09-27-2011 03:28 AM
LEVERAGING VIDEO AND SOCIAL NETWORKS
Reading this article about Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, spending US$205,332 to build a Facebook account is another demonstration of the growing importance of Social Networks for Government departments looking at being more citizen-centric. While numerous Government agencies are still debating about the danger and security aspects of social networks, others have long gone ahead and launched official pages on Facebook and Twitter in an effort to engage and communicate with citizens, businesses and partners.
During a recent visit on Facebook, I noticed that the Singapore Police Force which provides regular crime alerts had more than 166,000 friends. As a comparison, the US. Federal Bureau of Investigation had slightly over 148,000 friends. Down under, the Facebook page called The Line by the Australian Government counted over 65,000 friends. The list goes on...
However, Governments are not leveraging the full potential of social networks. Today most sites offer news, pictures, status updates. But very few, use visual communications, synchronous and asynchronous video technology, to promote key Government initiatives, engage citizens and educate people.
LIVE AND ON-DEMAND VIDEOS
Creating a video library accessible on-demand by citizens to build awareness about safety, health, education or the environment is now relatively easy. Existing Telepresence, Recording and Streaming systems can be combined to Video Media Management software to capture, archive, manage and distribute videos, both internally and externally, while respecting the approval process in place to publish content on web portals. With this, it becomes cost effective and simple for officials to engage constituents through live video conferences and webcasts making the experience a more immersive and personal one than a speech on television.
In addition, to emails and phone calls, social media platforms are set to become main interaction channels to listen and respond to enquiries from constituents. Just like you would send an instant message (IM) or make a phone call to your friends via your preferred social network, you will soon be able to report a crime to the 911/Emergency contact centre from your mobile phone and record/stream the image for evidence purposes. Making a video call to the Health department from your computer or tablet to video chat with a public servant in any language - including sign language - is not something too far away.
ASIA SET TO BE FIRST...
Unified Communication technology is everywhere today. It has been adopted by Businesses, Governments and Citizens worldwide. But it is just matter of time before video becomes a full part of Social Networks and Contact Centre platforms. Asian countries might be the first to lead the way just because of the high penetration of mobile devices in this part of the world. Time will tell..but over video this time.
Global Director - Government