Russian President Dmitry Medvedev launches video blog

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Official drawing of Standard of the President ...Image via Wikipedia

We’ve written in the past about the way’s Gordon Brown is using YouTube and the role of social media in govenment websites in the UK, and of course the role social media played in Obama’s campaign in the US. Politicians can make great use of social media and online communities to engage with the public.

One real benefit of engaging people in this way is that you can focus people round a specific topic or issue, a useful tool for politicians and government. It’s also a great way to open up and bring people inside the organisation. Just as this is beneficial for brands, so it is also beneficial for organisations. That’s why it’s great to see another example of social media being used in this way, and this time one that is possibly one that is less well known: the videoblog from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Launched in October 2008, Dmitry Medvedev recorded a few experimental video blog entries before the end of last year, but it is this week that he has returned and the blog is starting to gain traction. I’ve included the latest clip below, which may only be of use to Russian speakers (although you do get to see Medvedev skiing).

In this clip he talks about sport and exercise and how important it is to people and how it plays a role in many New Years resolutions. He also tells us that he intends to ski more (hence the skiing in the clip). But of more interest is what he tells us about how his video blog will be used (apologies in advance for any mistakes in my own rough translation from the original Russian):

I would like to say a few words about how my video blog. You will know that we began to experiment with a few posts from the 7th October last year. I now want us to take your feedback and improve implement some of your suggestions. First, you asked for commenting on the site and I’m glad to say we have now got this. You can now post comments to the site and I hope you will do so. I have already listened to your feedback with great interest and look forward to reading your comments.

It is really great to see the Russian presidency engaging its citizens in this way; to see Dmitry Medvedev listening and responding to feedback in this way. Medvedev posting his video blogs and allowing people to comment and respond to them. I hope that he continues to do this and that he not only reads but also engages with the comments.

Video and social media has a significant role to play in connecting people and allowing them to engage with each other. For the Russian Government it is a way of letting its citizens inside, letting them see Medvedev as a real person and of having a dialogue with him. It will be interesting to see how this experiment continues and the response and interest they get. It has the potential to be a great success.

Update: a better (and full) translation of the video from Russia Today

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