Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Shel Israel on social media in government

I was very lucky this morning to meet social media expert Shel Israel. He was in town to speak at the ALI Social Media in Government conference. I attended his keynote talk and then got to sit and chat with him and local blogger Justin Thorp for a few minutes. I blogged before about Naked Conversations (by Shel and Robert Scoble) and he blogged about me.

Shel pointed out that the businesses (and government organizations) that are reluctant to use social media will eventually be irrelevant as the younger generation comes up and takes over management positions. That is true for most industries, but the question for journalists is: Will newspapers last that long?

We talked about a wide range of issues and topics. One of my favorite of Shel's points in his speech was that social media is a way to have conversations, out in the open, which should be the essence of democracy. Shel is from New England, and pointed to the tradition in some small towns there to have town hall meetings. Social media allow us, today, to have virtual town hall meetings any time, any where and on any topic. I love the openness and of social media; unfortunately, that is exactly what most organizations are afraid of, but when used properly, it can be a huge benefit to everyone.


shelisrael said...

It was a real pleasure to meet you today Kyle. I hope to see you back in sunny, warm California sometime soon.

Justin Thorp said...

Kyle, it was a pleasure meeting you. Please stay in touch! Hopefully the DC area will get you back once you're done with school.