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Scoring CIOs on social media

Linda Cureton, NASA CIO

NASA CIO Linda Cureton is one of a small number of federal CIOs using social media exceptionally well, MeriTalk concludes. (FCW photo)

Editor's note: This story was modified after its original publication to correct Al Tarasuik's title. He is Intelligence Community CIO.

Agency CIOs are not just the champions of IT; many of them have embraced social media as well.

MeriTalk’s “sCIOal Circle Study” charts the social-media use of 29 federal CIOs and two deputy CIOs. The information was mined from publicly available social media platforms.  MeriTalk assigned the CIOs points based on Facebook use, LinkedIn connections, tweets, followers and Follower-to-Follow ratios -- F2F ratios.

The F2F ratio is the number of followers divided by the number of people followed, showing whether the tweeter is using Twitter to interact or just as a platform for issuing statements. A score of 1 would be an even number of followers and followed. The higher the number above one, the more one’s followers outnumber the followed, while numbers of less than one signify the opposite trend.

The study found that U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel; Casey Coleman, CIO at the General Services Administration; Rick Holgate, CIO at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; and Linda Cureton, CIO at NASA, are leading the way in social media. Overall, the most active social media users are Coleman and Holgate, with eight points each. 

Coleman’s active Facebook account and more than 500 connections on LinkedIn upped her score. On Twitter, Coleman has more than 1,673 tweets, 240 from the past six months. Coleman follows 2,959 tweeters and is followed by 4,908 -- a F2F ratio of 1.65. Holgate has a total of 1,426 tweets but in the last half-year, he has tweeted twice as much as Coleman, 480 times.

But of all the CIOs, VanRoekel has the biggest Twitter following, with more than 5,000 followers. VanRoekel follows just 251 people, “so it’s difficult to get his attention,” the report pointed out.

Shawn Kingsberry, CIO at the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, tops the chart as the most approachable agency CIO on Twitter, with an F2F ratio of 0.37. 

Brook Colangelo, the recently-departed White House CIO, was the second-most approachable CIO, with a F2F ratio of 0.44. An honorable mention went out to Luke McCormack, CIO at the Justice Department, who had an F2F ratio of 0.75.

On the opposite side of the spectrum landed CIOs who had near-nonexistent social-media presences. Among them were Intelligence Community CIO Al Tarasuik, who was formerly the CIA's CIO. His reticence to tweet may not be surprising, considering his employer. Michael Kerr, CIO at the Labor Department, and Steven Taylor, CIO at the State Department are also minimal users.

The CIOs were found to not use all social media equally: Only seven CIOs have Facebook accounts, while 80 percent use LinkedIn. Twitter was deemed a hit and miss as few CIOs have accounts. Few of those with a Twitter presence tweeted regularly. Excluding the top three tweeters, all agency CIOs tweeted a total of 396 times in the last six months.

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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Reader comments

Tue, Dec 11, 2012

Actually, Al Turasiuk is the IC CIO, not the CIA CIO.

Tue, Dec 11, 2012

On the opposite side of the spectrum landed FCW whose reader comments function is top down and compartmentalized (as opposed to the current trend of the free flow ideas and interaction with chained replies and community moderation).

Tue, Dec 11, 2012

To paraphrse George Will: "It’s now safe to look at this because there is something like an emerging consensus [in favor of social media]. Quite literally, the opposition to social media is dying. It’s old people.”

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