“Wen Jia-bao is my homeboy,” shouts one of the comments on the wall of Chinese Premier’s Facebook profile.
Portolio’s Daily Brief reports that Premier Wen has garnered more than 50,000 supporters in 30 days, primarily in response to his handling of the situation following last month’s devastating earthquakes. The profile, obviously not created by the Premier himself, displays his image as well as some publicly available information about him and relevant URLs in a mix of English and Mandarin.
Now the Party probably doesn’t rely on Facebook as a barometer for how their policies are received by its citizens, but perhaps a future generation of leaders will.
One of the opportunities here is to listen to the feedback from constituencies. It might seem obvious, but I doubt that many government agencies are doing this. Yes, they are monitoring these networks, but for security reasons, not for feedback.
But a lot of good can come from listening. Some companies are already seeing the value of this. It’s time for governments to do the same in a much more transparent way.
What do you think? Am I way off base here?