Twenty Theses for Government 2.0, Cluetrain Style

I’ve fulfilled one of my social media resolutions for 2009, and have recently re-read the Cluetrain Manifesto.  As I mentioned in that post, I always feel so much better about the work that I do when I look at it through the lens of the 95 theses laid out in Cluetrain.  This is even more true now.  Ever since President Obama’s “Transparency and Open Government” memo was issued a few weeks ago, it seems that every one of our clients is asking about social media.  They all want to know how/if social media can help them become more transparent, participatory, and collaborative.  They all want to know what they need to do to comply with the new Administration’s goals of transparency.  Inevitably, this increased interest has brought its fair share of social media carpetbaggers and alleged Government 2.0 gurus, but it has also done an incredible job of bringing together real-life Government employees with contractors and consultants for a common goal.

Just as the Cluetrain laid out 95 theses that described the new global conversation taking place via the Internet, here are 20 theses (I’m not nearly as ambitious as the Cluetrain authors) for carpetbaggers, gurus, civil servants, contractors, and anyone else interested in Government 2.0.  There are undoubtedly many many more that could be added to this list and I encourage you to add any that you think of in the comments.

  1. The risks of social media are greatly outweighed by the risks of NOT doing social media.
  2. Your Government agency/organization/group/branch/division is not unique.  You do not work in a place that just can’t just use social media because your data is too sensitive.  You do not work in an environment where social media will never work.  Your challenges, while unique to you, are not unique to the government.
  3. You will work with skeptics and other people who want to see social media fail because the transparency and authenticity will expose their weaknesses.
  4. You will work with people who want to get involved with social media for all the wrong reasons.  They will see it as an opportunity to advance their own their careers, to make more money, or to show off.  These people will be more dangerous to your efforts than the biggest skeptic.
  5. Younger employees are not necessarily any more knowledgeable about social media than older employees.  Stop assuming that they are.
  6. Before going out and hiring any social media “consultants,” assume that there is already someone within your organization who is actively using social media and who is very passionate about it.  Find them, use them, engage them.  These are the people who will make or break your foray into social media.
  7. Mistakes can and will be made (a lot).  Stop trying to create safeguards to eliminate the possibility of mistakes and instead concentrate on how to deal with them when they are made.
  8. Information security is a very real and valid concern.  Do NOT take this lightly.
  9. Policies are not written in stone.  With justification, passion, and knowledge, policies and rules can and should be changed.  Sometimes it’s as easy as asking, but other times will require a knockdown, drag-out fight.  Both are important.
  10. Be humble.  You don’t know everything so stop trying to pretend that you do.  It’s ok to be wrong.
  11. But, be confident.  Know what you know and don’t back down.  You will be challenged by skeptics and others who do not care and/or understand social media.  Do not let them discourage you.
  12. There are true social media champions throughout the government.  Find them.  Talk to them.  Learn from them.
  13. Government 2.0 is not a new concept.  It’s getting so much attention now because social media has given a voice to the ambitious, the innovative, and the creative people within the government.
  14. Social media is not about the technology but what the technology enables.
  15. Social media is not driven by the position, the title, or the department, it’s driven by the person.  Stop trying to pidgeon-hole into one team or department, and instead think of a way to bring together people from across your organization.
  16. Instead of marketing your social media capabilities, skills, experience, platforms, software, etc. to the government, why don’t you try talking with them?  An honest conversation will be remembered for far longer than a PowerPoint presentation.
  17. Today’s employees will probably spend five minutes during the workday talking to their friends on Facebook or watching the latest YouTube video.  Today’s employees will also probably spend an hour at 10:00 at night answering emails or responding to a work-related blog post.  Assume that your employees are good people who want to do the right thing and who take pride in their work.
  18. Agency Secretaries and Department Heads are big boys and girls.  They should be able to have direct conversations with their workforce without having to jump through hoops to do so.
  19. Transparency, participatory, collaborative – these terms do not refer only to the end state; they refer to the process used to get there as well.  It’s ok to have debates, arguments, and disagreements about the best way to go about achieving “Government 2.0.”  Diverse perspectives, opinions, and beliefs should be embraced and talked about openly.
  20. It’s not enough to just allow negative feedback on your blog or website, you also have to do something about it.  This might mean engaging in a conversation about why person X feels this way or (gasp!) making a change to an outdated policy.  Don’t just listen to what the public has to say, you have to also care about it too.

The technology that is currently driving social media will change, but the principles of participation, transparency, and collaboration will not.  You can either jump on the Government 2.0 cluetrain or get hit by it.  Which one will you be?

*thanks to Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger for inspiring this post with their book, the Cluetrain Manifesto.

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About sradick

I’m Vice President, Director of Public Relations at Brunner in Pittsburgh.

Find out more about me here (http://steveradick.com/about/).

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  • Thanks for a good post. I especially appreciate the “age” thing (#5). Using Facebook to make a party date and post post-party pics isn’t the same as setting up an agency “page.” (Perhaps its a self-defense appreciation, tho!)

    In the Cluetrain model, let me offer another theses for consideration

    21. Don’t let laws, regulations and General Counsel scare you away. The rules are there for a reason. Work to understand the reasoning behind the rules. Then work to gain consensus about how to accomplish the spirit of the law without killing the spirit of social media engagement.

  • Thanks for a good post. I especially appreciate the “age” thing (#5). Using Facebook to make a party date and post post-party pics isn’t the same as setting up an agency “page.” (Perhaps its a self-defense appreciation, tho!)

    In the Cluetrain model, let me offer another theses for consideration

    21. Don’t let laws, regulations and General Counsel scare you away. The rules are there for a reason. Work to understand the reasoning behind the rules. Then work to gain consensus about how to accomplish the spirit of the law without killing the spirit of social media engagement.

  • Anna Gabbert

    Great post! I have no doubt you’ll easily meet and/or exceed the 95 Cluetrain theses – the Government 2.0 “gurus” should have plenty to add to this discussion.

    Building on #12, I think it’s critical to remember the following:

    22. Don’t forget the “social” element of social media. Participating in local events, seminars and conferences provide an opportunity to connect with fellow social media enthusiasts and expand your own network. It doesn’t have to be a Gov 2.0 specific event to be worthwhile and learn something.

    Also, in light of the discussion around Facebook’s new Terms of Service:
    http://bit.ly/mDwWb

    23. Once you put it out there, you cannot take back it back. You no longer own the information you share – be mindful of each post, comment, photo and video before sharing content.

  • Anna Gabbert

    Great post! I have no doubt you’ll easily meet and/or exceed the 95 Cluetrain theses – the Government 2.0 “gurus” should have plenty to add to this discussion.

    Building on #12, I think it’s critical to remember the following:

    22. Don’t forget the “social” element of social media. Participating in local events, seminars and conferences provide an opportunity to connect with fellow social media enthusiasts and expand your own network. It doesn’t have to be a Gov 2.0 specific event to be worthwhile and learn something.

    Also, in light of the discussion around Facebook’s new Terms of Service:
    http://bit.ly/mDwWb

    23. Once you put it out there, you cannot take back it back. You no longer own the information you share – be mindful of each post, comment, photo and video before sharing content.

  • Good word, Steve.

  • Good word, Steve.

  • Very insightful post. I will be sharing it with lots of clients. I want to piggy back on Gwynne’s comment about age because I think she hits the nail on the head about the kind of experience that is really helpful in government. The question is not, “do you use social media?” it’s “do you know how to put social media to work for an organization and its stakeholders?”

    Again, nice work!

  • Very insightful post. I will be sharing it with lots of clients. I want to piggy back on Gwynne’s comment about age because I think she hits the nail on the head about the kind of experience that is really helpful in government. The question is not, “do you use social media?” it’s “do you know how to put social media to work for an organization and its stakeholders?”

    Again, nice work!

  • RH

    I enjoyed this post Steve. #17 is really accurate…but I still get the “what are you doing blogging” questions occasionally….

  • RH

    I enjoyed this post Steve. #17 is really accurate…but I still get the “what are you doing blogging” questions occasionally….

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  • Fascinating post with some great points. A ‘cluetrain for government’, as you note, is an ambitious project and I can’t claim to have any greater wisdom than anyone else. But I like the ‘conversation’ and would like to offer some ideas, criticism and comments from this side of the pond. (I’m in Britain.)

    The question that needs to be explicitly answered is: ‘Why is greater transparency and conversation using social media desirable?’ The wrong answer is: to fulfil a policy that has been passed down to us as Govt. agencies and bodies. Is it definitely attractive? Is it really possible in a meaningful? There are inevitable limitations: what are they? Could this just be a fad? We, the social media people, need to restate our assumptions.

    These are not additional points or theses in themselves. Just ideas that speak to the topic:

    – My first point would be along these lines: Government is already talking to and conversing with the people every day in lots of ways and through many channels (direct PM/Presidential addresses, media, in person in Govt. offices). You can do that online and have a better conversation.

    – “The risks of social media are greatly outweighed by the risks of NOT doing social media.” I think I’d add “but the risks of doing it badly, greatly outweigh the risks of not doing it at all.” Sure, mistakes are inevitable but for Govt. the outcomes of mistakes can be more serious than, say, for an individual or business. I also think I’d put this point last.

    – Conversation and transparency via social media won’t cure the ills of a Govt. or administration that is sick.

    – Successful new media interaction is based on trust. The transparency and power of social media should be protected from those who might wish to abuse it. Checks and balances are required.

  • Fascinating post with some great points. A ‘cluetrain for government’, as you note, is an ambitious project and I can’t claim to have any greater wisdom than anyone else. But I like the ‘conversation’ and would like to offer some ideas, criticism and comments from this side of the pond. (I’m in Britain.)

    The question that needs to be explicitly answered is: ‘Why is greater transparency and conversation using social media desirable?’ The wrong answer is: to fulfil a policy that has been passed down to us as Govt. agencies and bodies. Is it definitely attractive? Is it really possible in a meaningful? There are inevitable limitations: what are they? Could this just be a fad? We, the social media people, need to restate our assumptions.

    These are not additional points or theses in themselves. Just ideas that speak to the topic:

    – My first point would be along these lines: Government is already talking to and conversing with the people every day in lots of ways and through many channels (direct PM/Presidential addresses, media, in person in Govt. offices). You can do that online and have a better conversation.

    – “The risks of social media are greatly outweighed by the risks of NOT doing social media.” I think I’d add “but the risks of doing it badly, greatly outweigh the risks of not doing it at all.” Sure, mistakes are inevitable but for Govt. the outcomes of mistakes can be more serious than, say, for an individual or business. I also think I’d put this point last.

    – Conversation and transparency via social media won’t cure the ills of a Govt. or administration that is sick.

    – Successful new media interaction is based on trust. The transparency and power of social media should be protected from those who might wish to abuse it. Checks and balances are required.

  • Good post:

    My addition – #21 – Gov 2.0 is still being defined. Join the conversation. Help define it. Help provide the solutions.

    Steve Ressler (govloop.com)

  • Good post:

    My addition – #21 – Gov 2.0 is still being defined. Join the conversation. Help define it. Help provide the solutions.

    Steve Ressler (govloop.com)

  • Great add Gwynne – I think knowing and understanding the rules and WHY the rules were created are critically important.

    And yes, you’re definitely right about the age thing. Too often, people assume the junior employees are the experts and they look right past the more “seasoned” people right there in their organization are just itching to do this stuff!

  • Great add Gwynne – I think knowing and understanding the rules and WHY the rules were created are critically important.

    And yes, you’re definitely right about the age thing. Too often, people assume the junior employees are the experts and they look right past the more “seasoned” people right there in their organization are just itching to do this stuff!

  • Absolutely Scott – while there are plenty of similarities between public sector, private sector and personal uses of social media, there are some very critical differences that can’t be ignored. When I’m hiring people for my team, I value government experience more than startup experience for that very reason.

  • Absolutely Scott – while there are plenty of similarities between public sector, private sector and personal uses of social media, there are some very critical differences that can’t be ignored. When I’m hiring people for my team, I value government experience more than startup experience for that very reason.

  • Dan – you make some really good points that I couldn’t state any better. Social media isn’t some panacea – it’s got to be integrated into your existing communications and collaboration strategies. It’s not about doing a blog just to brag about having a blog. It’s about helping you achieve some objective.

    To your point about “Why is social media desirable?” My senior government clients don’t have any issue with holding a town hall meeting where they can talk with their entire workforce, but they throw up all kinds of red flags when we propose replacing town halls and parish visits with regular blog postings. Why is social media desirable? Because it makes these one-on-one interactions that you like so much scalable. Because your workforce can talk WITH you as opposed to just hearing FROM you. Because blog posts allow you to get the information out onto a platform and out of your email. This is why it’s critical to link social media and social media metrics to existing strategies and objectives.

  • Great add Steve – I would definitely agree with that!

  • Dan – you make some really good points that I couldn’t state any better. Social media isn’t some panacea – it’s got to be integrated into your existing communications and collaboration strategies. It’s not about doing a blog just to brag about having a blog. It’s about helping you achieve some objective.

    To your point about “Why is social media desirable?” My senior government clients don’t have any issue with holding a town hall meeting where they can talk with their entire workforce, but they throw up all kinds of red flags when we propose replacing town halls and parish visits with regular blog postings. Why is social media desirable? Because it makes these one-on-one interactions that you like so much scalable. Because your workforce can talk WITH you as opposed to just hearing FROM you. Because blog posts allow you to get the information out onto a platform and out of your email. This is why it’s critical to link social media and social media metrics to existing strategies and objectives.

  • Great add Steve – I would definitely agree with that!

  • Very good post! I’ll add it to the Social Media Subcouncil’s delicious account (about 30 of the gov’t 2.0 folks you mentioned who are working on case studies, canned presentations to give to gov’t managers, etc).

    I’d add one: use social media to accomplish your mission. It’s not about using social media because it’s cool.

    Oh, and another: When you participate, apply transparency to yourself and tell people who you are. Not because people should listen to you more than others, but because you’ll help other gov’t folks feel more secure about doing the same. And when it’s people talking, not anonymous aliases, the conversation gains credibility.

    In that vein, I usually sign my comments as I do below.

    Jeffrey Levy
    Director of Web Communications
    US EPA

    Federal Web Managers Council member, Social Media Subcouncil co-chair

  • Very good post! I’ll add it to the Social Media Subcouncil’s delicious account (about 30 of the gov’t 2.0 folks you mentioned who are working on case studies, canned presentations to give to gov’t managers, etc).

    I’d add one: use social media to accomplish your mission. It’s not about using social media because it’s cool.

    Oh, and another: When you participate, apply transparency to yourself and tell people who you are. Not because people should listen to you more than others, but because you’ll help other gov’t folks feel more secure about doing the same. And when it’s people talking, not anonymous aliases, the conversation gains credibility.

    In that vein, I usually sign my comments as I do below.

    Jeffrey Levy
    Director of Web Communications
    US EPA

    Federal Web Managers Council member, Social Media Subcouncil co-chair

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  • These are all excellent points. Government is need of embracing the open source tools that already exist and are being developed. There are many opportunities for Government officials to look to social media, social networking for inspiration, communications, and transparency.

    These tips are all helpful. I would add this: Government for the people, from the people means getting rid of the “silo” mentality, and getting Government officials to embrace contact with the taxpayers. Just like well run businesses are both tight ships and rely on teams of advisers, Government needs to realize that some of it’s best advisers are the people. People often provide both the best impetus to and reasons for change. The communications have to be two way as this only fosters more oversight and transparency. Thanks for writing an excellent piece.

    Alan W. Silberberg, CEO, You2Gov.com

  • These are all excellent points. Government is need of embracing the open source tools that already exist and are being developed. There are many opportunities for Government officials to look to social media, social networking for inspiration, communications, and transparency.

    These tips are all helpful. I would add this: Government for the people, from the people means getting rid of the “silo” mentality, and getting Government officials to embrace contact with the taxpayers. Just like well run businesses are both tight ships and rely on teams of advisers, Government needs to realize that some of it’s best advisers are the people. People often provide both the best impetus to and reasons for change. The communications have to be two way as this only fosters more oversight and transparency. Thanks for writing an excellent piece.

    Alan W. Silberberg, CEO, You2Gov.com

  • I’ll add my two cents here as a “young employee” (I graduated in May 2008 and am 22 – about as young to the workforce as you can get) dabbling in Social Media for the U.S. Army via the Army.mil Web team.

    My peers and I tend to have played with these kind of tools the majority of our lives, so we live by the “no fear! Let’s jump in!” mentality. We – stereotypically of course – make awesomely thorough and detail-oriented practitioners.

    We definitely need guidance from the high-level thinkers, the strategy-makers, the oh-wise-ones like you all fabulous people commenting and writing here. So don’t underestimate us and don’t leave us out. We want to help, and we will make it cool, and we WILL definitely believe in the goals and strategies if we get to help think about them a little bit.

    Thanks for leading us in the right direction 🙂

  • I’ll add my two cents here as a “young employee” (I graduated in May 2008 and am 22 – about as young to the workforce as you can get) dabbling in Social Media for the U.S. Army via the Army.mil Web team.

    My peers and I tend to have played with these kind of tools the majority of our lives, so we live by the “no fear! Let’s jump in!” mentality. We – stereotypically of course – make awesomely thorough and detail-oriented practitioners.

    We definitely need guidance from the high-level thinkers, the strategy-makers, the oh-wise-ones like you all fabulous people commenting and writing here. So don’t underestimate us and don’t leave us out. We want to help, and we will make it cool, and we WILL definitely believe in the goals and strategies if we get to help think about them a little bit.

    Thanks for leading us in the right direction 🙂

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  • Sean S.

    Frankly most of this stuff is meaningless without explicit and codified systems of checks and balances. “Feedback” and “networking” are great, but they are not comparable, nor are they even remotely as useful, as regulatory systems that allow for complaints to be filed, for them to be heard by a neutral third party (like an ALJ or similar internal, neutral process), and for their to be competent representation provided if necessary.

    State and federal agencies need strengthened OIG’s and Ombudsman’s, Whistleblower protections to be expanded, and a move of the Office of Special Counsel out of the White House and into the Legislative branch (as well as long-term, term spanning funding of those components irrespective of their individual agencies). These, as well as the strengthening of EEOO amongst other things, will ensure far greater transparency than any social networking project every could.

  • Sean S.

    Frankly most of this stuff is meaningless without explicit and codified systems of checks and balances. “Feedback” and “networking” are great, but they are not comparable, nor are they even remotely as useful, as regulatory systems that allow for complaints to be filed, for them to be heard by a neutral third party (like an ALJ or similar internal, neutral process), and for their to be competent representation provided if necessary.

    State and federal agencies need strengthened OIG’s and Ombudsman’s, Whistleblower protections to be expanded, and a move of the Office of Special Counsel out of the White House and into the Legislative branch (as well as long-term, term spanning funding of those components irrespective of their individual agencies). These, as well as the strengthening of EEOO amongst other things, will ensure far greater transparency than any social networking project every could.

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  • Casey Coleman

    Thanks for the insights, Steve. I like #17, too. I also think one of the benefits of social media is that it allows people to make connections and begin establishing trust relationships. I do not talk about a lot of work issues when I use FB, Twitter, etc. Oftentimes, it would be inappropriate/premature. However, through social media tools I have established a circle of people whom I would not otherwise have known, and when the right situation arises I have a broad network and can quickly get input or perspectives. I’ve noticed that others seem to be doing the same thing, as well.

  • Casey Coleman

    Thanks for the insights, Steve. I like #17, too. I also think one of the benefits of social media is that it allows people to make connections and begin establishing trust relationships. I do not talk about a lot of work issues when I use FB, Twitter, etc. Oftentimes, it would be inappropriate/premature. However, through social media tools I have established a circle of people whom I would not otherwise have known, and when the right situation arises I have a broad network and can quickly get input or perspectives. I’ve noticed that others seem to be doing the same thing, as well.

  • Many people see the elimination of those silos as a threat to their jobs. Exposing one’s self and in this case, exposing an organization, an agency, or an office, can be quite un-nerving to a lot of people. We have to be cognizant of that and show these folks the value that be gained by opening up their communications rather than allowing them to concentrate on the fallacy that every conversation on the Internet is negative and devolves into racism and sex.

  • Many people see the elimination of those silos as a threat to their jobs. Exposing one’s self and in this case, exposing an organization, an agency, or an office, can be quite un-nerving to a lot of people. We have to be cognizant of that and show these folks the value that be gained by opening up their communications rather than allowing them to concentrate on the fallacy that every conversation on the Internet is negative and devolves into racism and sex.

  • Emma – I’ll never leave you out! It’s the people like you and the Army.mil web team who will be the high-level thinkers and strategy makers someday. Just make sure that you don’t lose that “no fear” mentality. Remain confident and remain true to your beliefs in social media!

  • Emma – I’ll never leave you out! It’s the people like you and the Army.mil web team who will be the high-level thinkers and strategy makers someday. Just make sure that you don’t lose that “no fear” mentality. Remain confident and remain true to your beliefs in social media!

  • I think I speak for most of the people commenting here when I say that I think the last thing “Government 2.0” needs is more processes, organizational bodies, and red tape. I agree that OIGs, Ombudsmans, and Whistleblower protections should be expanded, but I don’t agree that this would have any near the impact on our government that the openness and authenticity that social media brings. For Government 2.0 to be successful, we have to re-think the very core of how the government interacts with the public, not create more organizations and processes to regulate those interactions.

  • I think I speak for most of the people commenting here when I say that I think the last thing “Government 2.0” needs is more processes, organizational bodies, and red tape. I agree that OIGs, Ombudsmans, and Whistleblower protections should be expanded, but I don’t agree that this would have any near the impact on our government that the openness and authenticity that social media brings. For Government 2.0 to be successful, we have to re-think the very core of how the government interacts with the public, not create more organizations and processes to regulate those interactions.

  • Casey – I agree completely. At some point along the way (especially here in DC), we forgot how to act like human beings and just treat people like people. Every move, every conversation, every meeting is measured and calculated. When did we forget to talk and act like a human being. Social media has allowed people to just talk with one another again!

  • Casey – I agree completely. At some point along the way (especially here in DC), we forgot how to act like human beings and just treat people like people. Every move, every conversation, every meeting is measured and calculated. When did we forget to talk and act like a human being. Social media has allowed people to just talk with one another again!

  • Sean S.

    I think thats hopelessly naive; if nothing else the glue that holds America together is its foundation on the rule of law and the ability of disputes to be adjudicated fairly in a neutral manner, or as close to that ideal as is humanly possible. Unfortunately that sort of system requires significant, as you deride, “red tape”.

    The “red tape” saves any number of bone-headed decisions from being made, from individuals or certain disadvantaged groups from being abused or neglected, and allows for, to the best extent I know, an equitable sense of justice. The idea that increased contact between individuals and their government will result in some fundamental change in the power dynamic that causes these inequalities is ridiculous; anyone whose ever been a neighborhood association meeting where complaints at public hearings are duly noted and then filed away can tell you that. Without real enforcement behind such ideas, in the form of legal decisions, we wouldn’t have half the things we have now.

  • Sean S.

    I think thats hopelessly naive; if nothing else the glue that holds America together is its foundation on the rule of law and the ability of disputes to be adjudicated fairly in a neutral manner, or as close to that ideal as is humanly possible. Unfortunately that sort of system requires significant, as you deride, “red tape”.

    The “red tape” saves any number of bone-headed decisions from being made, from individuals or certain disadvantaged groups from being abused or neglected, and allows for, to the best extent I know, an equitable sense of justice. The idea that increased contact between individuals and their government will result in some fundamental change in the power dynamic that causes these inequalities is ridiculous; anyone whose ever been a neighborhood association meeting where complaints at public hearings are duly noted and then filed away can tell you that. Without real enforcement behind such ideas, in the form of legal decisions, we wouldn’t have half the things we have now.

  • Kelcy

    It’s time to include the need to do risk management when thinking about social media for government instead of just blithly saying that the risks of not doing it outweigh the risks. I recognize that you are trying to activate a very risk-averse government but we need to understand the possible risks, mitigate them as appropriate and make decisions concerning those we can’t mitigate. We must learn to manage risk and need to ensure that a well-trained workforce should be our best line of security defense against potential risks.

  • Kelcy

    It’s time to include the need to do risk management when thinking about social media for government instead of just blithly saying that the risks of not doing it outweigh the risks. I recognize that you are trying to activate a very risk-averse government but we need to understand the possible risks, mitigate them as appropriate and make decisions concerning those we can’t mitigate. We must learn to manage risk and need to ensure that a well-trained workforce should be our best line of security defense against potential risks.

  • Kelcy – you’re absolutely right and I didn’t mean to diminish the very real and very valid risks to social media. I do think that we need people at the other end of the risk spectrum saying that we have to find a way to press forward with social media considering that there are surely those saying that it’s too risky to even discuss. The answer lies somewhere in the middle.

  • Kelcy – you’re absolutely right and I didn’t mean to diminish the very real and very valid risks to social media. I do think that we need people at the other end of the risk spectrum saying that we have to find a way to press forward with social media considering that there are surely those saying that it’s too risky to even discuss. The answer lies somewhere in the middle.