Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thank you all. A note from @sheffus, the @USCERT_gov account manager

 Fellow IT and Security folks,
This is the first and only tweet I, @sheffus, will make on this account. On August 2nd, 2013 I am officially transferring control of the @USCERT_gov twitter account to US-CERT/DHS.  I have been responsible for the account since I created it in late 2008.  I originally created the account (and numerous others) when I started exploring twitter and how it could/should be used by Federal Agencies.

I just want to say "Thank You" for following along and allowing me to provide this service.  I hope you have found some value in the feed.  This community has been incredibly encouraging and helpful.  Followers have even alerted me directly when there were problems with the feed.  For that I am truly thankful.

The back story, in case you are interested

How and why I became responsible for the @USCERT_gov feed

In late 2008 I started to explore twitter.  At that time I set up a number of twitter accounts sending out federal agency content. Many agencies had not yet jumped in to twitter and I was interested in getting their content broadcasted.  I set up accounts for DLA, EPA, the US Archives, USAID, DHS and a number of others. I also set up a few aggregation accounts for government news including USGovNews, UKGovNews and CanadaGovNews. Most of the individual Agency accounts were eventually removed by twitter and the Agencies that were getting their Social Media activities started.  The account I had created was in the way and, to be fair, I had no authority to set up the accounts in the first place. Most Agencies had set up official accounts, managed by dedicated professionals and were on their way to building communities of engaged and informed users. I was simply providing a placeholder service while they got their Social Media initiatives together. Also, I wasn't providing any interaction at all. I didn't want to 'speak' for any Agency.  I was simply pushing content from their RSS feeds to the twitter account.  I use (@twfeed), which is a wonderful, free service, to connect the Agency RSS feed(s) to twitter. I am glad that the Agencies finally got involved and started using twitter to engage with citizens. Twitter has offered citizens a unique and often very personal way to communicate. 

For whatever reason the US-CERT had not set up their own twitter account. Over time the account gained more and more followers and content was often retweeted.  Which makes sense, since the US-CERT content is always helpful and appreciated.


Handing @USCERT_gov over to US-CERT

On July 17th a follower contacted me via my personal account, @sheffus.  That user was @AnAHAmoment.  I searched LinkedIn and discovered that the user was a "Social Media, Web Presence and Innovation Strategist" working at the US-CERT.  Long story short: @AnAHAmoment and I discussed the @USCERT_gov account and the tools I have used to broadcast their content.  We also discussed the growth of the account (which was 100% organic) and the future of the account.  I offered to hand over control of the account which I think was unexpected. It has always been my hope that someone at US-CERT would officially take over this account. It is time for the professionals to start providing real interaction with the users.

I have high hopes that this is what is coming next.

Thank you all for your support. I hope to see you around twitter and elsewhere.


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