This week, I’m quite proud that two sets of colleagues took real steps on their own to engage online with my role being relegated to that of cheerleader (itself an important role, as sometimes just hearing words of encouragement can help people step into the unknown).
The first example was a Guardian webchat for the Buy Better Together Challenge. The Challenge is a joint BIS/Co-operatives UK initiative to promote innovative approaches to community buying – collective approaches to purchasing which bring communities and groups together not only to save money but develop sustainable approaches to consumption. The development of the microsite for this project probably deserves a blog post of its own: it’s had its own ups and downs from initial excitement and enthusiasm around its launch, but has suffered from staff changes in the policy team which mean that it simply can’t get the action that was envisaged for it at its inception. Still, it made it into Steph’s Digital Engagement Guide.
The second example came not from a policy team, but from a statistical colleague attending the Government Statistical conference. Armed with the GSS (Government Statistical Service) social media guidelines, this colleague set up a blog for their conference and ran a session on the value of social media to the GSS. It wasn’t the most active of conference hashtags that I’ve ever seen, but it was great to see the enthusiasm of those who were tweeting. The real test will be whether a similar approach is adopted next year, and whether the number of truly engaged participants has increased.
Given the support for social media being expressed by Sir Bob Kerslake (@sirbobkerslake), Head of the Civil Service, I suspect we will see that change.