Social media is a participatory medium. People share what is happening around them. It is something anyone can use, and a good move for the local governments, municipalities, city corporations to use social media and blogging platforms. The good uses of social media was recognized in this 2014 Lok Sabha elections. This Lok Sabha election created a social media revolution. Twitter wars happened. Politicians wrote blogs to get their point across, they also engaged with the youth who actively took part in helping political parties form manifestos.
The Prime Minister of India’s office has used social media for years now. It is about time the local governments in India too used it. The use of social media, and blogs should be strong at the local level too, as people directly engage with the Local Government. In my previous post I talked about local government using bloggers to engage with the local public. This time I will talk about the use of blogs by local government. What if the Mayor, or the Mayor’s office blogged for the mayor. What issues he could talk about or support?
Express Support to the Police
Police are catching criminals, and preventing crimes. The city police are posting about crime, preventing crime, and giving information of wanted criminals in the city. The traffic police too are posting updates about traffic situation. The mayors office would write a letter of appreciation to the police whenever a challenging case would be solved, and also announce activities conducted by the police.
Announcing Activities and Meet Ups
The blog may tell the community about the upcoming activities or events. Some of the activities may need assistance or may encourage participation from the general public. The newspapers carry news about council meetings, and the television do show videos, but posting a link to the video on the social media will encourage the community to view and post their opinion. The mayor would also announce steps to improve infrastructure, education, and security in the city.
Public Service Announcements
Providing information through blogs and social media saves time and money. The mayor’s office can change people’s attitude to a particular issue, raise awareness, and change their attitude to a social issue. Blogs are cheaper means to providing information than traditional media. Blogging is cheaper than using traditional media.
The mayors office blog will help it engage with the social media users of the city, and this creates new possibilities. It could change the way the local governments work. The online community will also bring issues to the mayors table through the mayors blog. The mayor can also use this blog to mobilize support. In India, local governments had never interacted like this with the people of the city. This will help people work together with the local government, and set certain expectations.
Blogging creates transparency. The mayor can provide unimaginable access to the local government, and help the community discuss trending topics, discuss local civic and social issues with the Mayor. Discussing ideas will help in coming up with innovative solutions for issues.
But it is not the best answer for change, as there are many. Mayors will also do field visits, and have agencies engage in research. Besides most of the people do not use blogs, and some neither the internet. The local government should engage with the local community and address computer illiteracy issue. Nonetheless local governments should make use of blogging. The local governments in India should have an open culture, and take risks.