9 January 2012

The New Zealand Government Web standards website was updated in November to include revised social media guidance, approved by the ICT Strategy Group. Prominent is High Level Guidance encouraging agencies to have a code of conduct regarding social media use.

Three good practices for State servants listed in the guidance that relate to online participation are:

  • when using social media in a personal capacity, do not identify your employer if doing so would bring your employer into disrepute
  • remember that even sites restricted to your friends are in fact public and you cannot control what your friends may do with the information
  • bear in mind that participating online may bring media attention to you so proceed with caution regardless of the capacity in which you take part.

The guidance reinforces that the Standards of Integrity and Conduct for the State Services and agencies own codes of conduct may apply when engaging in social media. These points are particularly pertinent as staff in the New Zealand public sector are big contributors to social media.

The blogsites with the highest “hit” rates are www.gotcha.co.nz  and www.kiwiblog.co.nz

Both have a strong bias towards the political right.

On Friday, Kiwiblog listed the top 13 host sites of its readership (excluding ISPs). Ten of the 13 host sites are public sector agencies; 4 are Public Service departments, 3 are SOEs/Crown company, 2 are TEIs, and 1 is a local authority.

The 3 private sector organisations are APN, Fonterra and Westpac.