Twitter for government: Indonesians get social media for public services

Medha Basu at FutureGov: “One of the largest users of social media in the world, Indonesians are taking it a step further with a new social network just for public services.

Enda Nasution and his team have built an app called Sebangsa, or Same Nation, featuring Facebook-like timelines (or Twitter-like feeds) for citizens to share about public services.

They want to introduce an idea they call “social government” in Indonesia, Nasution told FutureGov, going beyond e-government and open government to build a social relationship between the government and citizens….

It has two features that stand out. One called Sebangsa911 is for Indonesians to post emergencies, much like they might on Twitter or Facebook when they see an accident on the road or a crowd getting violent, for instance. Indonesia does not have any single national emergency number.

Another feature is called Sebangsa1800 which is a channel for people to post reviews, questions and complaints on public services and consumer products.

Why another social network?
But why build another social network when there are millions of users on Facebook and Twitter already? One reason is to provide a service that focuses on Indonesians, Nasution said – the app is in Bahasa.

Another is because existing social networks are not built specifically for public services. If you post a photo of an accident on Twitter, how many and how fast people see it depends on how many followers you have, Nasution said. These reports are also unstructured because they are “scattered all over Twitter”, he said. The app “introduces a little bit of structure to the reports”….(More)”