#FF City of Hamilton

I attended an information session/workshop hosted by the City of Hamilton and McMaster University last night to talk about the communication channels, more specifically, the social media ones, with City Hall.

Alex Sevigny getting the show started
Alex Sevigny getting the show started

My mother originally found the information in The Hamilton Spectator and handed it to me because she knew that I was interested in the City of Hamilton’s website plans. She thought this would be related. So did I.

The evening seemed to go smoothly enough. I always enjoy hearing Dr. Alex Sevigny speak, so hearing him talk about social media and communications seemed like a good way to start the conversation and engagement.

However, it seemed like we were being lectured to, not being asked what we, the citizens, wanted to see and how we thought best to go about doing it. Still, we pushed on to see what was going to come out of it.

Though I enjoyed the exercise, not everyone did. The real discussion emerged after the formal program was over. What I found was that the websites that they mention in the presentation isn’t really dealt with in the discussion parts. The event was very pigeon-holed and directed. It shouldn’t have been. The discussion seemed to separate the website from the social media and communications. Hopefully, they will take not only my comments, but those of all that attended to heart.

Since last night, the City of Hamilton twitter account has increased from about 839 to over 1200 at the time of writing. That’s a 25% increase overnight. Most people are doing #FF to the City of Hamilton today, so their timing was right. But just remember, once you’ve opened those gates, you’d better be prepared for what comes next: the conversation. I’ve already seen two tweets since last night with photos of things the City needs to fix. I have to say that I’m impressed that the City has responded to the tweet and handed it over. Well played…

You can also read Joey Coleman’s take before the meeting and will probably post a report afterwards.

Joey Coleman at work
Joey Coleman at work

I am optimistic which is why I recommend that you follow @CityOfHamilton on this great Follow Friday. I realize they will have a learning curve, which, if they play their cards right, we are willing to help them improve. Jump in #HamOnt!