The potential for Twitter integration on all revamped Government of Canada websites made for an intriguing Globe and Mail online headline this week — even if the actual news could be encapsulated in the form of a tweet.
Certainly, the item did its job of riling up the commenters, who are mostly blind to the fact that a social media platform supplies more freedom to rage about Treasury Board of Canada president Tony Clement than a newspaper website does. But who would be paying attention?
Bureaucrats being reliably reached in the future via 140-character rants would be a leap indeed. Customer service departments of service industries have fielded Twitter-based feedback with mixed results. No doubt, any reports of a smooth conflict resolution via social media is seen as good publicity.
Whether civil servants are really prepared to have their interactions aired is one of the challenges of Open Government. Frustration would ensue if much of the bureaucracy used Twitter in the vein of Cap'n Crunch — whose account @RealCapnCrunch depicts a breakfast mascot who is too eager to acknowledge every mention.