Civil servants all over the world now ‘tweet’

Through a new set of guidelines, the  British government has recommended that its departments use the microblogging service Twitter.

The guidelines suggest civil servants deliver “tweets” that are "human and credible" and written in "informal spoken English." They advise government departments to produce between 2 and 10 “tweets” a day, with a gap of at least 30 minutes between each "to avoid flooding our followers’ Twitter streams." They also say departments should not follow any Twitter users who are not following them.

Indeed, governments around the world are now using the microblogging service to keep voters and constituents informed, with Britain and the United States among the most active. President Barack Obama’s Twitter stream encourages people to “tweet” their members of Congress about health care reform and provides links to the president’s news conferences to more than 1.8 million followers.

In Britain, the prime minister’s office, the Foreign Office and some individual lawmakers already use Twitter to broadcast their activities online. Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s office has more than 1 million Twitter followers, according to the Associated Press. And a new Twitter account established by Spain’s government already has more than 2,000 followers.

Swedish politicians also have caught the Twitter bug, the AP notes, though French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have so far not joined the fad. Through a new set of guidelines, the  British government has recommended that its departments use the microblogging service Twitter.

The guidelines suggest civil servants deliver “tweets” that are "human and credible" and written in "informal spoken English." They advise government departments to produce between 2 and 10 “tweets” a day, with a gap of at least 30 minutes between each "to avoid flooding our followers’ Twitter streams." They also say departments should not follow any Twitter users who are not following them.

Indeed, governments around the world are now using the microblogging service to keep voters and constituents informed, with Britain and the United States among the most active. President Barack Obama’s Twitter stream encourages people to “tweet” their members of Congress about health care reform and provides links to the president’s news conferences to more than 1.8 million followers.

In Britain, the prime minister’s office, the Foreign Office and some individual lawmakers already use Twitter to broadcast their activities online. Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s office has more than 1 million Twitter followers, according to the Associated Press. And a new Twitter account established by Spain’s government already has more than 2,000 followers.

Swedish politicians also have caught the Twitter bug, the AP notes, though French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have so far not joined the fad.

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