One of the promising aspects of social media in government is the opportunity to crowdsource contributions to public policy problems. Although it is now more evident that governments are embracing social media as part of their information dissemination and engagement plans, there is less knowledge about the use of social media as information sources. This paper presents the findings of an ongoing study with a large government department in the UK that aims to examine the value of social media in this context. Drawing from a series of interviews, the study identifies two main directions: (1) developing tools and internal workflows that can convert input from social media to useful content and (2) challenges around understanding how groups of interest amongst the public are using social media. The paper develops a plan for future research.
Submitted as developmental paper for BAM 2015, e-Business and e-Government track