Friday, February 15, 2013

Guest speaker: Bill Greeves, CIO Wake County - Social media strategy, policy, guidance

Our next guest speaker is Bill Greeves, CIO Wake County, NC. Bill is the co-author of the social media field guide we have written last year for practitioners. He has a long career in government and has successfully guided the the implementation of new technologies in different government organizations.

Mr. Greeves was recently interviewed by Government Technology Magazine. He provided his insights to the question "Do governments need personal social media policies?"

You can follow his updated on Twitter and his personal blog.


  1. In my opinion, people would post their opinions related to work/employer only when they have a strong feeling about it. Most commonly, it's a bad feeling, either feel bad about their employer or feel a misunderstanding from the public. So they want to express or explain. This makes their comments online have a higher probability to be aggressive and irrational. Honestly, this kind of opinion would be more attractive to the public and raise more attention. Actually, I think employees' personal opinions concerning about work/employer are really important and definitely related to the employer's reputation. So although freedome of speech is necessary, since it's closely related to the employer, only telling the employees to be responsible to their words is not enough. As the policies protect the employees' speeches and prevent the employers from punishing their employees, what if the employer wants to "control" their employees' words, what shall they do?

  2. This is a very interesting topic. On the one hand, we want the government employees to be on social media as much as possible and if they are not we create incentives for them to be, but on the other hand we impose rules and limitations, which discourage from employing social media tools. How to deal with this tension?

    Secondly, who and how checks the employees personal social media channels (is it in someone's job description?) in order to track "inappropriate" statements and apply sanctions? How is it institutionalized?

  3. Based on the blog assigned to read for this class, what I interpreted is that there is a DICHOTOMY between the organization an individual is representing and the individual himself/herself (the representative of the organization)... because of the multifaceted aspects of social networking sites that it becomes (not necessarily a disadvantage, but) a more complex, wicked problem.

    The major microblogging sites (Facebook, Twitter) where the primary perception of the atmosphere of them are lean more towards personal interests (including leisure-like activities). When one works for the government, one becomes a "PUBLIC figure"... almost like a celebrity (at least for the people who follow your respective organization), because they're interested in the important people who work for the company as it says a lot about the organization.

    As an employer or employee (from whichever perspective you want to discuss), how much do you think technological innovation plays a part in this in improving this?
    Facebook, for example, has been targeted for having huge security issues... but you can now make things public OR you can post things to certain groups of people and exclude people by adding them to a new feature called "acquaintances".

    In essence, is it mainly a problem that we can have technological innovation solve... or is it something more? And if it's the latter, what other aspects are missing?

  4. In my opinion, social media activities are sensitive matters in the public administration, and if it is not regulated correctly, it could be open to manipulation. Officers should be careful in using the social media tools. They should not neglect the main tasks when using these technological tools and also try to improve skills due to these tools. Sometimes, officers need to relax. According to me, agencies should give training for their officers’ about this field. Agencies authorized just some officers for providing the information to the public, and others are able to publish and discuss only their individual ideas in this arena. What do you think about this subject?

  5. I am a senior civil servant from India.Indian Constitution guarantees a fundamental right of freedom of speech to every citizen but this freedom of speech is subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by the government.The freedom of speech of government employees or civil servants is further restricted by civil service conduct rules.Please explain as to how a government employee can express his/her opinion in social media without violating these conduct rules.
    R.VENKAT RATNAM,student of Social Media Class

  6. Social Media personal account is the personal territory of a person. It is true that even in our personal territory we need to behave and know the limits. But the regulation limiting what and how some body can say in his private area (eventhough wider public can hear it) is violation to personal right. Even without disclaimer, what is stated in personal account is personal (in my opinion).
    However, what need to be regulated is the use of properties that is considered public or bring organization's identity in personal account, for example the organization logo. So instead of crossing personal boundaries (violate ones right), it should protect its territory. The rulings and advisories NRLB made to make sanctioning workers for their social media posts ( do government need personal social media policies), is a fundamental rulings. Even without rulings, it should have been that way.

  7. The US government traditionally has always been distrusted and questioned but I think that that is part of American tradition and history and has its roots in the founding of the United States. Social media provides a wonderful opportunity for the government to become more transparent and more directly connected to the individual that it acts upon.

    Seeing that county governments operate in a smaller community and generally have a narrower set of focuses than the federal government, does this make social media a stronger tool at this level and how?

  8. I think government do need their social media policies and vary in different agencies. First, the government should set a clear norm or specification in using the social media. Second, appropriate training is necessary, not only inside the different organization or government agencies, but all the citizens in the country. We should view or treat social media like a daily habit and schooling this habit in our daily life.
    What's more, government should be encouraged to create more tools about social media. During the social media policies making, government should listen more from their citizens and set evaluating system to evaluate regularly.

  9. Thank your comments and response today. I am really delighted to know how government prepare for unique social media service, products and concrete tactics in developing and delivering to the citizen or public employees. Especially, I think it is imperative to provide and share participation and costomer-tailored response from government. what's more, social media have distinctive advantae compared to other traditional media and we enlarge and utilize the edge of social media when designing a social media in public sector.
    In this light, which principle or guideline is needed to design pulic service, for example, policy poll or tax payment through social media?

  10. I would like to agree with what is stated by Mr. Bill Greeve on the policy for public organization employee as he becomes the representative in the eyes of public for his organization. So, any attempt tarnishing public image of the organization needs to be prevented. However, in day's address, I would like to listen on the following points.
    1. What kind of change management required in the government organization? What are your real life experiences?
    2. Did you notice any negative impact of using social media in the government? Can you please what are these?
    3. What kind of training is required for the employees? What are cost implications of use of social media?
    4. How can we maximize the public participation and employee participation in social media usages?
    5. How are the ways and implications of managing the data of social media as being the public institute, we need to preserve the data of all social media?

    thanks and welcome to our class. We would surely be enlightened by your valuable and experienced inputs.