Some initial thoughts on how the Clean Energy Future initiative is engaging online

Certainly interesting to observe how the Clean Energy Future initiative, announced today by the Australian federal government, is using the Web channel as part of its communication mix.

The main Website itself is running on WordPress, using a fairly conservative layout and few baked in social features other than embedded YouTube videos plus Twitter and Facebook sharing (interesting, considering the business impact that they haven’t also included LinkedIn). Commenting, however, isn’t enabled.

But while you can’t discuss or provide feedback directly on the main site, the channel is open for comments on YouTube, Facebook and of course Twitter (#CEF). I’m not clear if this was entirely by design, because these comments aren’t integrated back into the main site. It will be interesting to see what they do with this back channel over the longer term.

BTW there was a slight glitch earlier, which I suspect was required to tweak the home page in order to remove unfiltered tweets from appearing on it. That’s fair enough – its far too easy spam – although questionable why it was enabled in the first place.

One feature I do like, although it only appears in the news section, is the ‘Elsewhere in the news’ feed which links to external news coverage. I’m not sure how this feed is aggregated or curated but personally I think this content actually adds a lot value. It could have formed part of the central purpose of the site (other than providing core information about tax and relief measures) and shifted discussion into those news channels, which ultimately might be more useful than Facebook comments. For example, check out the ABC’s news microsite.

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