
  6. 6. Organization Challenges 1 • Budget Cycle and Lack of Resources • Changing Organizational Culture • Ensuring the Quality of Data • Increasing Public Interest and Engagement • Balancing Autonomy and Control • Accountability and Responsibility1 An Open Government Implementation Model: Moving to Increased Public Engagement Gwanhoo Lee, Associate Professor, Kogod School of Business, The American University Young Hoon Kwak, Associate Professor, School of Business, The George Washington University IBM Center for The Business of Government (BusinessofGovernment.org); 2011
  7. 7. Budget Cycle and Lack of Resources• Mobile technologies develop very quickly• Procurement process is too long – From the time a solution is identified, to budget, to approval, to implementation: could be 18 months.• Bid process• Vendor understanding of government procurement• Credit card requirement
  8. 8. Changing Organizational Culture• Command and control environment• Hierarchical, top down, organization• Decision paths; Decision times• Information silos• The sum of the parts• Management use (or lack thereof)
  9. 9. Ensuring the Quality of Data• Social media is about trust• Data must be accurate, timely• Data must add value, be useful• Data must not be confidential; must be sharable• Data must be consistent across multiple channels• Processes must exist to identify sharable data, collection and publication responsible parties
  10. 10. Increasing Public Interest and Engagement• Social media is about trust• Data must be accurate, timely• Data must add value, be useful• Data must not be confidential; must be sharable• Data must be consistent across multiple channels• Processes must exist to identify sharable data, collection and publication responsible parties
  11. 11. Balancing Autonomy and Control• It doesn’t have to be the wild west• Play nice in the sandbox• Enforce your commenting policies, politely• Monitor, monitor, monitor• Be human, admit mistakes• Explain things in plain English, not government speak
  12. 12. Accountability and Responsibility• With open public comment and multiple employees speaking on behalf of an agency, guidelines are important. – Messaging needs to be consistent – Tone needs to be consistent – Coordination of responses is a must – Consistency in the applicability of policy is a must
  13. 13. Technology Challenges 1 • Improving IT Infrastructure • Enhancing Privacy and Information Security • Integrating Tools and Applications • Updating Policies and Rules1 An Open Government Implementation Model: Moving to Increased Public Engagement Gwanhoo Lee, Associate Professor, Kogod School of Business, The American University Young Hoon Kwak, Associate Professor, School of Business, The George Washington University IBM Center for The Business of Government (BusinessofGovernment.org); 2011
  14. 14. Improving IT InfrastructureEnhancing Privacy and Information Security• Social media bandwidth issues: video hosting?• 24 X 7 expectation• Emergency preparation: bandwidth, demand• Security issues with employee access – Hacking, Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, malware, spyware• Privacy issues – HIPPA, emails, OPRA, FOIA
  15. 15. Integrating Tools and Applications• Initial cost of training and tool acquisition• Subsequent tool acquisition – Does is work with what we already have? – Will it work with future tools? – Will the company be in business in 5 years? 2 years?• Mobile versions – Can we integrate existing data streams into a mobile presence?
  16. 16. Updating Policies and Rules• Inconsistency of application Terms of Use with government requirements – Liability issues – Subject to the laws of other states• Contractual or procurement laws• Review for consistency and compliance with court hearings, legislative changes, and Federal requirements.
  17. 17. How do you get started? Before beginning, plan carefully. Cicero C 106-43 BC Great Roman Orator Politician To be prepared is half the victory. Miguel De Cervantes 1547-1616 Spanish Novelist Dramatist Poet By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790 American Scientist Publisher Diplomat
  18. 18. Develop, Draw & Write a Plan• Discuss & Decide – Where the information will originate – Who may speak for your agency – Which applications you will use – Who will be responsible for the applications – What will be the process, the flow – What your policies will include – Employee use; Content; Commenting – How social media will be marketed – How you will engage visitors
  19. 19. Is it worth the work?
  20. 20. Hurricane Irene: 1 weekWebsites Irene Typical•Homepage views 75,155 26,000Blogger•OEM & MorrisCountyNJ 36,991 2,400Facebook post views•MorrisCountyNJ 49,610 5,500•MCUrgent 99,005 400Twitter message views*•MorrisCountyNJ 169,292 18,000•MCUrgent 20,448 0TOTAL VIEWS 450,337 52,300 *Does not include Twitter ‘fast follow’ text messages to cell phones
  21. 21. The Public’s Opinion
  22. 22. Contact Information Morris County NJ Website MorrisCountyNJ.gov Twitter Twitter.com/MorrisCountyNJ Facebook Facebook.com/MorrisCountyNJ YouTube YouTube.com/MorrisCountyNJ Flickr Flickr.com/MorrisCountyNJ Email CSpencer@co.Morris.NJ.US National Association of Government Webmasters Website NAGW.org Twitter Twitter.com/NAGW Facebook Facebook.com/NAGW.org GovLoop Govloop.com/group/NAGW Email Treasurer@NAGW.org
  23. 23. Employee Use of Social NetworksSocial Media Policy of Victoria, Australia, Department of Justicehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws3Bd3QINsk
  24. 24. Guidance from NLRB Reports• National Labor Relations Board report August 18, 2011: http://mynlrb.nlrb.gov/link/document.aspx/09031d458056e743• Policies should not be too broad• Specific examples of prohibited behavior should be included• Employee rights must be protected• Terms like “appropriate” and “professional” must be defined• Mere complaints are not typically protected• Protected speech includes wages, working conditions (Section 7 rights)
  25. 25. Guidance from NLRB Reports• NLRB report January 25, 2012 Summarizes 14 cases http://mynlrb.nlrb.gov/link/document.aspx/09031d45807d6567 http://www.nlrb.gov/news/acting-general-counsel-issues-second-social-media-• Reiterated 2 main points – Employer policies should not be so sweeping that they prohibit the kinds of activity protected by federal labor law, such as the discussion of wages or working conditions among employees. – An employee’s comments on social media are generally not protected if they are mere gripes not made in relation to group activity among employees.• No Appeals Court rulings on NLRB decisions
  26. 26. Guidance from NLRB Reports• NLRB reports provide guidance.• From the NLRB website http://www.nlrb.gov/faq/nlrb#t1n382 – “The NLRB does not have jurisdiction over federal, state or local government workers, with the exception of employees of the U.S. Postal Service. The Federal Labor Relations Authority has jurisdiction over federal employees. The organizing and collective bargaining rights of state and local employees are determined by state laws enforced by individual state agencies.”• Be very careful when restricting social media use at work
  27. 27. Labor Issues• From the NLRB website http://www.nlrb.gov/faq/nlrb#t1n382 – “The NLRB does not have jurisdiction over federal, state or local government workers, with the exception of employees of the U.S. Postal Service. The Federal Labor Relations Authority has jurisdiction over federal employees. The organizing and collective bargaining rights of state and local employees are determined by state laws enforced by individual state agencies.”• NJ Employer-Employee Relations Act http://www.state.nj.us/perc/statute.pdf
  28. 28. Government Actions• Gloucester County Adopts Use Policy – Controversial: It restricts employees from posting photos of the “county’s premises, properties [or] activities” on private social sites.• Bay Head lists their 10 criteria for a policy – NJSLOM March 2012 Article http://www.njslom.org/magazine/2012-03/pg-28.html• NASCIO.org achieves Terms of Use modifications for states – Facebook (1/5/2011), YouTube (1/17/2012)
  29. 29. Government Related Organizations• NAGW.org: National Assoc of Government Webmasters – Resource Library; 700 member listserv• GoWProNJ.net: Government Web Professionals of NJ – Meets 1st Friday, every other month• NASCIO.org: National Assoc of State CIOs• NaCO.org: National Assoc of Counties• NACIO.org: National Assoc of Cty Information Officers
  30. 30. The Double Edge Sword of the Social NetworkCarol A SpencerDigital & Social Media Manager NJ GMISCounty of Morris, NJ April 25, 2012

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