Does the leader or future leader of your country embrace social media? Mine doesn't!

Our esteemed Prime Minister Steven Harper has ordered his cabinet members to ban all staffers from using Facebook. He is strongly encouraging the deletion of all personal pages from the site. It is expected that a Canadian Federal election will be called early next week—might this be part of an elaborate strategy to curtail any connecting with the people of our fair nation? Yikes.

The brand new Conservative Party site is scrambling to get connected. There are links to Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Friend Feed and Myspace. But upon closer inspection, the Twitter account has only 122 friends and two tweets.

Here's an article from the Hill Times. I especially like this quote:

"This is complete bulls**t. I don't even have a page on Facebook but I don't like it when they stop us from this kind of stuff. There's no point," said one senior ministerial staffer who requested anonymity.

Meanwhile south of the border, Barack Obama has embraced every conceivable social media platform. He (or more likely) his staff actively blog and Barack shows up everywhere. The official Obama campaign site links to profiles, pages and groups on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, Twitter, Eventful, LinkedIn, BlackPlanet, Faithbase, Eons, Glee, MiGente, MyBatanga, AsianAve, DNC and Partybuilder. Obama is finally outpacing Kevin Rose as the most followed person on Twitter!

I guess Mr. Harper gets CNN. Mainstream media is all over the fact that social media is having a huge effect on the US election. McCain doesn't even know how to check his own e-mail, but dog-gone-it, his campaign is blogging.

Lesson for credit unions? If you are going to attempt to get involved in social media publicly but ban the use of it internally, it ain't going to work.

Overreacting? What do you think?

Tim