Technology

Social Media Roundup: A Healthy Discussion on a Website in Crisis

With the high-profile, extremely complex HealthCare.gov facing major technical problems, it's worth considering how you can avoid similar problems of your own. Also: Why simply having a social presence isn't enough.

With the high-profile, extremely complex HealthCare.gov facing major technical problems, it’s worth considering how you can avoid similar problems of your own. Also: Why simply having a social presence isn’t enough.

The Affordable Care Act isn’t going anywhere, but it certainly isn’t looking too healthy right now, based on the many issues its public face, HealthCare.gov, is having at the moment.

Clearly you don’t lead an initiative nearly as fraught with peril or controversy as “Obamacare,” but how can you ensure that a big tech project of your own doesn’t run into the same kinds of issues? Thoughts on that and more in today’s Social Media Roundup.

Learning From a Headache

Now that the shutdown’s over, it’s time to assess the issues that HealthCare.gov’s been struggling with in recent days. The problems run deep, and the political fallout could hurt—a lot. And some of the criticism just stings. Which is why, when working on a super-complex issue like this one, you want to make sure the thing works before you hit the “on” switch. Deirdre Reid ponders the situation for associations in her latest piece for Avectra. The issues vary, according to Reid, but a key one is the need for strong leadership to ensure the mission doesn’t fall off track. “Leadership must foster an open culture where people aren’t afraid to give realistic and, perhaps, bad news, like ‘your expectations are unreasonable given our budget and the amount of staff time available to dedicate to this project,'” she writes. “They must have the sense to adjust expectations and timelines. Mission success first, politics second.” Getting beyond the politics for a second here, how would you clean up this mess? (ht @deirdrereid)

Less of the Same—Not More

Strategy, not stagnation: What’s the worst thing that can happen to your social media strategy? According to Booz & Co. CEO Cesare R. Mainardi, it’s stagnation. Getting on social is one thing; creating a strategy that’s so well integrated with what you already do elsewhere that others can’t catch up is something else entirely. “[T]he leading companies in the social sphere are not just building these capabilities, but also investing to make them distinctive: so ingrained, proficient, and individually tailored to their strategies that competitors can’t catch up,” he writes. “To accomplish this, companies must actively transform their key business functions from marketing to product development.” Sound like something you’re already doing? (ht @EproGeri)

What’s on your list today? Tell us about it in the comments.

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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