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July 28, 2009

British government issues Twitter guidelines for its departments

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TwitterFive months ago the UK government advertised for a director of digital engagement, and while that position is yet to be filled it’s clear that a lot of politicians are already using Twitter. Perhaps that’s why the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has drawn up a set of advisory guidelines on how to use (and importantly, avoid misusing) the microblogging service.

Neil Williams, head of corporate digital channels at BIS, has blogged, “Micro-blogging [has] a low barrier to entry [and is a] low-risk and low-resource channel relative to other corporate communications overheads like a blog or printed newsletter… I was surprised by just how much there is to say and quite how worth saying it is, especially now the platform is more mature and less forgiving of mistakes.” read more

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March 25, 2009

British kids to be taught blogging, podcasting, tweeting. What about the parents?

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The British government is embracing the world of online communication and wants to ensure that children get a head start in the world of blogging, microblogging and podcasting, amongst other things.

In plans leaked to a UK national newspaper, teachers will have increased freedom to choose what should be taught in their classes.

Traditional skills such as mental arithmetic, spelling and handwriting will still be taught, but children will also learn how to type and use spell checkers. read more

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February 23, 2009

UK government plan to recruit director of digital engagement ridiculed by opposition

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The British government’s plan to appoint a director of digital engagement, with responsibility for overseeing a move to engage more with citizens through social media and other digital technology, has been ridiculed by the main opposition party.

The central government job has been created “in recognition of the huge increase in the use of the internet, digital communities and social media” and “will work across Government departments to encourage, support and challenge them in moving from communicating to citizens on the web to conversing and collaborating with them through digital technology.”

The circa £120,000 ($174,000) per year salary for this three-year contract is probably the most questionable aspect of the role, and warrants some accusation by the Tories of it being a “grotesque amount of public money”. However, to brand it a “pointless job” and to devalue it by suggesting it’s simply about “ministers… faffing around on Facebook and Twitter” misses the point. read more

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