May 22, 2012

It’s nothing self-inflicted pain of working in government ICT its another source of social media documents, reports and papers – the wiki is attached to GovSM’s blog – thanks Josh! The blog may be more appropriate to those into the USA but remains a useful source to investigate for all. Amongst the documents is Ines Mergel’s ‘A Manager’s Guide for Using Twitter in Government’, which is coincidental with the UK Cabinet Office’s launch of its Social Media Guidance for Civil Servants.

However, am I alone in finding much of what comes out of Twitter as ‘brown-nosing’? Is it necessary to keep saying how wonderful one’s political leaders are in public? Are most of them capable of fulfilling to dual function of typing into social media and listening to the debate going on in front of them? Social media have their place but are they really such a big deal?


Cool crowdsourcing

October 30, 2011

In the October edition of PA Times, the journal of the American Society for Public Administration (republished on her blog), Ines Mergel reveals some of the learning from what she labels as the ‘Open innovation’ platforms. These are sites such as NYC Simplicity, Transforming Washington’s Budget and – sites that employ crowdsourcing to gain input from citizens to a complex government task. The sites are all linked to from her blog).

The lessons include:

  • Carefully craft the problem statement (it has to be in plain language)
  • Experiment in-house first
  • Offer incentives
  • Set a time limit
  • A transparent evaluation process
  • Say how you plant to complement the outcome – demonstrate the value of participation!

For anyone planning a similar exercise, I’d suggest these are all worthwhile.

Communications overload

August 12, 2009

If anyone out there dares moan to me about too many emails let them pity President Obama! According to the blog of Ines Mergel, Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY. , he receives 100,000 emails a week, 6,500 paper letters/week, ~1,000 faxes per day, ~2,500-3,500 calls/day.

She argues for the need to develop tools to digest and extract from this mountain along with all the social networking communications he may be on the end of, or named in. Similar amounts of data will be received by governments and their leaders around the world, and could probably do with a tool, as well.

At least they count it, now for the analysis…


If you are interested and, preferably, in UK local government please complete the survey, it doesn’t take long at all. I’ll keep feeding back through these pages, which are also covered by and PSF.