What is social media and how is it different to traditional media?
Social media is any technology-based environment that allows users to easily create, publish, collaborate on and share content.
Victorian public offices use web-based, internally hosted, or application (installed on local computers or hand-held devices) based social media environments, including the following:
|Social media types||Examples|
|Web-based externally hosted||
|Applications built into business systems and devices||
Traditional media outlets (such as print, radio and television) deliver content to end users. Social media allows members of the public to create, modify, discuss and share internet content. The change is from a one-way communication to a dialogue, from periodic to instant updates, and from authority-based to community-based knowledge.
Why is government using social media?
Social media and related messaging technologies, such as Instant Messenger, may be used by public offices for a range of different purposes.
Social media represents a significant opportunity to deliver services, consult and communicate with private individuals and government stakeholders over a broad geographical area. As stakeholders do not need to be in the same location to provide immediate and constructive feedback, social media is a cost effective, instantaneous and responsive engagement tool.
However, public offices should carefully consider the aims, benefits and risks of using any given application before commencing use of social media.
If used, social media should always be one of multiple methods for communication between an office and stakeholders so that individuals are not forced to use potentially insecure, public or semi-public mediums for their communication when interacting with government.