Chinese Officials Get Schooled in Social Media

Let’s face it.  No one wants to be the dateless, fat kid at the prom.  Lagging woefully behind other world leaders and government officials in their understanding and usage of social media, Chinese government officials are clearly sitting on the sidelines of the social media party (even as its own citizens master the use of social media tools in powerful and innovative ways).

Singapore’s Straits Times, is reporting that Beijing government officials are about to be schooled in how to be cool.  Social media has been enthusiastically embraced by the Chinese population (who often surpass their Western counterparts in social media usage).  Government officials in Beijing will be trained extensively in social media in order to engage and communicate thoughtfully with its citizens (or to control and spy on them – take your pick).

According to Straits Times:

“The city’s Communist Party school is offering the training to ‘bureau-level leading cadres’ to help ‘leaders catch up with Internet currents”, the Legal Evening News said.

The training will ‘raise cadres’ understanding of information dissemination, and social and public sentiment in order to better respond to sudden crises,’ it said.”

I would pay big bucks to watch a communist leader be trained in social media (my suggestions to Fidel Castro on updating his blog can be found here).  You can follow other world leaders’ official Twitter accounts here.

The question is, considering their politics, will this new endeavor prove successful for Beijing officials or will it be an embarrassment?  Can social media topple communism?

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