Government presence in Social Media on the rise

Possibly the US President Barack Obama (Twitter Handle @barackobama) and then Indian Junior Minister for external affairs Shashi Tharoor (@shashitharoor) were among the earliest adopters of social media in the political world. They were able to communicate with their constituencies without any intermediaries. Since then, host of personalities from various walks of life have come and gone or just got bored of the social media. It has also been a cause for some charlatans to post as  real people. It can be funny too when the posts are in third person, like when the supposed tweet from the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh  reads ” @PMOIndia Dr Manmohan Singh – The Prime Minister undertook 22 domestic and 10 foreign trips last year. pic.twitter.com/cSH8vg2m“.

The use of social media from just individuals has moved to Government Agencies. This is not a blog with social media adoption statistics among government agencies.
Here are some agencies who interact meaningfully with the citizens.

Rank #3 : Commissioner, Brihat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike – @bbmpcommissioner

BBMP is a large, complex administrative body which is involved in every walk of life of a citizen- roads, water, land administration, tax collection and garbage disposal. Notoriously inefficient, the only thing they have streamlined and managed efficiently to date is tax collection. You can pay your city taxes using a credit card or through your bank account. The commissioner, has started this initiative to get complaints and feedback from citizens of Bangalore. We have not seen any responses or resolutions from him yet, but he will get enough and more feedback on the civic conditions across this ever growing city.

Rank #2 : Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation

Twitter: @KSRTC_Journeys

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KSRTC.Karnataka

KSRTC is one of the best public transport systems in India. They have a modern fleet with a wide range of buses from shuttle services to super luxury, interstate coaches from Volvo and Mercedes. They have in many ways revolutionised overnight travel by reducing the travel time between major cities. They have regular twitter and facebook updates about newer bus terminus’s, newer routes, changed travel times and they also update you by way of SMS if there is any change in the time of your forthcoming travel with KSRTC.

They have smartly embedded their travel planner into their Facebook page so that you can book your tickets right within Facebook.

Rank #1 : Bangalore Traffic Police

Twitter: @bangalortraffic

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bangalore-Traffic-Police/147207215344994

Possibly the most interactive of the three Government agencies mentioned here. They tweet during peak hours about the roads to avoid due to traffic congestion, broken down buses, weather related reasons and also RT citizen reports. Their Facebook page allows users to lodge complaints, upload traffic violations and report unscientific and dangerous road conditions. They reply to your complaints with a copy of the letter sent to the appropriate officer for action and also provide you the name and number of the officer you may want to get in touch with. They are very smart in getting info of issues and violations that they are not able to monitor due to shortage of manpower or insufficient technology.

Success of these agencies will spur more Government agencies to interact with citizens to resolve complaints, solicit feedback to improve systems  and ultimately make citizens feel that they are contributing positively to the betterment of the society they live in.

Good luck and may your tribe increase.

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