Earlier this week, Alexander Muir at SocialGovernment.com wrote an interesting post about social media in the states; how they are using new media to interact with citizens and what are some of the best programs. Much like the federal government, he found that the states can and should be doing so much more.
Muir found that states were starting to use maps to inform their residents about traffic and other similar issues. He gives Maryland “extra credit” for the Old Line State’s interactive map displaying environmental initiatives having to do with the Chesapeake Bay. He notes that many states should do more with safety alerts. Currently, Amber Alerts are the most used new media app. He suggests a tornado watch system would be appropriate use of new media.
With the federal Recovery.gov up and running, many states are building their own version. He sites Illinois’ site as a “great start,” but added we’ll have to take a “wait and see” approach to see how transparent and useful these sites end up. And I would add we must take approach the states much like we are the feds by prodding and demanding that they are as open as possible.
States are starting to experiment with Twitter, but few are fully realizing its potential. He sites California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as an exception, who has set up a Twitter group on Buzzable to discuss what’s going on with the state government. He adds that states should embrace widgets much more, with Virginia doing the most with ones on wine, traffic and emergency notices. He also credits Virginia for setting up a YouTube channel, podcasts and a flushed out stimulus site.