Social Media and Government: We're all human

In this week’s Inside PR, Martin Waxman and I shared our takeaways from last week’s appearance of Canada’s Treasury Board President, Tony Clement at Third Tuesday Ottawa and Third Tuesday Toronto.

Social Media in Government: Treat them like we would want to be treated

I came away with a sense of respect for a politician who is making a sincere attempt to introduce social media to government in a manner consistent with his conservative principles. Martin was struck by the vulnerable position a politician like Tony Clement puts himself in by engaging in the social media flow. His takeaway: If we want to encourage our government leaders to engage with us in social media, we must be prepared to allow for the fact that they make mistakes and refrain from “piling on” every time  a politician makes a mistake on social media.

The discussion about social media in government starts at 1 minute 25 seconds into the show.

Video of Tony Clement's appearance at Third Tuesday Toronto

I’ve posted video of Tony Clement‘s Feb. 17 presentation at Third Tuesday Toronto about open government and the use of social media by employees of the Government of Canada. You can see the full video of the substantive part of his presentation below. I’ll post the highlights of the questions and answers separately when I have the time to process and edit the video.

In the meantime, here are the main body of the Minister’s remarks. Enjoy.

Related Posts

Tony Clement at Third Tuesday Ottawa Story-fied

Springtime for Gov 2.0 in Ottawa

Tony Clement’s TweetChat about Open Government

 

Tony Clement at Third Tuesday Ottawa Storify-ed

Canada’s Treasury Board President Tony Clement @tonyclementcpc appeared at Third Tuesday Ottawa #3TYOW last night. He discussed the potential of open government, bringing citizens closer to government and the new guidelines he introduced to guide public servants in their use of social media. He also took and responded to questions from the participants.

I’ve captured the highlights of the event through Storify. Enjoy.

[<a href="http://storify.com/thornley/tony-clement-at-third-tuesday-ottawa" target="_blank">View the story "Tony Clement at Third Tuesday Ottawa" on Storify</a>]

Tony Clement talks about open government at Third Tuesday

Third Tuesday is back with another blockbuster speaker: Canada’s President of the Treasury Board, Tony Clement.

Tony Clement is well-known as a politician who maintains an active Twitter presence, sharing what is on his mind and what he’s doing, and engaging in conversations with Canadians. Anyone who follows Tony Clement knows that his Twitter conversations are sometimes funny, sometimes serious, sometimes combative, but always genuine.

Tony Clement is also the President of the Treasury Board of Canada. That puts him in charge of Canada’s public service and makes him responsible for setting the standards and rules by which social media is being introduced into the Government of Canada.

As a Minister, Clement has pushed forward with initiatives to enable Canada’s public servants to use social media in the workplace and a broader initiative to introduce open government standards to the government of Canada.

In November, Mr. Clement

– unveiled the Guideline for External Use of Web 2.0, the reference document that will be used by Canadian Public Servants in determining whether and how they should use social media in the workplace.

– announced that completed access to information requests now will be posted online.

In December, Clement

– announced the addition of 4,000 data sets to the Open Data Portal.

– initiated a public consultation on Open Government. (The consultation closed in mid-January and the Treasury Board site promises that a final report on the findings will be posted in March 2012.)

– participated in a Twitter Chat on Open Government to give people a chance to raise issues, ask questions and engage with him online.

That’s a lot of action in a short period of time. But, what’s been happening now? How are the Web 2.0 Guidelines being applied by Canadian public servants? What did Canadians tell the Minister during the consultation? What’s on the agenda for 2012?

Third Tuesday participants will get a chance in February to ask these questions and talk directly to the Minister when he appears as our featured guest Third Tuesday Ottawa and Third Tuesday Toronto. Follow these links to find the details and sign up to attend Third Tuesday Ottawa or to attend Third Tuesday Toronto.

If you’re interested in open government and the use of social media by government, this session will be of real interest to you. I’m looking forward to a great evening of discussion with a man who has matched his actions to his convictions. I hope to see you there.

 

TweetChat with Tony Clement about Open Government in Canada

Tony Clement, Canada’s Treasury Board President and the man in charge of introducing Open Government principles to the Government of Canada, is taking his talk where the online community is – on Twitter. On Thursday, December 15, he’ll be hosting moderated TweetChats in English and French as part of the government’s consultation about Open Government.

TweetChat: Where and When

The English TweetChat will run from 5:00 to 5:45 p.m on December 15. The hashtag for the English session is #opengovchat. Because it is a moderated discussion, the host account will be @TBS_Canada, not @tonyclementcpc. The Minister will be providing answers, but they will be typed by staff members.

A French language chat will be conducted an hour earlier, from 4:00 to 4:45 p.m. EST. The hashtag for the French session is #parlonsgouvert and discussion will be hosted by @SCT_Canada.

Canada’s Open Government initiative

Canada’s Open Government initiative consists of three elements:

  • open data, making data available in machine readable formats
  • open information, proactive disclosure about the work of government; and
  • open dialogue, providing citizens with greater opportunity to have a voice in government decisions. Web 2.0 technologies will be used in this initiative.

The Canadian government has been making steady progress on this initiative throughout 2011. In March, then-Treasury Board Minister Stockwell Day announcedtwelve-month pilot project with the launch of an Open Data portal. In June, the newly re-elected government reaffirmed its intent to proceed with Open Government. On September 19, Foreign Minister John Baird signalled Canada’s intent to join the International Open Government Partnership. On November 16, current Treasury Board President Tony Clement announced that completed access to information requests now will be posted online. Then, a big announcement on November 22: Tony Clement unveiled the Guideline for External Use of Web 2.0, the reference document that will be used by Canadian Public Servants in deciding whether they should or shouldn’t. On December 2, Clement announced the addition of 4,000 data sets to the Open Data Portal.

Now, it’s our turn to have our say

Finally, on December 6, Clement initiated a public consultation on Open Government. The consultation runs from December 6 to January 16. You can see the questions they government is asking and offer your input online. During the consultation, the government is posting what they’ve heard so far. And they have promised a final report in March 2012.

The Minister’s TweetChat this week also is part of the consultation process. I plan to participate. If you care about achieving a more open government, I hope you too will participate.

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Interested in diving deeper into gov 2.0 and open government?

Alex Howard writes about Defining Gov 2.0 and Open Government

Australian Senator Kate Lundy’s keynote address The Path to Open Government: The Pillars of Gov 2.0

Jesse Brown interviews Tony Clement about Open Government in Canada.

 

 

 

 

Ontario Ombudsman André Marin to speak at Third Tuesday Toronto

André Marin

Ontario Ombudsman André Marin

In my experience, a very few Canadian government officials have really succeeded in using digital media to increase public engagement. André Marin, the Ontario Ombudsman is at the top of that short list. Not only is he personally active on Twitter and Facebook, but he has integrated social media into his offices research and reporting.

The best example of this was his investigation into the conduct of the police during last year’s G 20 meeting in Toronto. When announcing that investigation, the Ombudsman invited Ontarians to submit evidence that had been gathered using social media. During the investigation, he provided updates on his progress via Twitter. In fact, his tweet that he had concluded the research stage was broadly reported by traditional media as if he had granted interviews or issued a news release. And when he released the final report, his press conference was posted on YouTube in a shareable format.

So I’m very pleased that Andre Marin has agreed to be the guest speaker at Third Tuesday Toronto on June 21. That’s the day he’s releasing his annual report, in which he will be announcing his newest focus – promoting open government.

I know the Third Tuesday community is savvy to the potential – and the challenges – of open government. So, I’m looking forward to an evening of  intelligent, probing discussion of this initiative.

Register to attend Third Tuesday with André Marin

You can register online at the Third Tuesday Toronto meetup site to attend this event. A great chance to explore the important topic of open government in Ontario.

Acknowledging Third Tuesday’s sponsors

As always, I want to thank the sponsors of Third Tuesday: CNW GroupRogers Communications, the Canadian Internet Registration AuthorityRadian6 and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. Thanks to these sponsors, we are able to program great speakers in cities across Canada, including Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Ottawa.