DEARBORN, Michigan - "Should my community have a Facebook page?" "Should I, as a city council person, be on Facebook or Twitter? "But if I do go on Facebook won't that blur the lines between my personal and professional life?"
These were just a small sampling of the questions and issues addressed during three social media-related sessions and workshops at the Michigan Municipal League's 2010 Annual Convention in Dearborn, Michigan. The Convention concludes Friday, Sept. 24. The answers to those questions from all the social media practitioners at the Convention were "yes," Yes," and "YES." Those speaking included Peter Kageyama, founder and co-producer of the Creative Cities Summit, Sean Mann, project coordinator for the Let's Save Michigan campaign; Cliff Lampe, associate professor in the College of Communications at Michigan State University; Eric DeLong, deputy city manager for Grand Rapids; Rob Ferrari, director of information and technology for the Michigan Municipal League: Matt Bach, director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League.
The experts all agreed that social media is not a fad and is here to stay and Michigan communities need to allocate time to be involved in social media by creating Facebook and Twitter pages for their communities. The experts explained that Facebook and Twitter do blur the lines between what is personal and public, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Lampe said having Facebook friends get a glimpse into the personal life of their city manager, village board member and other public officials will help them relate better to the official, which in turn is good for the public leader.
For details about the Michigan Municipal League and what we do go to www.mml.org. For more on our Convention and other blog posts from Convention go here. View the League's Facebook page at facebook.com/mmleague and its twitter page at twitter.com/mmleague. View the League's legislative blog here.
Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 734-669-6317 and firstname.lastname@example.org.