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3 ways social media is affecting transparency and open government demands

April 26, 2013

Local councils can struggle with transparency and open government needs from budget and support standpoints, but that doesn't make these solution any less essential. Federal mandates and community demand for access to information are driving the need for transparency, and it is up to state, county and town governments to step up and adopt the right tools to enhance citizen engagement and data management. According to The Austin Bulldog, social media is becoming a more prominent factor.

The news source noted that as the adoption of social media grows more pervasive, it becomes harder to regulate from an open government standpoint.

Social media isn't private
Many officials forget that what they do online isn't private, but a public space that can be easily monitored, or in some cased hacked into. This is especially true when politics become involved, and enforcing the proper rules can save officials time and headaches in the long run.

Social media changes communications
"Public officials are trying to conduct business but don't know how to do it," Alan Bojorquez, an attorney specializing in general law and home-rule municipalities, told the news source. "The answer should be simple, but it's not. It's gray, and has been for many years."

Councils need to update their policies to include social media, but there is more to these changes than that. In order to truly adapt to the demands of the times, local governments need to invest in high-quality solutions to better manage their digital presence as well. Meeting management software and enhanced agenda management tools can help municipalities keep track of conversations and ensure that any debates, discussions and comments are properly tracked.

Social media can improve transparency
With the right steps, social media doesn't have to complicate open and transparent government operations. Officials can connect with their constituents better and provide them with more information through social networks. It just requires a careful approach and some tact.

Ultimately, by investing in high-quality solutions from IQM2, local councils can track their online presence more effectively and ensure they are maintaining a high-quality, informative approach to social media.