We all know Facebook allows us to do more than just keep in touch with our friends. Its 500,000 million users also sign in to see what people are saying about the local and world news, it is one of the best places to find local event announcements, and businesses and charities use it to connect with customers and colleagues. The site has also caught on with many cities, elected officials, and government agencies. Many have already been using (or are considering using) Facebook to keep in touch with their constituencies. The #1 social networking site has already proven itself helpful during natural emergencies. It is also proving to be an effective way to distribute information to tax-payers, blast municipal news and citywide events, and get feedback from the general public.
New changes to Facebook’s terms of service will allow more States and local governments to take advantage of the communication tool.
Until this year, many "State and local governments had been concerned that under the previous conditions [of Facebook's terms of service] they would have to pay the company's legal fees if Facebook was sued because of content posted by an agency onto the website," among other issues, according to a Public CIO article posted on GovTech's website, entitled "Facebook Modified Terms of Service for State and Local Government."
Read the article to find out how Facebook has changed their terms of service to better accommodate State and local governments.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers was especially concerned. "Suthers' office led a year-long negotiation with the social networking site on behalf of 13 states to modify the social networking site's terms of service so they no longer conflict with state constitutions, including Colorado's," Gazette (Colorado Springs) writer Andrew Wineke reports. Negotiations took some time but ultimately they were successful in addressing Suthers' major concerns. The modifications were announced at a National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) meeting, in Janaury 2011.
Suthers says; "We look forward to continuing to work with Facebook and starting a new dialogue with the people of Colorado through the company's website."
Jennifer Eberbach is a professional journalist and writer. Find contact information on her website www.jenthewriter.info.
I found a lot of interesting articles and blogs about how state, local and federal government officials utilize the internet, social networking, social media, and the latest e-technologies, while perusing www.govtech.com. Contributors to Government Technology’s family of magazines and website hit on a range of ways Web 2.0 is used to network, share information, ensure public safety, and stimulate the economy, as well as how IT relates to transit, green initiatives, and other topics we like to blog about here on The Center for 21st Century Communities (21c3)’s website.
www.govtech.com articles and blogs cover stories, trends, and accomplishments happening all over the country. You’ll find some articles about Michigan, as well as stories about what is happening in other places. Staff writer Russell Nichols recently reported, “California to Deploy Nation’s First Mass Mobile Alert System,” posted on August 24th, 2010. “The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) and Sprint announced Tuesday, Aug. 24, plans to deploy the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), a public safety tool that uses technology to deliver warnings and safety information via text alerts to wireless phones in specified areas. The first CMAS pilot program will begin in San Diego County this fall, in partnership with the county's Office of Emergency Services (OES),” according to the article. Jim Stanton’s www.digitalcommunitiesblogs.com blog, called “Web 2.0 Convergence” features a recent piece, “The YouTube Revolution is With Us,” posted on June 18. It includes some interesting facts that got me thinking about how governments can take a few lessons from pop culture, when it comes to taking advantage of widely used social media like YouTube.
Jennifer Eberbach is a professional journalist and writer. Find contact information on her website www.jenthewriter.info