Seeking more ways to connect with residents it serves, the village of Riverside has its very own Twitter account. Similar to the village’s e-flash e-mail system, the Riverside Twitter page (www.twitter.com/RiversideGov) includes tweets on upcoming events, road construction news and the like.
For those unfamiliar with Twitter, think of it as Facebook with only status updates. If you don’t know what Facebook is, this method of communication was probably not meant for you anyway.
“I’m hoping it’s going to supplement e-flash, but connect to a different crowd,” said Kevin Wachtel, Riverside’s finance director and the man responsible for updating the page.
“E-mail for some is passé,” he added. “We’re trying to reach an additional segment of folks on their terms.”
After a sporadic tweeting schedule in late April, Wachtel decided to go all in on May 5 and sent out an e-flash message announcing the Twitter page and posted a tweet about finding board meeting agendas, packets and minutes online. The next day it reminded residents that census workers were canvassing the town and that the Arts Fair was coming up.
Wachtel said he’d welcome any suggestions on how to use the account to help communicate with residents. And he means it. One follower suggested on the afternoon of May 5 that RiversideGov dump the repeating water tower background, because it was distracting.
The next day, the background was dialed to one of Twitter’s leafy, prefab designs.