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Business - Written by on Friday, May 1, 2009 14:32 - 3 Comments

Researching Government 2.0 on Twitter

In light of Jeff and Mike’s recent posts about Twitter, I thought it fitting to explain how I’ve been using Twitter to research Government 2.0. 

If you want to follow me, my Twitter name is @A_Marsh.  You’ll notice that 3/4 of my posts are very short comments designed to entice followers to click through on links I’ve provided (many of which are in the Wikinomics theme).  Essentially, I use Twitter as a gateway to substantive content, a style of Tweeting that Denis blogged about previously

As far as using Twitter as a research tool, I generally follow other user who also use it as a gateway to more substantive content.  For me, Twitter is something like a news condenser, or a filter.  I’ve handpicked a series of intelligent users to follow on Twitter, users who filter through the glut of information available on the web, and highlight what they believe to be the most useful and important.  If you pick out the right users to follow, it can be akin to having an entire team of researchers working for you, pro-bono and in realtime.

So here’s two examples of how I’ve used Twitter to stay up to date on developments in the world of Government 2.0.

In the Gov2.0 space, there have been a series of conferences this year (or rather, unconferences) that I’ve been unable to attend.  Yet I was still able to follow the updates and view most of the same resources as the attendees for events like transparency camp and Government 2.0 camp, mainly through Twitter.  As more and more events are broadcasted live online, having Twitter users to alert you in realtime is incredibly valuable.  The use of hashtags on Twitter makes this even easier, with tags being added to Tweets, thus making them more searchable.    Do a Twitter search on #gov20 and youll see what I mean.

Twitter also allows me to follow, in realtime, individuals with similar research interests.  For example, one of my interests happens to be participatory government, and I’ve come across a researcher named Tiago Peixoto whose work is very relevant to my own.  I started to follow him on Twitter – @participatory – and upon reading through his backlog of Tweets, I came across dozens of useful links and articles on participation.  None of his Tweets are narcissistic, self-aggrandizing or personalized in any way.  Almost everything he Tweets is relevant and of interest to me.  So now, every time he comes across a good resource on participatory government, I am immediately alerted to it via Twitter.  In the research world, that’s an incredible resource for collaboration.

Finally, I’d like to post my Twitter #FollowFriday recommendations for the week, all of whom fall into the Gov2.0 space: @Corbett3000, @participatory, @johnwonderlich, @govloop, @govwiki, @markelliot.



3 Comments

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Andrea Baker
May 1, 2009 16:25

I believe I stumbled on to your blog because I have a Google alert for “Government 2.0″ in addition to twitter, I find that a lot of good information that I use in reference capacity within my own blogs on Government 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0.

I don’t know if you have this alert, but I would recommend it. I also started following you on twitter and hope if you do follow me in return realize I tweet with respect to the many interests that I have, but I also highlight those in which I think are sometimes missed because they don’t have massive followings on twitter. So they are not #goverati by a long shot, if we even know what #goverati really is.

David Alexander’s Blog » Blog Archive » Using Twitter for Something Other than What you had for Lunch
May 11, 2009 10:47

[...] Marshall from the Wikinomics Blog wrote a post detailing his use of Twitter for Gov 2.0 research and states: As far as using Twitter as a research tool, I generally follow other user who also use [...]

Wikinomics» Blog Archive » The original barcamp: another good reason to have liberal arts majors on your enterprise 2.0 team
Jul 23, 2009 7:18

[...] The public sector, in fact, seems to have gone barcamp-crazy. Colleagues Anthony Williams and Alex Marshall have chronicled barcamps in these pages already this [...]

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