Comments on: Do Councils Need A Facebook Presence? http://www.thepickards.co.uk/index.php/200902/do-councils-need-a-facebook-presence/ standards, accessibility, and ranting and general stuff by the web chemist Sat, 07 Mar 2009 06:45:52 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.7.1 hourly 1 By: JackP http://www.thepickards.co.uk/index.php/200902/do-councils-need-a-facebook-presence/comment-page-1/#comment-47845 JackP Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:52:40 +0000 http://www.thepickards.co.uk/?p=1898#comment-47845 @Lee, ah well, I apologise for that then -- I didn't spot your group when I did my searching, I only found the other one. This may be because yours doesn't have the word 'Council' in it -- so you won't find it if you're searching for Sunderland Council on there. Just to clarify, did you mean that <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sunderland/Sunderland-City-Council/45774535789" rel="nofollow">this page</a> <em>isn't</em> official? It appears to link to the Sunderland site and claims to be from 'Sunderland City Council'...! Could it possibly have been set up by a 'youth' team or something similar at Sunderland? @Lee, ah well, I apologise for that then — I didn’t spot your group when I did my searching, I only found the other one. This may be because yours doesn’t have the word ‘Council’ in it — so you won’t find it if you’re searching for Sunderland Council on there.

Just to clarify, did you mean that this page isn’t official? It appears to link to the Sunderland site and claims to be from ‘Sunderland City Council’…!

Could it possibly have been set up by a ‘youth’ team or something similar at Sunderland?

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By: Lee Ridley http://www.thepickards.co.uk/index.php/200902/do-councils-need-a-facebook-presence/comment-page-1/#comment-47844 Lee Ridley Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:36:51 +0000 http://www.thepickards.co.uk/?p=1898#comment-47844 It's interesting that you've found that Sunderland City Council page as the Communications team had nothing to do with it. Our official page is http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=23598149457 It’s interesting that you’ve found that Sunderland City Council page as the Communications team had nothing to do with it.

Our official page is http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=23598149457

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By: JackP http://www.thepickards.co.uk/index.php/200902/do-councils-need-a-facebook-presence/comment-page-1/#comment-47728 JackP Sat, 28 Feb 2009 17:39:51 +0000 http://www.thepickards.co.uk/?p=1898#comment-47728 Er... <em>no</em>, G, you've rather missed the point. Facebook says that you should not have a <strong>User</strong> account to represent an entity -- that is what the Facebook <em>pages</em> are for. Indeed, the terms you quote specifically say that: <blockquote>Facebook Pages are special profiles used solely for commercial, political, or charitable purposes.</blockquote> and the terms relating to Facebook pages are even more clear... <blockquote>Facebook Pages may only be set up for the purpose of promoting a business or other commercial, political, or charitable organization or endeavor (including non-profit organizations, political campaigns, bands and celebrities), and only by an authorized representative of the entity or individual that is the subject of the Facebook Page.</blockquote> ...this is why I was specifically talking about the use of Facebook <em>pages</em> and <em>groups</em>, rather than standard user profiles... Er… no, G, you’ve rather missed the point. Facebook says that you should not have a User account to represent an entity — that is what the Facebook pages are for. Indeed, the terms you quote specifically say that:

Facebook Pages are special profiles used solely for commercial, political, or charitable purposes.

and the terms relating to Facebook pages are even more clear…

Facebook Pages may only be set up for the purpose of promoting a business or other commercial, political, or charitable organization or endeavor (including non-profit organizations, political campaigns, bands and celebrities), and only by an authorized representative of the entity or individual that is the subject of the Facebook Page.

…this is why I was specifically talking about the use of Facebook pages and groups, rather than standard user profiles…

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By: Peter Holt http://www.thepickards.co.uk/index.php/200902/do-councils-need-a-facebook-presence/comment-page-1/#comment-47721 Peter Holt Sat, 28 Feb 2009 11:54:04 +0000 http://www.thepickards.co.uk/?p=1898#comment-47721 It's my team behind the Newcastle City Council Facebook presence - so thanks for the analysis, the praise, and most of all for the tips. We do indeed have our own YouTube channel too (all very new, so not hugely populated yet) - http://www.youtube.com/user/NewcastleCityCouncil - though obviously this needs more development, more content and better linking. I'd anticipate that this will be a better product inside 3 months, so watch this space. Back to Facebook, we do also have a longer-established presence from different Council services, such as our libraries. We are now joining up these initiatives, but at least it shows that there is enthusiasm and innovation beyond our modest central team. There is also a group (open membership) for current and former staff and elected councillors - 95 members, as of today. Which brings us to our latest initiative - an official Council presence on Twitter http://twitter.com/NewcastleCC - as of today 505 followers - top of the league table of all UK Councils, and continuing to grow exponentially. Anyone fancy doing a similar comparison of Council Twitter usage, as we're really keen for feedback. I should give credit where it's due - Al Smith in my team is the guru, I'm just glad to sponsor his work and let him take a few risks in what is an otherwise risk averse organisation. Peter Holt - Director of Communication & Marketing, Newcastle City Council peter.holt@newcastle.gov.uk It’s my team behind the Newcastle City Council Facebook presence - so thanks for the analysis, the praise, and most of all for the tips.

We do indeed have our own YouTube channel too (all very new, so not hugely populated yet) - http://www.youtube.com/user/NewcastleCityCouncil - though obviously this needs more development, more content and better linking. I’d anticipate that this will be a better product inside 3 months, so watch this space.

Back to Facebook, we do also have a longer-established presence from different Council services, such as our libraries. We are now joining up these initiatives, but at least it shows that there is enthusiasm and innovation beyond our modest central team. There is also a group (open membership) for current and former staff and elected councillors - 95 members, as of today.

Which brings us to our latest initiative - an official Council presence on Twitter http://twitter.com/NewcastleCC - as of today 505 followers - top of the league table of all UK Councils, and continuing to grow exponentially. Anyone fancy doing a similar comparison of Council Twitter usage, as we’re really keen for feedback.

I should give credit where it’s due - Al Smith in my team is the guru, I’m just glad to sponsor his work and let him take a few risks in what is an otherwise risk averse organisation.

Peter Holt - Director of Communication & Marketing, Newcastle City Council peter.holt@newcastle.gov.uk

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By: G http://www.thepickards.co.uk/index.php/200902/do-councils-need-a-facebook-presence/comment-page-1/#comment-47718 G Sat, 28 Feb 2009 10:09:40 +0000 http://www.thepickards.co.uk/?p=1898#comment-47718 This is an interesting and eye-opening contribution to the debate. It'll be interesting to see what response it generates. May I add a couple of observations rather than comments. 1) Facebook's own Terms suggest that it is for Individuals rather than organisations (I recall something similar on MySpace): <blockquote> User Conduct ....... In addition, you agree not to use the Service or the Site to: <strong>* register for more than one User account, register for a User account on behalf of an individual other than yourself, or register for a User account on behalf of any group or entity;</strong>........</blockquote> and that 2) I suspect that many Councils employ web filtering tools that restrict access to sites such as Facebook. This is an area I am aware there has been recent discussion - see http://blog.helpfultechnology.com/2009/01/unblocking-the-blockers/ I'm not going to comment on the merits et al of using Facebook, but suffice to say I have been encouraging a widening perception of social networking and web2.0 technologies beyond 'web2.0=bebobookpress=grooming=BAAAD' and feel that things have moved on significantly over the past 18 months. This is an interesting and eye-opening contribution to the debate. It’ll be interesting to see what response it generates.

May I add a couple of observations rather than comments.

1) Facebook’s own Terms suggest that it is for Individuals rather than organisations (I recall something similar on MySpace):

User Conduct

…….

In addition, you agree not to use the Service or the Site to:

* register for more than one User account, register for a User account on behalf of an individual other than yourself, or register for a User account on behalf of any group or entity;……..

and that

2) I suspect that many Councils employ web filtering tools that restrict access to sites such as Facebook. This is an area I am aware there has been recent discussion - see http://blog.helpfultechnology.com/2009/01/unblocking-the-blockers/

I’m not going to comment on the merits et al of using Facebook, but suffice to say I have been encouraging a widening perception of social networking and web2.0 technologies beyond ‘web2.0=bebobookpress=grooming=BAAAD’ and feel that things have moved on significantly over the past 18 months.

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