Twitter and the Public Sector

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the need for standards to guide governments in their use of microblogging platforms like Twitter.

Government Technology magazine has a new article about the different uses being found for Twitter in the public sector, highlighting some popular applications — including the use of Twitter for emergency notifications (something I’ve written about before). They even provide a Twitter “primer” for CIOs.

As the use of microblogging platforms by the public sector increase, I think the need for some basic standards will grow more acute.

It would be nice to see an organization like NASCIO or a similar organization step in and provide some guidance to governments that would help make public-sector Twitter accounts easier to find and more consistent.

UPDATE:

A friend just made me wise to an interesting event taking place in just a few minutes:

FEMA Administrator David Paulison will be available from 3 -3:30 pm Monday, Jan 12, 2009, to give a message and reply to questions using the agency’s Twitter account, femainfocus. The agency’s top official will discuss where FEMA was, where it is now, and where he sees it going.

This looks like a pretty novel way of using Twitter to communicate with the public, and I’m interested to see how it goes.