“What three things would you change about policing if you had a magic wand?”
All valid questions. These and many others were posed during my Twitter Q&A session #AskInspG last night. I must admit I enjoyed it immensely, even though I got an error message on the screen as soon as I sent my first tweet. At times I could hear the hamsters inside the Vic 20 I was using groaning with the effort of keeping the server running, but despite some answers not appearing on the hashtag page, I think it went pretty well overall. (Oddly enough, some of these answers are visible in sequence today, and others that were there last night have disappeared. Wierd).
I think the power of these events is in exposing myself as a human being who happens to do a job that involves wearing a uniform. I had a laugh last night, and the feedback I have received suggests that the questioners out there did too. Using social media in this way is not much different to having a chat with someone on the street or in the pub, and that’s its strength. At the end of last night’s Q&A session, DCC Stuart Hyde posted “We need to remember it’s ‘social’ not ‘corporate’ media”, and I think that sums up my position.
Next time I will look into using a more stable interactive platform to prevent messages going astray, but all in all I thought it went okay. I covered some serious issues, some personal thoughts and there was a bit of light-hearted banter, all despite being limited to 140 characters per reply (that was hard). To those forces who may still be nervous about their officers using social media, my message would be ‘don’t be scared’ – the public trust some of us to drive fast cars and carry guns.
Bit of a shorter blog this time, and no rant about inappropriate or damaging performance management systems for a change.
By the way, I hate cheese.