Civic News

City officials talk city services on Twitter with ‘tweet chat’

It's like a community meeting, but it's on Twitter. Yesterday's topic? The city's neighborhood liaison program, which trains citizens to be part of the 311 team.

Managing Director Rich Negrin co-led the city's second "tweet chat."

It’s like a community meeting, but it’s on Twitter. Last week’s topic? The city’s neighborhood liaison program, which trains citizens to be part of the city’s 311 nonemergency call center team.

Last week the city held it’s second “tweet chat,” a Twitter discussion between city officials and employees and Philadelphians. Managing Director Rich Negrin and 311 Director Rosetta Lue, both very active tweeters, led the discussion. By around 8:15 p.m., the chat had about 244 tweets between 67 users, said spokesman Ryan Birchmeier, adding that #Philly311NLP was also trending in Philadelphia.

The next chat will focus on the city’s neighborhood empowerment effort, PhillyRising, Birchmeier said.

Check out highlights from the first tweet chat here.

The city has previously used social media for civic engagement, whether it’s in the form of police “tips” or city planning feedback, but it’s nice to see the city turn that into a dialogue. Anything that helps make government seem more human, rather than a bunch of shadowy figures running the city, is good in our book.

It’s worth adding that smartphone adoption and social media use is rapidly growing in lower-income communities and those of color.

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