News release: The Department of Finance is using Twitter.
The Department will begin tweeting when the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, rises in the House of Commons to deliver Budget 2010 on March 4th.
Links to relevant portions of the budget will be tweeted in real time.
“Our Government wants to reach out to inform Canadians of actions we are taking to support the economy,” said Minister Flaherty. “Using social media will bring our message to Canadians in a new, cost-effective and convenient way.”
Links to Finance news releases, advisories, major speeches, publications and reports will be posted for users who follow the Department.
Follow us today at http://www.twitter.com/financecanada.
Wow, live-tweeting the federal budget — that’s quite the way to launch your presence in the Twittersphere.
Doesn’t sound like interaction is part of the plan. At least that’s what I am reading in to this — the release tells what kind of content to expect, but nobody is being invited to ask questions or respond, whether via @replies or DMs.
And to date, that’s how @financecanada has been operated – in 16 tweets quietly issued since mid-February, the account has acted as a feed to news releases and such issued by the org. (Aussi disponible en Français : @financescanada.)
And that’s fair enough– if you’re not set up to respond in a timely manner (and most federal orgs are not), then its better not to venture there. But on the other hand, interaction is something that Tweeters generally expect. So I’m not sure how long this “twitter as news feed” pattern exhibited here and by many other GoC corporate social presences will be sustainable.
This bit of news is taking a turn for the weird. It turns out that there is more than one Twitter account claiming to be from the Department of Finance. @financecda and @financecanada. Which is legit? Here’s a recent @financecda tweet:
Sent: Feb 24, 2010 13:43
@FinanceCanada is imposter account. Please remove from your lists. #cdnpoli
sent via web
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/FinanceCda/status/9587494715
So if we trust this claim then @financecda is the real account.
But: where is the French equivalent account? I found no @financescda counterpart, while @financecanada has @financescanada as its equivalent. And the news release from the Department of Finance website says that the account they are using is @financecanada. So unless http://www.fin.gc.ca was hacked, I’m inclined to believe that @financecda is actually the impostor. Anyone else care to weigh in?
And in that tweet above there’s a typo! Should read impostor, not imposter. More significantly, Canwest journalist @davidakin has been tweeting about the impostor issue. He obtained a confirmation from the Department of Finance on which accounts are real:
So there we have it. I admit, I was fooled by the impostor claiming that the other guy was a fake. I take solace in the fact that it didn’t take me very long to realize my mistake. A good lesson in there about trust and thinking critically about what you see and read!