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Wild Turkey Stalks Suburbia

Antisocial Media: City of Pacifica One-Way Communication

I notice on the Nextdoor website that the City of Pacifica and the Pacifica Police Department have opted not to enable Nextdoor readers to comment about their posts.

All I would ask them to do is not to send us messages that we (a) already know, (b) don't already know but don't need to know, and (c) don't already know but easily could figure out.

And what's funny is that the city doesn't see anything wrong with that. It says in its opening post, without the slightest hint of irony: "Initially the City will focus in on one-way communication..."

Y'know, the more I think about it, I'm really opposed to the City of Pacifica intruding on our Nextdoor website.  It's really isn't in the spirit of Nextdoor. The County of San Mateo has a perfectly good notification system that doesn't involve hitching its wagon to anyone else's.  Apparently the City of Pacifica is unable to do the same. If you disagree, just wait for those emails about "Safe Driving Week" and, worse, subtle messaging when city resources and salaries are on the line.

Alan Wald


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@PB: There is no Open Space Committee anymore. The very idea of an advisory only (that is to say having-no-teeth) committee helping the City Council to stay informed on issues concerning open space was apparently just too threatening so they killed it dead.

Your idea about publishing everything sounds great. It could certainly make for a more representative government.

What if the city published communications for all committees -- GGNRA Liaison, Open Space, Economic Development: agendas, minutes, videos, transcripts -- all public?

What if the City of Pacifica publishes meeting dates and related agendas on the city website calendar -- a week or more before the meeting is held? And publishes videos of city meetings on YouTube a day after the meeting is held? Maybe with a link to the video when it's up on the website.

I had no idea, Alan. Thank you. Well said.

This is the opposite of social media, and it makes their effort toward the communication plan look weak. Because of their fear of being confronted by the voice of the community and not being able to "control" what gets said, plus not having the manpower to respond to the possible overwhelming inquiries, they play it safe. Corporations face this fear when even remotely thinking about engaging in social media for the first time. Social media are powerful and they are here to stay, so embrace them and use them to your advantage. Even if questions or inquiries cannot be answered immediately, you need to get out there and say, "We'll get back to you with an answer." This shows "effort," even if it may not be the answer they want to hear. They need to take it more seriously and map out a more serious strategy just for social media.

This is part of the open and transparent government. The communication plan.

Mary Ann seemed pretty riled up about the online criticism of city council.

I would say email or call city council and leave them a message.

They do not respond.

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