Today, Microsoft State & Local Government announced the release of a new public sector media directory Gov2Social. Gov2Social is a cloud based social media directory running on the Microsoft Azure platform allowing users to search and find social media outposts set up by their local governments. Members of the public sector will be able to share best practices, network, and learn how to implement social networking services.
The release comes on the heels of a similar announcement last week about the launch of their TownHall application for campaigns. Civsource spoke with Kristin Bockius, Microsoft US State & Local Government Relationship & Social Media Marketing Manager about the application and web 2.0 engagement in the public sector.
According to Bockius, Gov2Social is designed to highlight web 2.0 best practices at the state and local level. She noted that as web 2.0 tools became popular in government, “attention was mostly focused at the Federal level and what the Federal guys were doing. That didn’t really take into account all of the adoption happening at the state and local level outside of a few examples.”
The site primarily functions as a directory of social media activity across platforms allowing users to list out their account names, and offer them publicly without requiring a sign up. Prior to launch, Microsoft did some of its own research to provide a seed crop of listings.
The information submitted by users will be checked by Microsoft for valid links and listing information can be edited through a customer service form, giving state and local governments the ability to correct their listings. The listings will also remain free of vendor information.
Over the next few weeks, the site will expand to include a tab for public sector best practices. Bockius hopes that state and local governments will submit their own web 2.0 guidelines offering their peers in other states road-tested examples. There will also be an RSS for people wishing to subscribe to new activity in the directory. Additionally, Bockius plans to include podcasts with public officials sharing their stories of adopting web 2.0 and will also be integrating activity from the GovLoop social network.