U.S. Agencies Using Tumblr To Increase Transparency

By Kenna McHugh Comment

Governmental agencies are staking some space on Tumblr, the popular microblogging site. The State Department to the National Archives, Peace Corps and General Services Administration are using the site to give people a look at their in-house activities. Roughly 60 percent of Tumblr users are outside of the U.S., granting government blogs such as National Archives and Peace Corps an international audience.

Tumblr helps the Peace Corps share stories from volunteers in 77 countries. Reportedly, the government site gained 980 followers in one week. That’s a lot of stories to share. The Peace Corps blogs are filled with archival photography, which draws in its visitors.

The Peace Corps followed the General Services Administration sanction in deciding to join Tumblr. General Services Administration is setup at USA.gov as a Tumblog. A social media contractor for USA.gov, told The Daily Caller, “We had to negotiate a different terms of service for government employees. By doing that, we opened the door for the State Department, and the Peace Corps, and the National Archives to come in and do their thing.”

Like most governments they have a department for everything or anything. The General Services Administration negotiates terms of service among all social media sites for the U.S. government. Requiring record keeping of all public communication needed to be confirmed with Tumblr. The microblogging site is at the technology level required by the government to store documents. Hence, these sites are doing quite well on Tumblr.

The National Archives over sees quite a few Tumblr blogs that involves such information as a blog about U.S. presidents, current exhibits and a daily document showcase. National Archives have taken to the spirit of social media. The agency decided to make it part of their overall mission to make available all the records the U.S. government holds. With social media, they can now “share more than they have ever been able to before.” What kind of records? Literally billions of records will be place on the site such as documents, photographs, motion pictures and electronic records.

Starting a blog and keeping it going on Tumblr is comparably easy. I am sure we will see more and more agencies joining the social media site.