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back to article UK.gov biz department wonders if Twitter is worth the effort

The UK government’s business, innovation and skills department (BIS) is currently peering into its own Web2.0 navel in an effort to work out if it’s wasting time and money on “social media” websites. Earlier this month, BIS kicked off an “informal” consultation into its Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and podcast activities …

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72nd response....

Just added my own opinions there.

Do you use them? No

Do you find them useful? No

What can we do to improve them? Get rid and stop wasting my money on them.

Any other comments: Twitter and YouTube are not suitable channels for this kind of communication. I'm an IT worker, not a computer-illiterate luddite, and I have no interest in watching yet more pointless spin on YouTube.

Strangely, it took a number of attempts to submit. Lots of fellow commentards making their feelings known, I wonder?

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Anonymous Coward

tweet-retards.gov.uk

I fully support and share same view...

tweet is for tweet-retards... like facebook is for facebook-retards... and are a total wast of time!

And same goes for government top stop wasting my money on low rated youtube clips unless something funny happens to PM while recording them (flying unidentified eggs or something like that)... otherwise just forget because no one want to see or listen a non-funy and non-elected guy opening the mouth on false and pointless one way spin.

I actually suggest MPs and Goverment to stop wasting time browsing the internet and recording pointless videos. But concentrate (doing some useful work for change), focus more on the problems in this country, matters that this goverment and the MPs bunch haven't been solving for sometime (apart from stealing our money and shoving it into their own pockets).

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WTF?

Thanks El Reg for the Heads-Up here

I too have thrown in my two penn'orth. Which aspects of government strategy or policy on anything can be usefully expressed in a tweet? Save the money and get on with some work

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FAIL

Waste of time

For the last few years I've been trying to communicate with our beloved government, the ministry of justice, my MP, Downing street, my local councillor and the Home Office among others.

I've never wasted so much time in my life.

Our beloved government seem to employ a human shield to rebut everything possible and ignore anything that they can't rebutt. Actually getting any response of any worth from any government department is a complete waste.

This is probably the most democratic society that pays no attention to the democracy in global existance. The only time they are interested in the electorate is during elections and, then, it is to know whether we will vote for them.

So what is the point in engaging with a government that works so very diligently to avoid actual engagement with citizens ... or at least, middle class, white ones that pay their taxes.

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WTF

"..or at least, middle class, white ones that pay their taxes..." Since when does colour or class come into this?

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Stop

£668 x (100/0.2) = £334,000.00

They say, "Taking into account the grades of the individuals, the total the cost of this staff time is estimated as £668 per month."

£668 x (100/0.2) = £334,000.00 per month? Exactly what "grade" is this individual?

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FAIL

Not exactly...

1 FTE is the equivilent of 1 person working standard hours, so 0.2FTE is 1/5 of the month, making the annual pay grade £40080 ((£668*5)*12)

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FAIL

Not quite...

£668 for 0.2 FTE means that one whole FTE is (£668 x 5) = £3,340 per month, or about £40k per annum.

Given that the figure quoted is a cost to the department, and hence includes overheads, pensions, etc, the staff concerned are likely paid significantly less than this.

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WTF?

So can we get rid of the £160k Twitter Czar

...as an immediate cost cutting measure, or will cutting the twitter czar too soon damage the recovery?

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They are spending too little

If their use of social media is to find out what other people are saying about the department, and on their issues (e.g. the digital economy bill), they are spending too little.

They should spend more, and listen and read more: to blogs, the Register, Facebook, Twitter, Ning communities like Digital Circle etc.

They are probably already paying a market research company to do that - but until Ministers and Permanent Secretaries regularly go online, they are not going to get cyberspace, and keep on producing ridiculous laws.

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Grenade

Lines up Twitter 'naysayers' against wall and proceeds...

... to smack them upside head with clue stick.

Whether or not uk.gov can figure out whether Twitter is useful to them or not, is neither here nor there.

Any geek worth their salt who *can't* understand how to leverage Twitter isn't actually worth their salt and is thick as pigshite too boot.

It's a typical knee-jerk reaction (with emphasis on the word jerk)

Because they see Twitter as being full of marketing bunk and the miniature of peoples daily lives, it's dismissed as dross and a waste of time.

Unfortunately, they haven't got the common sense to look further and to see exactly how useful twitter can be when LEVERAGED correctly.

The sheer amount of useful links I've got from Twitter is incredible - you just need to FOLLOW THE RIGHT PEOPLE!

Here's just one example - 123reg is using their twitter account as an informal help desk - twitter users post a question followed by @123reg and 123reg can respond.

It's also a great social tool for your mates - you can see who is going where, what they are planning etc. as a group.

If you can't figure out why these examples are useful, your useless.

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WTF?

ow...

That clue-stick would hurt if it had any substance to it.

We're not talking about whether or not Twitter is useful. We're talking about whether or not ist's suitable for uk.gov to spunk our tax money on it when they do so for no discernible benefit to the people whose money it is.

123reg is onbviously, based on what you say (I've never used it) a good example of appropriate Twitter use. BIS is a *bad* ezample.

And call me a Luddite, but I keep up with my mates the old-fashioned way, by actually speaking to them. A few have Twitter broadcasts or whatever they call them, but I quite frankly have enough to do already without looking at yet more inane drivel on the interwebs. Sorry guys....

So I can see your examples might be useful. Great, I'm not useless then. But WTF does that have to do with Twitter.gov wasting our tax money on shit that no-one gives a toss about?

I eagerly await my next clue-stick battering.

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Grenade

Lines up Twitter 'naysayers' against wall and proceeds...

... to smack them upside head with clue stick.

Whether or not uk.gov can figure out whether Twitter is useful to them or not, is neither here nor there.

Any geek worth their salt who *can't* understand how to leverage Twitter isn't actually worth their salt.

It's a typical knee-jerk reaction (with emphasis on the word jerk)

Because they see Twitter as being full of marketing bunk and the miniature of peoples daily lives, it's dismissed as dross and a waste of time.

Unfortunately, they haven't got the common sense to look further and to see exactly how useful twitter can be when LEVERAGED correctly.

The sheer amount of useful links I've got from Twitter is incredible - you just need to FOLLOW THE RIGHT PEOPLE!

Here's just one example - 123reg is using their twitter account as an informal help desk - twitter users post a question followed by @123reg and 123reg can respond.

It's also a great social tool for your mates - you can see who is going where, what they are planning etc. as a group.

If you can't figure out why these examples are useful, sorry, your stuck in the past.

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Silver badge

Pointless

Most of the questions assume you've bothered to look at their website or any of their media feeds, which I haven't.

That's not to say all government internet activity is useless, merely that BIS is. What do they do again?

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Anonymous Coward

What do they do?

They shovel public money down the gaping maw of the private sector. End.

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Gov't doesn't understand the internet

It's no different to the poor viewing Gordon Brown's speech on Broadband Britain's Digital Future had - 157 watchers by the time I had to leave to go to work. The establishment has a long way to go before it understands how to use "tinternet".

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.gov should tweet

I'm with Matt 89. We're a government supplier and the tweets that come out of gov departments are incredibly useful to us. They keep us abreast with what's happening in our client base in an easily digestible manner.

As a "customer" of government i.e. taxpayer, I recently followed a tweet through to a Defra consultation and contributed my opinion. I wouldn't have thought to go there otherwise without the tweet.

Yes, .gov doesn't always get it right but look at the commercial world and you get the same picture. This is emerging technology and practice.

BERR are right to assess the value of their online activities. I hope they see the value of Twitter as creating better relationships between us the public, their stakeholders and their suppliers.

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