June 30, 2010

Happy Social Media Day!

I just learned that today is Social Media Day. I'll take it.

I had intended to do an ALA round-up but this will have to do. Most of what I have to say about ALA can probably be linked back to Social Media anyway. In particular, yesterday I attended an all-day symposium on social media, collaboration and transparency with several presentations of Open Government projects. It was heartening to hear about the mandates that have gone out to government agencies to help operationalize President Obama's memorandum on open government and transparency. Moreover, it was exciting to hear from the IRS, GSA, NASA, State Department, Veterans Affairs, Commerce Department and Library of Congress about how they are going above and beyond that order to use new media in many exciting projects. Perhaps most exciting was learning about GobiernoUSA.gov.

A speaker from GSA said they got 30 citizen-made (unpaid for) public service announcements for their YouTube channel just by running a contest. A fabulous speaker from the State Department said that getting citizens engaged is critical, as opposed to the traditional approach of, "You'll love this. We've done it. It's done. Don't you love it?" Another said that using social media in government is no longer an option, but an expectation. And my favorite quote of the day came when Michelle Springer from the Library of Congress was explaining their magnificent Flickr project. In answer to an audience question about whether LC has contractual agreements with their social media vendors, Springer said that they have "modified terms of service" with YouTube and Flickr, but that Twitter's terms of service were "so government-friendly" that they have the standard agreement.

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