Session two of the ARMA Metro MD seminar is by Chad Doran and is entitled, “Current Research and Best Practices for Managing Social Media Records.” Chad is a CRM and chief records management officer of Arlington County.

Twitter is one of the fastest means of social media use.  One such example is how it was used in 2010 during the Haiti earthquake to coordinate emergency responses, collect donations and communicate.  Another example is Twestival to mobilize local communities to support a cause.

Outside of Twitter there are other pervasive means of social media use.  When NASA’s Mars curiosity landed it used FourSquare tips to check in on Mars, it was the first check-in on another planet.  President Obama recently used Google+ to interact and answer questions from citizens.

Social media tools help to promote open government.  NARA guidelines for if social media is a record

  1. Is he information unique and not available elsewhere?
  2. Does it contain evidence of an agency’s policy business, mission?
  3. Is it being used in relation to agency work?
  4. Is the use of the tool authorized by agency?
  5. Is there a business need for the information?

A sizable chunk Big Data comes from social media.

Warrick is currently doing work to archive Facebook via screen capture and there is also work being done by the Library of Congress to capture the archive of Twitter.

In Facebook what is technically considered a record?  Do we need to capture an organization’s likes, photos and conversations on social media.  What to capture needs to take place at the information governance table early on to decide what are technically able to capture and what are we legally obligated to retain

Amazon is currently uses the Mechanical Turk for human intelligence tasks as a means of crowdsourcing.  Stanford University is currently using crowdsourcing to organize e-mail inboxes.

Clay Christensen has done interesting work on disruptive innovation. His theory is that we need to anticipate cheaper simper smaller, and frequently mover convenient to use technologies and get ahead of the curve on them instead of staying on the current sustaining technologies.  RIM has to constantly embrace technologies when they have already been adopted at the end and replacing current tools, instead of being on board when an organization first implements it.  Often RIM is brought to the table when it is too late and we are catching up.  RIM should be involved in the IT world and in conversations outside of our field so we can have a say in requirements.  Goal is to get in early on.

Social media is inherently usable by design.  It is created with human computer interaction in mind.  Most records management applications requires too many fields to invite human computer interaction.  Chad uses an example from a standard DOD 5015.2 that has too many fields for a user to want to fill out.

Open source tools are available to analyze and visualize social media data.

A good standard to use is “Implication of web-based collaborative technologies in Records Management” published by ARMA in 2011.  It is an ARMA/ANSI international standard.  Applicable to public and private environments.  Provides requirements and practice requirements related to policies, procedures, and processes for an organization’s use of Web 2.0/social media tools.

Other studies to look into are

Practical Strategies:

  • Review standards, studies, reports and guidance that apply to your specifics organization environment.
  • Review your organizational policy.
  • Ensure that organizational policies align with the recommendation in published standards, studies, reports and guidance
  • Review and identify your organization’s use of social media technologies
  • Ensure that your use and management of social media technologies align with recommendations in published standards, studies, reports and guidance
  • Continue to monitor changes to standards, studies, reports and guidance on an ongoing basis
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