Cities turn to Facebook, Twitter to get message out
BY BILL LAITNER and KORIE WILKINS • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
August 2, 2009
Local and state officials are turning to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to quickly share information from job openings to accidents to upcoming events with a larger audience than they typically attract to their Web sites.
Residents may check in on a government Web site periodically, but most people log in to Facebook or follow Twitter multiple times a day, officials said.
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They're right. Hardly anyone wakes up every morning and trolls government sites for news or information. But everyone would like to know if there's a road closed on your way in to work, or if the DMV is on furlough on a day you're planning a visit.
Government agencies have a responsibility to do more than post a news release in a hard-to-find spot on their website if they actually hope to get their message out. We know that people are increasingly logging on to their Twitter and Facebook accounts in the morning, and throughout the day for news and updates. These are mediums that the public sector should embrace.
It's about more than being hip and trendy with technology, it's about transparency, and it's about public service.