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Tools for Transparency: GovSM

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For the next month, we’ll be hosting special guest bloggers for our Tools for Transparency series. Today we introduce Josh Shpayher, founder of GovSM.com, a wiki website that keeps track of all the social media accounts of government, from congressional representatives to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. GovSM believes that having a comprehensive catalogue of all the governmental use of social media will help government and the open gov community learn more about and improve their own social media practices to benefit their constituencies. By now, we’ve all heard about the social media wave and most of us have heard about Gov2.0 and governmental use (or their feeble attempts to use) social media. Though there have been many discussions amongst “good gov” people about government officials’ best practices for using social media, what has been lacking is a clearly defined method of determining how a government office or official can use social media to benefit their constituents. If a system of rating social media use can be widely circulated (similar to Golden Mouse rankings of congressional websites), I believe that the quality of government use of social media will rise dramatically.

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