March 14, 2012

Indian Government on Facebook, Twitter & Youtube!

After the Anna Hazare movement created waves across social media & took the Indian Government like a Tsunami of Change without warning, finally the Indian Government has decided to test the (beautiful) waters of Social Media.

Article below reblogged via The Hindu

Social media can be a game-changer in the 12th five-year plan, say government officials

Just two days after the Prime Minister's Office made its debut on popular video-sharing Web site YouTube, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has launched itself on Facebook.
On Tuesday, the I&B ministry started a page on digitisation on the social network. This follows a recent two-day training programme on social media it held for forty of its officers at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi. 

Clearly, the Ministry is putting its newly acquired skills to good effect. At the Second National Community Radio Sammelan held recently, I&B officials could be seen diligently tweeting and updating on Facebook the proceedings of the meet. 

It might have been a late adopter of the medium, but the Government is certainly more than making up now. “The in-house thinking has undergone a 360 degree change and the I&B Ministry has realised that social media can be a game changer in the 12th Five Year Plan,” a highly placed government source told Business Line.

Approving the move, Mr Mahesh Murthy, marketing expert and founder, Pinstorm, a search marketing firm, says, “The fast growth of the PMO India ID on Twitter to over 60,000 followers has shown that modern India wants to engage with its leaders.”

He says that till now the Congress and the UPA have been laggards when it comes to social media. According to Pinstorm's India Influencer Table, which is a ranking of influential Indians on social media, with the exception of Mr Shashi Tharoor, the next four slots in the top list are taken by opposition characters: Mr Subramaniam Swamy, Mr Narendra Modi, Mr Sushma Swaraj and Jan Lokpal.

“After the current elections, the UPA will make a concerted effort to reach out to the social media masses, which far exceed the mass of urban TV viewers in the country already,” predicts Mr Murthy. “If anything, we will see more social media usage by arms of the government and the ruling party in the months to come,” he forecasts.

Indeed, that's already happening. Ms. Ambika Soni, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, has initiated a coordination committee for the convergence of all media, and asking for a more leveraged use of social media. “In fact, the Press Information Bureau has plans to use You Tube in big way to increase its reach,” a government source said.

Mr Pankaj Pachauri who recently took over as Communications Adviser to the Prime Minister, told Business Line, “We are going to leverage the social media more and more in the coming days. All departments of the government are working towards it.”

With the PMO now bent on “communicating with the people more through videos” and Ministries' becoming visible on Facebook and Twitter, a political observer commented dryly: “Soon, the United Progressive Alliance may be titled United Tweeting Alliance.”

What will be the first thing you will post on the Indian Government's Wall?

Tell me in the comments below.

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