Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

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How social are your media?

Agencies and corporations have been on a hot streak laying down and revising guidelines for the on-the-job use (or non-use) of social media.

It’s not an easy matter. With the government (and companies) bent on harnessing the significant power of social media that mostly were designed for nongovernmental, non-corporate applications, the lines can get a bit blurred.

The fact that social media such as Facebook are common to the computer on your desk at the office as well as the one on your coffee table at home makes it easy to forget what you are doing, and where you are. At home, saying exactly what you want to say online — and maybe just doing it to waste time — is often considered entertainment. At work, it can get you fired.

It does still seem a little weird, at least to some of us, to see huge federal agencies on Facebook, which a lot of people otherwise use mostly to trade comments with people they didn’t even talk to in high school.

At any rate, we’d like to stimulate a little discussion on the topic, because we’ve been wondering how all this is working inside the federal government.

Do people abuse social media on the job? (We all know about the tweeting episode that led to the downfall of a certain legislator, so let’s get beyond that one.)

Second, are there shining examples of social media being used really well at your agency? If so, share them. We’d like to take a look.

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Jun 17, 2011 at 4:02 PM


Reader comments

Mon, Jun 20, 2011 DoN MC NC

At one time Facebook was blocked, until our installation decided it was better to join 'em and developed a FB page for the installation. So now everyone has access to FB at work. It really helped this winter when we had a lot of snow. You just go to the FB page, and it updates if we are to leave work early. The PAO office loves it, messages get out quicker. You can also read about the events going on around the installation and various awards, cermonies & volunteerism. I heard FB was unblocked because it was the best way the military could stay in touch with their loved ones when they are deployed. We didn't have You Tube up unitl Christmas 2010, when an all hands email came out from the Commandant. It was a You Tube link and it was his message to wish everyone a safe Christmas & Happy New Year. Well if that came up, so did everything else on You Tube, and viola, we now have You Tube. Not sure about Twitter. Do the guys & gals spend time on it, I am sure the young ones do, most of the senior civilians are too busy to bother.

Mon, Jun 20, 2011

FAA recently released a policy saying we can use social media on our breaks. However, the computer system automatically blocks any usage.

Mon, Jun 20, 2011

Facebook and all of the other ones are blocked on our work computers. I do access Facebook at home, but only to "visit" with friends, family and play a few of the games. I never discuss my job on Facebook or that I'm a fed employee.

Mon, Jun 20, 2011 Glen Dallas

We have social media?

Mon, Jun 20, 2011 Cindyl541 Oregon Coast

Most of the employees here don't have a clue what these things are. It's almost humiliating. We have Twitter but Facebook is banned. Few employees would go there anyway. Social media could be used in so many positive ways in our agency. I do not belong.

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