Ironically my division at work used to have the acronym RSS.   Confusing for a web management division.  A change of acronyms later, and I am still holding onto my own RSS principle.  Real.  Simple.  Social.

More and more often I am being called upon to provide small groups in the policy and advocacy streams with the how, why and who of Twitter.  (Full disclosure, I am by no means near being a social media expert.  I am, however, passionate and a believer in ‘utility sells.’  It’s working.)  Steam is gathering and my ongoing push for our one-way, boxed in websites to bust open to and with the public is beginning to bleed into other worlds in my department.

Org charts are the bureaucracy.  What box do I work in?  Report to?  Engage with to engage others?  Fortunately, social media is bringing the public back to the public service.  Nick Charney has a great presentation and piece on social media for public servants.

In my world, one of managing and setting the course for a public online presence,  it continues to be challenging to take advantage of the richness of opportunity social media provides.   Simple.  Audience rich.  Measurable.  Should be music to many ears.  The push for internal collaboration and connection behind the firewall needs to be equaled in the public online domain.

And so, I take up this charge and spread the good word – showing officers how they can easily, from the comfort of their own desk chair, home, mobile device, extend beyond their traditional networks and annual conferences and leverage social networks to find those with the voices, the ears of others, the new thinking or proven approaches.

Among my current arsenal?

  • RSS feeds and readers.  (It’s shocking how many political news junkies manage – likely barely – to visit 30+ news sites each day.)  This alone has earned me cape-wearing status.
  • Technorati
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

It’s a basic and short list but addresses the most common identified issues and concerns (too much news, too much ‘noise.’)

Should there be internal evangelists doing this daily?  In the government, yes, until such time as mainstream meets government stream.  Should there be a balance between the push for all wiki all the time and officers stretching beyond their comfort zones.  Definitely.  Until then, I will continue this quest in an effort to gain champions in program areas who will begin to expect and demand more of our online presence and interactions.

By spreading the word of the connected outside world to my inside world, the sides of those org boxes and website boxes will continue to crumble.

From my lips…..

M.

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Giraffe Forum today notes the future of Web management is evidence based. There is a reason why McDonad’s, Wal-Mart and Amazon’s of the world continue to succeed – decisions are made based on what clients want. What a profound concept.

Managing the Web in a political organization seems to fly in the face of this wisdom. Perhaps because we are not a Wal-Mart of Amazon and it’s perceived, because no financial transactions exist, that we don’t have real customers. In the world of social media, Web managers must help others recognize the relations based on loyalty, trust, transparency and engagement mean as much, if not more than those based on a shopping cart check out.

How much evidence is needed before it becomes clear our internal governance is presenting us from delivering on that evidence? Usability testing, traffic analysis, focus group testing, online survey, content inventory, we’ve done it all. Now, it ultimately boils down to who manages the Web presence and ensuring decisions are made by those closest to the evidence.

Fortunately, I’ve attended Web governance conferences with Lisa Welchman and have spent a week at the Web 2.0 Expo and have gathered my own evidence. I met with U.S Government Web managers who have been making tremendous strides in the last years and are now looking to continue, energized by a web-savy administration.

These conferences and my drive for decision making based on those we should serve has once again armed me with a desire to usher in a new era of Web management in an organization seeped in political culture. Without adopting the proper decision-making for the management of our online presence, we will be forever cemented in a non-transparent Web 1.0 world, a risky place for the Government to be.

Action plan to come.

M.

I vowed not to be delinquent in writing but hope to be excused as I’ve been consumed by Web 2.0 Expo connections where my 10 year journey became clear in 10 days.

Less is more was the theme and while I didn’t get to experience all San Francisco has offer, I’m heading to the airport fulfilled, inspired, and surprisingly energized after numerous amazing #sftweetup.

What started with storytelling and ended with passion will be digested on the flight home. There’s been so much to process I’m thinking in tags. Goto, Cale, cowbells, mission, flow, context, trust, transparency, release, knowledge, support…the list goes on.

Who brought it all together for me, 72 year old legend J.J. Cale – talk about passion and connection.

I’ll be back to wrap up what’s been an amazing week.

M.

Change management, Web governance and execution.

New designs, multilingual content, social media, usability, program creation and funding, a governance strategy, an execution strategy and team, users vs management…it’s not surprising managing a Web presence in in the Government is exciting, ok challenging.

In talking with a colleague yesterday I was thrilled to hear a major Web initiative in town has a change management officer as part of the team coordinating activities and communication. This was also the case with a university Web team I met recently in Sweden.

Transformation, renewal and new approaches abound in departments these days. Not just using, but having the Web lead all communication efforts is indeed innovative for us and would require major change on numerous fronts. From funding, organization, HR planning and classification, accountability and reporting, to pushing for light, flexible and adaptive (dare I say open source) platforms and tools – we are ripe for change and need to manage that carefully

While the focus in this slideshare is on Innovation Management, much applies.

I’d love to hear about any Web teams or organizations that have moved the management from the Web from the sides of desks to the forefront under higher leadership.

Change is indeed upon us, and dare I say we should manage this one quickly and responsibly.

M.

Much being processed today on several fronts – all interconnected. Within 15 min this morning I read about the Liberals once again missing the mark on the Web front only to be interrupted by a television interview about the new and interactive features of the Afghanistan Website designed to better explain and connect the mission to Canadians.

After topping off my coffee I topped off the morning reading Peter Smith’s great post on Government Web Presences. And so, I went from a shoulder shrug, a sigh, to a pat on the back! I wholeheartedly agree with Peter’s comments in the various approaches typically taken when developing Gov Web sites. Slowly but surely, they have evolve,  for the better in one way or another. For years I dealt with managing a presence structured based on internal org charts, senior management’s likes or dislikes, or their colleagues perceived successes.

Peter nailed it – value measurement! Why? I feel I can now justify almost all work my team does, activities we undertake, resources I request based on that beloved measurement.  By leveraging numerous tools and approaches; usability, statistics, client surveys, SEO etc., a more systematic and client driven Web presence is resulting.  You did well Nomad!

Fortunately, measurement, unlike social media and other terms is something that speaks to senior management.

Next challenge, having a senior manager dedicated to online communications so the song and dance can end!  More to come on that….

M.

My first posting has become that much easier after reading Eric Pratum’s article Taking advantage of Social Media? Taking part in Social Media. Do I use? Yes. Am I an addict? Not compared to some. (It’s nice to say these things without getting puzzled glances, or at least I’m not seeing them!)

I have likely avoided this realm as I found myself spread too ‘socially’ thin and unable to maintain and contribute to those meaningful connections. Eric’s article helped to get me back to the solid ground I used to enjoy. I’m happy to jump back into the social aspect and to take advantage the networks that keep me engaged.

And so, if at some point I turn into one of those rogue-ranters or voices to turn on/off, Eric’s the man to thank ;)

Cheers
M.