Government-specific social networks on the rise

Government information technology professionals are using more internal social media networks and fewer external networks than they were 18 months ago, according to a new survey.

In addition, video and multi-media are on the rise, and blogs are falling in popularity, among the same government IT users, the study also indicated.

The survey of 100 federal, state and local government IT professionals was commissioned by HP and performed by Wakefield Research. The company released results on April 24. Wakefield had performed a similar survey in September 2010 as well.

In 2012, the most popular “Gov 2.0” application being used by the government IT professionals was video and multi-media sharing, reported by 53 percent, up from 44 percent in the 2010 survey.

The second-most popular application listed was internal government-only social networks, reported by 50 percent of the respondents, up from 37 percent in 2010.

“The top Gov 2.0 tools being used have shifted,” HP and Wakefield said in a news release. “Today, video and multimedia sharing (53 percent) and government-specific social media networks (50 percent) are the most commonly used tools, replacing general social networks and blogs, which were the top picks in the 2010 study.”

Internal networks provided by companies including Yammer have become popular in both government and corporate settings. Popular external social networks for the public include Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

According to the Wakefield survey, fewer of the government IT respondents were accessing the external networks in 2012, in comparison to the 2010 survey. There were 44 percent using external social networks in 2012 vs. 56 percent using those networks in 2010.

Meanwhile, the survey also reported that blogs are dropping in popularity. In 2010, they were being used by 48 percent of the government IT professionals, down to 45 percent in the 2012 study.


About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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Reader comments

Thu, Apr 26, 2012

Most social networks are free to use, and their maintenance would be considered part of the job of a public affairs officer.

Wed, Apr 25, 2012

One question (or two depending on how you interpret it). Is taxpayer money being used to fund these social networks and, if so, are the taxpayers getting a decent benifit from them?

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