A few months ago at Gov Camp (big thanks to Dave Briggs for making it happen) I had a discussion with someone from the Foreign Office about how the rise in geo-location social media (i.e. Facebook Places, Foursquare, Gowalla etc) could potentially be used to help spread travel information to UK citizens whilst they travel.
I’m delighted to say that the Foreign Office is now the first UK government department to join Foursquare. As you travel around the world, you can ‘check-in’ your location – be it at the airport, train station or tourist attraction – and view ‘tips’ about the venue you are at or venues nearby.
In his latest blog, Head of Digital Diplomacy Jimmy Leach said:
“…we’ll be using Foursquare to make as many as possible of the 8 million people already on there aware of where our embassies are, for when they need help, and to distribute information where we think it’s useful – at airports, major tourist venue and hotspots. And if the last 6 months have taught us anything it is that the sort of advice the Foreign Office produces can be invaluable to British nationals (and others) as they live and travel overseas.”
I really like the fact that the Foreign Office is trying new ways to communicate with users and shows that whilst there may not be much money in government these days the spirit of Gov 2.0 is well and truly and alive. Just think what else could be done if there was a bit of cash
What do you think? How else do you think the Foreign Office could reach more people and send them relevant travel advice.