Cities connecting with residents through social media

Posted: April 14, 2010 by f3technologies in F3 Technologies, Interactive Defense
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With the tremendous market adoption of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, why are cities not using tools to interact with their residents to improve and enhance the communication in areas in which we live?

Well they are starting too! “According to a recent survey conducted by the Public Technology Institute (PTI), PTI asked city and county government IT professionals to what extent they were using social media now and planned to do so in the very near future. Nearly 72% replied that they were using or would be using Twitter; 72% said they were or would be developing their own Facebook page; and 75% are using or beginning to use RSS feeds. In addition, a whopping 43% have dabbled with blogs.”

This trend is highly encouraging as cities begin to see the value of improving the lines of communication and using social media to create a safer community (see also – Virtual Neighborhood Watch: How Social Media is Making Cities Safer –

However, from Public Safety, to Public Works and Code Enforcement, cities are constantly interacting with their residents across a broad range of topics without a consistent approach or standard. Just some examples that all of us face today are:

• Have you sent in a request for a pothole repair and feel it falls into a black hole?

• Do you know the public safety department of most cities will perform a home watch?

• Want to improve the neighborhood or town and have seen something that violates city ordinance, but do not want to get involved?

These are some of the most common questions asked when we speak with cities on how Interactive Defense can help redefine how they interact with residents. So how do we solve these problems?

With Interactive Defense System, this innovative and groundbreaking, 2-way communication system allows officials of any city department to interact with each other, with surrounding municipalities as well as directly with their citizens. This revolutionary internet communication system enables city department to effectively and immediately convey relevant information between all concerned parties allowing for heightened awareness, vigilance and a faster call to action. In addition, by implementing the anonymous violation reporting, maintenance request management & work order assignment capabilities as well as the facility and reservation management tools cities can consolidate activities, which are spread across many departments to create greater accountability. Furthermore, cities can monitor the messageboard to identify trends and send out surveys to gain a clearer understanding on what people are thinking about. This insight provides government officials the necessary tools to respond to issues instead of reacting to problems.

While social media is a great mechanism to improve communication and the safety of a community, our focus with Interactive Defense is to take the next step by solving the critical needs across professional networking, social networking and the internal workflow needs of a city.


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