Facebook launches government page

The federal government has jumped into the social-media fray by launching a Facebook page aimed at giving agencies the tips and inspiration to set up and run their own pages on the social-networking site.

The federal government is looking to make a big splash in social media by launching a Facebook page aimed at giving agencies the tips and inspiration to set up and run their own pages on the social-networking site.

The page, called Facebook and Government, offers links to agencies’ existing Facebook pages, helpful guides and updates on what else the government is doing on Facebook.

So far, 23 agencies have set up Facebook sites, said Tim Sparapini, the company's Washington representative, when he announced the new page’s launch last week.

Initial response to the fledgling page has been healthy, with 424 Facebook users signed on as fans as of late last week. Fans receive regular updates, and they can post comments and gain access to other resources.

"This is a great step forward by Facebook to make it easier for [U.S. government] agencies to leverage the power of social media to reach out to their constituents," Ed Buclatin wrote on the Facebook and Government page’s Wall.

Commenting on a post that links to the Army's Facebook comment policy, the Environmental Protection Agency's Jeffrey Levy wrote, "Very good! We send people to our blog's comment policy, which also includes some privacy info."

Levy went on to explain that EPA links to its comment policy in a box on its Facebook page, a potentially useful tip for other federal Facebook pages.

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