by Lisa Banks

AGIMO outlines social media plans

Mar 28, 2011

The AGIMO (Australian Government Information Management Office) has outlined its plans to add more elements to its social media functionality, first assistant secretary of the organisation, John Sheridan, has revealed.

In a blog entry outlining his speech at BarCamp Canberra 2011, Sheridan said the AGIMO is considering adding extra elements to its internal IT functionality.

“AGIMO is considering options to add more social media functionality into future versions of our govdex internal collaboration service,” Sheridan wrote.

“These provide a safe environment in which people can experiment with social media without some of the risks of the mainstream varieties. It can be a good place to start.”

While he prefaced that the blog was based on his personal views, Sheridan argued education about social media was vital if successful uptake of social media in government agencies and departments was to take place.

“Social media is a new skill. Not everyone knows what to do yet,” he said. “Help others. Share ideas. Ask questions. There aren’t that many experts in this field and there’s nothing to feel overawed about.”

Trusting staff members to blog on behalf of an organisation and have an online identity was vital, according to Sheridan, who wrote that a variety of public servants are up to the task of Tweeting and should be trusted to do so.

“One person can’t engage with the social media universe on behalf of an organisation by themselves,” the post reads. “We trust all manner of public servants to engage with the public every day, over counters and over the phone. We can trust them on social media too.”

Other aspects of social media that Sheridan focused on included collaborating with others and seeking out an audience of followers.

“To be successful in social media, you need to go where your audience is, not expect them to come to you. It’s not like the ‘Field of Dreams’. Just because you build it, it doesn’t mean they’ll come,” he wrote.

“Use hashtags on Twitter, find discussion groups or similar on Facebook, employ the RSS feeds on news sites – all these will help you find your audience.”

The news comes as AGIMO last year revealed that freedom of information requests to the Federal government could be streamlined.

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