The identity question

Since Make It Digital launched, we've had a lot of questions from people, wondering whether they should post on behalf of their company/agency or as an individual.

For those of us who are State servants, SSC's Principles for interaction with social media are the best place to look.

Here's an excerpt:

As an agency representative

The protocols that apply when you are acting as an official representative of your agency are the same whether you are talking to the media, speaking at a conference or using social media. Good practice is to disclose your position and that you are representing your agency. You should only disclose information, make commitments or engage in activities when you are authorised to do so. You should remember that your comments will often be permanently available and able to be reproduced in other media.


In a private capacity

State servants have the same rights of free speech as other New Zealanders, but with some additional obligations. Regardless of the media being used, you must not do anything which could harm the reputation of your agency or the State services, and you must not disclose any agency material that you are not specifically authorised to disclose. Where there may be uncertainty about the capacity in which you are acting, you should make it clear to others that your contribution is as a private individual and not as a representative of your agency. You should ensure that any comment you make on matters of government policy is appropriate to the agency role you hold, and you must respect the need to maintain politically neutral State services.

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For companies with a commercial interest in digitisation or having their objects digitised, it's a matter of appropriately disclosing your commercial interest and having the authority to post on behalf of your organisation.

If you're posting as your organisation and there will be different members posting, you may want to sign each post off with your first name. If there's just one of you posting, then it doesn't matter as much. Another thing to consider is, if you also want to post about ideas that are unrelated to your work and not on the behalf of your organisation, you may wish to set up a personal account.