Gone But Not Forgotten

Hello, you've landed on DATA eh? - Open Data Toronto's original blog space for data discussions. This is not an active blog at the moment but legacy posts are still here. Have a read ... you can still provide comments.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Extrapolating from the Neil Young (early adopters)

NOTE: This is content from the web re:Brand posts going back to November 2010. We have kept the re:Brand posts as a legacy archive but, on a go forward basis as of October, 2011, the new DATA eh? content takes over this space.

I was reading this article sent to me by a colleague here at work (thanks Matt): Getting over the barriers to wiki adoption. It got me thinking about early adopters.

Clearly we've seen some early adopters using our wikis and webbook tool here at the City. But, we also have a long way to go before anyone could say either of the tools are being widely used. Really, all the points raised in the article are so very  true with, I think, one exception.

Learning from early adopters 
Neil Young has a song called "Welfare Mothers" and he repeats the lyric over and over again: "Welfare Mothers make better lovers".  I wonder if we could paraphrase and say: "Early adopters make better lovers"?

In case that's too far out, let me extrapolate from the Neil Young (something that's risky at best). I think what he really means in his song is those with something to gain will be more committed.  Our social media  early adopters in the City are learning a great deal about where and when to use the tools. They really want the tools to be successful. They're committed and, ultimately, they will be the ones who will be listened to the most in this area. That's hugely significant!

Hearing from someone who is using social media to their benefit may be the one thing that convinces someone else to give it a try. So I expect we'll get lots more uptake as our early adopters continue to work social media and experience some successes. That holds for internal and external SM use by the way.

But, should "we" even be there (here)?
Recently blogTO had a post about City funded media including use of social media (Is City Funded Media Redundant?).  I added a comment to the post:
... I can't believe Toronto residents generally would feel that City of Toronto representatives shouldn't be using as many tools to communicate as are available. The fact readers can contribute to discussions when social media is used is a help isn't it? You can slap or kiss directly there. Bring on the voices, the variety and let readers decide who and what they want to read.
You decide
I guess it's a bit up in the air how all of this will play out. We're seeing city after city getting on board with SM and, certainly, our own presence has increased over this time last year.

Maybe it's too early to judge the relative success or failure of government SM use. What do you think?

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