The Madison Common Council is in the process of developing a new policy to allow the use of social media for official city communication. Appropriately, I learned this from a facebook message from Council staffer Lisa Veldran.
Currently, not only are many of our alders technologically inept, but all are technologically restricted in their communications with constituents by the city's massive number of web regulations.
For instance, under the "District News" tab on their city webpage, alders are only allowed to post neighborhood meetings or neighborhood newsletters. The former can only be posted if they relate to city business (a UW event, for instance, is off limits) and the latter cannot be posted between December and April of an election year if the alder is running for re-election.
Worse still, if the alders want to start a blog of their own, which deals with a broader range of issues, they are not allowed to provide a link to that blog on their city homepage.
The new social media policy is a welcome development, and hopefully it includes the addition of blogs to an alders' official city communications.
Last but not least, hopefully the new mayor will take to blogging as well as the last one did.
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