Brisbane City Councils Social Prowess…

First of all this week I’d like to thank Jason for using all of the obvious and easiest examples of corporate social networking in this weeks lecture. It’s certainly made my quest for information somewhat harder as new instances of this kind of thing aren’t so forth coming. However a little bit of pondering and head scratching I drew inspiration from one of my previous blog posts regarding the legalities of such social networks in business. The result was an entity that affects all of us Brisbanians each and everyday, and that is the Brisbane City Council.

The BCC would have to be one of the leading councils in Australia in regards to their technology savvy pro-active approach to helping the community by involving the community. The aspect of their use of social networking tools ill be discussing is primarily those of external applications. BCC does not divulge too much info about their internal use of said tools but they are very enthusiastic with the publicising of their Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, YouTube channel, and their newly released Mobile enablement web app. The 9000 strong workforce at the Council do have access to internal messaging services, blogging tools and wikis but to what extent and as for statistical analysis on the successes is still to be seen.

A lot of this strong public social media presence I think can be attributed to their enthusiastic leaders can-do attitude, Campbell Newman. Since his inception into the job way back in 2004 Can-Do-Campbell has vehemently been promoting his tunnel vision for a modern Brisbane, and to some degree has been making it a reality. With his active role within the community it was a natural progression for his place in the public eye to be virtualised and become part of Brissies digital community too. He has his own Facebook page, YouTube channel and his own interactive website that help to personalise the leader.

The BCC is promoting an open and transparent flow of information back and forth between itself and the residents. With the ability for residents to have their say via the hosted BCC residents forum as well as keeping them informed about upcoming events via Twitter and the new Mobile engagement councils creating Brisbane’s own social network. I think that anyone who lives in Brisbane with a smart phone should have a look at their new web app as I can see it as the new must have for an active Brisbane resident.


Through all of this prolific social media saturation the BCC has kept a very clean and uniformed public image. Who ever is in charge of their social media department is doing a damn fine job in my opinion as they are helping to continue the councils squeaky clean image.

Now as for my own forays into the social networking scene… I mean who didn’t have a MySpace page in highschool?! I am the first to admit that MySpace was awesome fun as a teenage boy, seriously where else can you find pics of chicks your age in your area bored at home just like you with a msn account? As seedy as that sounds now that I am a mature 21-year-old its the reality that was. Now in my twenties I no longer have a MySpace account, and nor do I subscribe to the Facebook craze. I personally do not see the need for it. Yes I had a Facebook account, you can thank Jason and INB-WEB2.0 for that; but I didn’t spend hours looking at what everyone did on the weekend, instead I was out having fun. MySpace had a degree of personal expression and personalization where as Facebook everyone’s page looks the same, you hand over your info and that’s it. Upload 10000 photos that they are the proud new owners of and nudge, poke and update each and every one of your 500 friends.

I can see there is reasonable applications of Facebook but I have a phone, if I wanna know what my mates doing, ill ring them. What they did on the weekend doesn’t particularly interest me, and if it was so awesome, why wasnt I invited? Social networking in the workplace is a good idea as it fosters strong working relationships and creates a rapport with people you otherwise would avoid at the water cooler. It does however pose risks like anything does but places like IBM have shown that with the right employee attitudes and a degree of freedom it does work.