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Gov2.0 Social Media and the Government Use of Twitter

February 19, 2011

With all the attention being given to Mayor Cory Booker’s social media habits I wondered how Massachusetts officials would fair in a ‘face-off’ with the Newark resident. Sometimes dubbed the Mayor of Twitter Cory Booker has made government more transparent—and made himself available to residents.

He manages his twitter (@CoryBooker) himself—and tweets about everything from inspirational quotes to responses and updates after severe weather. More than possibly any other public official Booker understands the importance of social media—and how to use it to improve the work of government. Whether lending a hand or a shovel Booker responds to residents quickly and directly.  Look below to glimpse the interactions in the past 2 hours.

Governor Deval Patrick (@massgovernor)

A scan of the Governor’s twitter reveals that the governor has a reach of about one thousand unique followers and a klout score of 60 Followed by more than 15 thousand and retweeted over fifty thousand by over 10 thousand unique twitter users the Governor doesn’t use twitter to governor as much as to inform. Tweets are generally related to the goings on of the Governor’s schedule. Updates, links to blog posts, quotes from speeches, but not too much interaction with residents. Questions seem to be addressed but through other more traditional mediums.

Martha Coakley (@MassAGO)

With just under 4 thousand followers Coakley’s campaign account has far more followers than the Attorney General’s Office which isn’t surprising when you look at what’s being broadcast. With a Klout score of just 47 engagement on a social media platform appears to be important to her staff just not unique interactions. A casual glance at her feed reveals that Q&A doesn’t seem to be addressed and that posts are regularly timed (generally one per day). Information relating to appearances and releases are readily available to keep the public informed, but nothing is provided that couldn’t be gleamed from another medium.

The use of social media by government officials is every changing, but I’ll admit while I’d rather the personal touch than a link to a weekly newsletter.

For more information on the use of government and social media check out these links from the Economistthis blog, and this piece from the Medill Reports in Chicago.

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