By: William Risse

“When Governor Dayton arrived in office, we couldn’t send an email to all state gov. employees.”

        -Commissioner Carolyn Parnell     

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Many of the readings from this past week focused on how to effectively reach out to the public as a non-profit or government organization, as well as policies that should be used when using social media.  Others focused on how we can measure the effectiveness of the tools we implement.  But how can the government effectively reach out to other organizations when there isn’t yet effective communication within the government itself?  Governor Dayton’s organization has done a lot to alleviate this, which was highlighted by Carolyn Parnell- Commissioner and Chief Information office, and Jenna Covey who works for governor Dayton on social media techniques.  They laid out ideas on how Minnesota’s government system has been streamlined through internet and social media sources to create innovation:

  • Use of “the commons” which uses Microsoft 365 to share data, ideas, and information through the cloud.
  • Increase social media use by all organizations.  When Dayton entered office, about 10 of 26 state groups used social media. Now they all do.
  • Use of internal ideas and data transfer so that employees feel valued, rather than outsourcing work to outside organizations.
  • Openly sharing data through programs such as, which brought citizen’s together to forward public goals.
Minnesota Information Technology Home Page


Remember Kelsi’s blog and our discussion on Data Security!?

Carolyn cited the state’s choice of implementing Microsoft 365 because of data security issues with other providers such as google’s suite of services. Since UMN is on google drive rather then 365 here are some tips google provides on securing your documents- Security in Google Drive. Also: Office 365 Trust Center.


Now that the States on track, how can they  (and everyone else!) measure progress?

The state has made big steps in their use of social media, so now it is time for state organizations to start identifying how effectively they are using the social media tools at their disposal.  Many tools can assign a monetary value to certain social media goals.  A value can be assigned to anything from the number of comments alone, to the involvement of key supporters in a social media conversation.  Google analytics provides a short description of what their service provides, and there are many other options on the market as well.  This is especially important for Government organizations as many state governments face budgetary issues, and can also be important for non-profits looking to show their supporters progress.

50 top tools for Social Media Monitoring

Even without the monetary value- identifying how well you are making use of social media is essential for the Government, non-profits, and the private sector.  Social media isn’t going anywhere, and it is essential to use it to its maximum potential.