Politicians, Officials Will Find Twitter Friendlier Than Facebook

6 Jan

Do other people’s tweets show up on my page? That’s a common first question from officials contemplating Twitter.
And the ‘no’ answer is why, as social media use by politicians, officials and agencies goes increasingly mainstream, Twitter will beat out Facebook as platform of choice. This will hold true especially for official use, as public records concerns, takeover by critics, and complexity continue to plague Facebook adopters.
From the perspective of Gov 2.0 advocates, this may be a regressive trend, as it is easier on Twitter to dodge engagement. But the beauty of Twitter is control of one’s presence, without any overt need for filters. If you’ve got a wide open Facebook page and somebody wants to spam you all day long, you need a strategy to deal with that. Left alone, it’s going to muck up your page. But with Twitter, it’s easy to ignore hostile or spammy comments. And your active Twitter users have grown used to creating their own filtering systems. Your challenge on Twitter is to be noticed, not to dodge activity that ends up on your page. Full control of a Twitter stream also allows for pure broadcasting, and it remains to be seen whether that will be enough to please a majority of the public. – Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant and host of the Gov 2.0 Radio podcast. You can find him on Twitter @adrielhampton.

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