the grass is greener on the internet


yourHealth on yourBlog
September 26, 2009, 12:03 pm
Filed under: 1

I have to admit to being a little scared.

There are some entities I am super keen to see get into social media.

The Australian government was not exactly one of them.

Not to say that it’s not great we have a PM who Twitters in between running the country, but after the whole internet censorship thing it started getting a bit creepy.

So when I received an email with this header….

dha

…I felt like someone had walked over my Facebook profile. They’re on to me! I don’t know what I did, but they’re on to me!

Apparently the friendly DHA and yourHealth (with friendly sans serif and reassuring colours) want to start an online consultation process for health reform, whatever that is meant to mean. And to do so they’re surveying bloggers on how best to get onto our blogs.

Huh?

It does make sense – get more participation from the public by getting discussions started in a friendly online setting, but, uh… It feels wrong.

  1. Government power is top-down, and so we expect their communications to be. Otherwise it’s like sitting down to breakfast with a bear – they might be nice, or they might take 30% of your porridge and one of your legs. Um. I’m going to work on that metaphor.
  2. It’s harder to quantify online responses, especially if you’re expecting intelligent ones. Doesn’t always happen. (See Youtube, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc.) Don’t forget multiple posters, flamers, spammers…
  3. You can’t control what the bloggers will write to skew the response – even if they’re just saying ‘here’s a link to a new scheme’ they can create a bias. Just watch me.

Questions in the survey include how you’d prefer to be contacted about reforms, what kind of information you’d like (interviews, bulletins, blog comments, ‘strategic content’), most used sources of information and your regular blogging habits.

I will leave you with a sentence hidden somewhere in the middle of the email…

“We may share the final report with other Australian government agencies interested in contacting bloggers.”

What do you think?

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