This ain't not Facebook, This ain't no Twitter
First it was Facebook fan pages that government agencies
fell in love with, then it was official Twitter feeds, now comes the seemingly
inevitable next step...the ubiquitous Tumblr blog.
The Daily Caller is reporting that federal agencies
as varied as the State Department and the National Archives are adopting the
popular blogging platform as the latest way to reach out to citizens. Mark
Coatney, spokesman for Tumblr, told the website that over the past year the
number of blogs on the service has ballooned from 6 million to roughly 21
"What I like about them is that they really use it in a
Tumblr-native way," Coatney said of the software's new fed adopters. "Tumblr is
a visually-rewarding platform. For instance, the Peace Corps blogs a lot of
archival photography to bring you in. I think they do that really well."
A renewed focus on
outreach and transparency in the federal sector has been a driving force behind
this rapid adoption, at least according to one fed communicator. "The White
House Open Gov Initiative really opened the possibilities for the National
Archives and many other agencies to get involved in social media," National
Archives Exhibits Tumblr blogger Rebecca Martin told the site.
"When you've got billions of records, you have some
amazingly cool stuff," Martin said. "And Tumblr is one way that we can help
people know about some of the wonderful, or shocking, or just silly stuff that
people had no idea we had here."
Tumblr, or any other reliable blogging platform, is a truly
ideal way for government communicators/social media mavens to reach out to
constituents. Not as constrictive as Twitter or Facebook, blogs such as those
powered by Tumblr can let an agency truly get its personality and issues out
front and center to an audience. After all, there are only so many retweets and
"likes" an agency can produce before it stops seeming "cutting edge" and
becomes just as dull as your standard issue press release.