In what I would consider to be an example of being wholly out-of-touch with the world, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has been telling government officials in his state that they need to start embracing social media.
Is this news to anyone? They are using social media to communicate in countries where running water and indoor toilets are luxuries. They have successfully used social media to overthrow autocratic regimes, market products no one has ever heard and push album sales to heights never seen before.
Is Tennessee that much out of the loop? Are people there that ignorant of what is happening in the world around them that they need the governor to explain why social media is important to them?
I find it hard to believe the governor’s message was seriously considered all that revelatory. In fact, if anything, I think it shows his own ignorance of social media if he thinks he needs to explain it to anyone.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is the first governor in the state’s history to fully incorporate social media sites into his public outreach efforts and push state departments to aggressively engage the public through these online tools. The governor highlighted these efforts during remarks at the Tennessee Digital Government Summit in Nashville.
Haslam’s online presence includes: 40,042 Facebook supporters; 8,388 Twitter followers; 1,072 LinkedIn connections; 17,305 YouTube views; 97,302 Flickr views; and 94,021 visits to tn.gov/governor since his inauguration.
“Social media offers powerful tools that invite the public in and promote discussion,” Haslam said. “Using these outlets, we can communicate directly with the online citizen about his or her state government in an environment where it is as easy as a click of the mouse to share information with family and friends.”
Haslam admits that not all feedback he gets is positive. The governor told reporters after the event that in reading some of the comments it has become clear that some of his followers are “fans, but not admirers.”
An analysis conducted by Haslam’s office indicates that he has the eighth most Facebook fans among the nation’s governors.
Haslam and his communications office use Facebook and LinkedIn to network with Tennesseans while also using the governor’s Twitter feed, Flickr photostream and his YouTube channel as other methods beyond speeches, appearances, news shows, interviews and press releases to communicate with the public.
State departments are also taking greater advantage of the opportunities social media presents with nearly all departments working to increase their online presence beyond the state’s homepage of www.tn.gov.
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