Central Government and Social Media – a quickie

The Chancellor

I came across 2 interesting uses of social media by central government today. The first is the Spending Challenge website.

“The Spending Challenge is your chance to help shape the way government works. We need to reduce the deficit by cutting public spending in a way that is fair and responsible – and you can help.”

Built on a blogging platform the site is an attempt to crowdsource ideas from the public on how government can deliver more, better for less. Other nice touches are the ability for people to rate other people’s ideas and the sorting of ideas by: latest posted; highest rated and posts with most comments. In a masterstroke of simplicity the purpose of the web site is explained by George Osborne via an embedded Youtube video saving participants the trouble of ploughing through explanatory text.

The PM

Obviously not wishing to be outdone David Cameron held a web conference (yes a web conference) with Mark Zuckerberg – founder of facebook. The web conference (yes web conference) can even be found on Youtube here: PM and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg

“The two discussed how Facebook can support the Treasury’s Spending Challenge by providing a dedicated space for Facebook users to come up with ideas on how to make savings in public spending.”

Talking of facebook. In an after thought kind of way I feel obliged to include a quick update by mentioning the government’s Democracy UK page on facebook They seem to be making a really good go at this as was demonstrated this week with the following post:

“Have you any questions on UK’s foreign policy? You can put your questions to the Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt here: http://bit.ly/b07672. He will reply to your questions via a video on Facebook.”

If you’re interested in using facebook with local gov you could do a lot worse that keep your eyes on this one.

Ok, I know. that’s 3 interesting uses of social media! 🙂



  1. […] media malarky. I’ve blogged about a couple of big things they’ve done recently at Central Government and Social Media – a quickie so won’t repeat them here. Of course  the real test is what happens as a result of all this […]

  2. John Heneghan said

    The Spending Challenge website generated some *interesting* suggestions. My favourite was for a windfall tax on people called Steve!! http://northfleet.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/windfall-tax-on-people-called-steve/

  3. Steven Tuck said

    A windfall tax on people called Steve? Hmmm I’m not sure about this social media stuff anymore. What do the public know anyway? Let’s stick to the old way of doing things 🙂

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