Spread the Love

Is YouYube getting preferential treatment from governments?

Frederic Lardinois, of ReadWriteWeb, argues that when it comes to posting videos online governments should spread the love:

Lately, there has been a trend for government agencies and elected officials to put their videos up on YouTube. While we commend them for doing so, we can’t help but wonder if this is, in the end, a positive trend. After all, while YouTube is definitely the most popular video sharing site, it is definitely not the only one.

He’s right. I’ve made this same argument about governments using Twitter. There are other microblogging sites out there, and governments need to make sure that their use of new channels to communicate with citizens (whether through video or microblogging) is not targeted to one specific company.

Some might argue that using multiple video sharing or microblogging sites is just adding work. Don’t underpayed and overburdened public employees have enough to do?

If this is the argument, then I’d respond by saying that the use of these services should be automated — almost all of them (certainly any of them worth using) have an API that makes it easy to develop scripts or applications that can significantly cut down the time and effort required to post content. YouTube has one. So does Twitter.

Social networking platforms are becoming the norm for government communication and outreach. Its time for governments to get smart about their use of these services.

Automate your processes. Use the APIs. Spread the love.

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