Fake Stephen Conroy Outed

The real Stephen Conroy

Currently the public service is grappling with policy for how it should deal with employee’s use of social media. What are fair guidelines for online behaviour? Am I allowed to blog at work, what about if I talk about my work while I’m blogging at home? Tricky territory indeed unless agencies are generous with their staff in terms of self expression but provide clear codes of conduct. It’s certainly not going to work to blanket ban people using social media because, as a recent Nielsen study reminds us, social networking is now the most popular online activity rather than email.

Grappling with social media policy is a noble sentiment indeed – at least we’re talking about it and not pretending it doesn’t exist. If some progressive policies are nutted out it may lead to more e-government initiatives which put people in touch with their leaders, and maybe more importantly, with each other.

It’s been very amusing this week to watch the outing of the Fake Stephen Conroy who turns out to be Telstra employee Leslie Nassar. His twitter feed has proved hilarious reading to his almost 2000 followers, many opposed to the dreaded internet filter. He is now blogging under Department of Internets and will no doubt continue his social commentary in a new guise. The big question has been what are Telstra going to do about this wayward employee and what is their policy with employees using social media. Their social media expert Mike Hickinbotham has posted an explanatory blog post on their nowwearetalking.com.au which explains all.

Telstra is learning the best way to engage in social media – notice our response has come in the form of a blog versus a media release.

We believe transparency promotes credibility.  This post is about getting the facts into the open.

Whew, glad we got that one straight guys, as long as the company responds via a blog post everything’s hunky dory. But I tip my hat to Telstra for admitting publicly that they are still learning about this stuff and that’s a far more productive take on social media than denial or trying to stamp it out.

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