Mesa is all a Twitter — and MySpace, as well as Facebook and other social media — about connecting city officials with residents.
Like most cities, Mesa has had its Web site, mesaaz.gov, for years. But a Web site is something residents have to visit. The social media push is an experimental approach to see whether residents will follow, “friend” or otherwise get connected with city officials for news and information.
“We created a Web page linked to the city’s home page that has links to Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, MySpace and other sites,” said Jessie Brodersen, a Web specialist for the city. “It’s just another way to get information out to the public.”
Brodersen said a variety of Web and social media sites were already in use by the city, and others are being newly created.
A Twitter page, launched in late 2009, is aimed at informing residents about upcoming activities at Falcon Field Airport, Brodersen said.
“Just like all of our other social media accounts, we want to connect with the public to inform them about our big open house at the airport in March,” she said.
Brodersen said residents interested in tracking information about the airport open house can visit Twitter.com/falconfieldaz.
The mayor, council members and city manager all have Facebook pages.
On Mayor Scott Smith’s Facebook account, he has “230 supporters” to date. The mayor also has a Twitter account, which is accessible through his personal page on the city’s Web site.
A comment made by the mayor in late December from his iPhone might be just one example of how city leaders, at least, are using social media to connect with residents: “Here’s hoping that regardless of how messed up things seem to be, 2010 will be the best year yet this century,” he wrote.
Councilwoman Dina Higgins said that, like many other city leaders, she’s found that residents have contacted her through social media sites.
“I find it easier for some people to use Facebook than the city (Web) page,” she said, adding that she’s had a Facebook account since June.
Higgins said she’s had a Twitter account since October, but for personal use.
“I use that for more personal stuff like football scores, new restaurants, sales, great photos,” Higgins said. “I am still trying to use it more.”
List of sites
For a list of all the Web and social media sites used by the city, visit http://www.mesaaz.gov/info/connect.aspx