Bringing government to the people

Tuesday - 4/20/2010, 6:01am EDT

It's doubtful Abraham Lincoln was talking about social media when he said in the Gettysburg Address that government needs to be "of the people, by the people and for the people."

But a high-ranking government official thinks Facebook and Twitter could assist with that ideology.

Janice Nall, director of the Division of eHealth Marketing at the CDC, says government needs to be where people are getting their information -- and that means the social realm.

"That is where the commercial entities are, that is where we have to be to as government," she said at a "Putting Citizens at the Center of Government" luncheon in D.C.

Nall said agencies need be in the social space with "salient points" like how to quit smoking and where to get flu shots -- with the end goal to bring people back to the agency's Web site for more information and detail.

Nall said CDC has already ramped up social media tools, ranging from text messaging to online video.