Having a new UK government has presented some challenges for No. 10 from a social media perspective. Principally, how to maintain the continuity that is attached to the office of Prime Minister, but sweep away as much of the old content as possible.
The solution the Tories have gone for is to keep their content hub fixed – but change all the old content outposts (sort-of). Thus www.number10.gov.uk remains the digital hub for the government, but the identities of the Twitter, Flickr and YouTube outposts have been changed – from having a DowningStreet identity to Number10Gov identity. The content in the old accounts will be retained ‘for the archive’ and those signed-up will be moved across – but effectively the content thread has been broken.
Quite a neat solution – but was it really necessary? Relevance in social media is not about places (i.e. where the content comes from) but about spaces (what the content is and where it goes). After all, David Cameron is still going to live in No. 10, he is not going to put the old cabinet room table on eBay and get a new one from Ikea, (unless the IMF say so). So why change Twitter, YouTube and Flickr? These were the content outposts of the office of Prime Minister. Also – what happens when we get a new government? Will they feel they come up with yet another identity – and how many permutations of Gov, Number10 and DowningStreet are there available?