I had a very interesting meeting last night with officers of Gateshead Council about the use of social media for communicating with constituents. Currently I am the only member of the council to have my own blog. More of us are on Facebook. I am the only one with a YouTube channel and as far as we are aware, I am the only one with a Flickr site. So we had a good look at other sites and how to use Facebook more effectively.
What got my attention however was a proposal the officers raised with me about setting up online petitions and surveys on the Council website. This would be a great step forward and definitely something I hope the council decides to implement.
It was also an opportunity to press forward some ideas of my own. I am keen for full council and cabinet meetings to be recorded and broadcast via the council website. No need for video but an audio recording would suffice. It won't need lots of extra, costly equipment. It could be done very cheaply. I also suggested the leader of the council should do a monthly podcast. Whether or not my ideas will be taken up is something I will, no doubt, report on via a podcast or YouTube video!
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