This paper presents the case of Australian government use of Facebook (FB) pages. This research-in-progress paper investigates six Australian Government FB pages to assess visible government and audience online participation. It seeks to provide a general understanding of the types and forms of FB uses by government and audience participation visible in government FB pages. FB page wall posts and comments are analysed quantitatively using genre analysis to determine what type of online participation is visible in these sites and what the agencies are trying to achieve. Findings show that the Facebook page participation varies across the agencies and the pages are being used for the purpose of announcing, informing and involving type of online engagement. The pages are being used for communication, compliance, recruitment, promotion and crowdsourcing. Some pages show strong audience engagement and have successfully served as a platform for its audience to share and communicate and respond to queries. However the engagement of the agencies has been limited. The paper concludes with further insights into agency FB strategies and highlights some concerns that may rise within the usage of these sites as evidenced from wall posts and comments analysis. The paper aims to contribute to better understanding of the government FB phenomenon on the public Social Network Site (SNS) that can lead to useful conclusions for government agency deployment, adoption and usage of SNSs.



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