Government and Twitter: Wanted – One usage policy….
As reported on localgov.co.uk, Croydon council has had to suspend its use of Twitter after a member of the council staff used the account to criticise a reporter. I find the statement they released slightly bizarre:
A spokesman said: 'We need someone to find out how Twitter works, review its potential and then enlighten others as to how best it may be used for legitimate, professional purposes.
'As yet there are no rules about using this kind of channel.
'As with email and the internet a few years back, guidelines will be developed if the media enters common usage.
So if you do not know how it works or what you are going to use it for; you created the account it because….?
Any Government organisation has to be aware that any form of communication will come under scrutiny from the press, citizens and other organisations. No new channel of communication should be opened without at least some basic guidelines – and the classic is don't put anything in print (paper or internet) that would cause you problems if it was on the front page of a national newspaper.
I would be interesting to see if there are any basic generic guidelines for both Twitter and Blogging. One of the best I have seen in this area is from the US Air Force on how to deal with comments on your blog. It is clear and simple - just what you need.