August 27, 2013

Social Media in Rulemaking

Editor’s Note:  To RSVP for the ACUS/Regulatory Studies Center Workshop, click here.

From: Administrative Conference of the United States

Social Media Workshop: September 17, 2013 – 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm EDT


George Washington University Marvin Center, Room 407 800 21st Street, NW Washington, DC 20052


Co-sponsored by the Administrative Conference of the United States and the GW Regulatory Studies Center, the Social Media Workshop will bring together experts in rulemaking and experts in social media and facilitate a conversation about how social media could be used to improve the rulemaking process, including by addressing current deficiencies or challenges agencies face in rulemaking.  People are often experts in rulemaking or social media, but not both.  The goal of this workshop is to cross-pollinate as necessary to address the hybrid rulemaking-technology questions that are at the core of the Conference’s ongoing project on Social Media in Rulemaking.  The discussion will inform Professor Michael Herz’s research report, as well as the Committee on Rulemaking’s work formulating a draft recommendation.

The workshop will include two panels and a lengthy Q&A session.

The first panel will provide the background information necessary to get all participants on the same page.  The goal of this panel is to explain the basics of the informal rulemaking process and social media technologies, as well as to explore how agencies are currently conducting rulemaking electronically (e.g., and using social media in non-rulemaking contexts.

The second panel will be more forward-looking.  The goal of this panel will be to identify deficiencies or challenges in the rulemaking process and suggest ways to address those issues using social media.  The discussion will integrate overarching policy objectives with the discrete experiences of agencies that have experimented with social media in rulemaking.

The final hour of the workshop will be devoted to Q&A and discussion.  Our hope is that the panels will have provided all the background and inspiration necessary for a meaningful interchange between administrative and technological experts.

Research Projects

Background: Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other similar technologies, present new opportunities for agencies to engage the public in rulemaking activities. Such social media tools are uniquely valuable because they facilitate two-way communication.


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