Strength in Numbers (from MainStreetSocial.org)
August 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm #109108
According to The New York Times, cities across the country have been either closing firehouses or implementing a brownout system (shutting particular firehouses on particular days) as a means of saving money for a city’s budget. While this may be saving a few bucks, a city fire department is the kind of service that should be guaranteed at all times. But what can be done if a community lacks the funds to support numerous firehouses on a full-time basis?
It is not easy to fix a budget crisis, and certainly even tougher to fix a nation-wide one. An alternative to fixing multiple cities’ budgets would be better communication, despite a reduction of government spending. In the near future, government spending can be saved by the technology of social networking.
In a previous article, Gov 2.0: The Quicker-Fixer-Upper, it was mentioned that by use of social networking, the increased communication among ordinary residents in cities may quicken getting rid of potholes and other problems. With enhanced communication, a firehouse on the other side of the city could receive a tweet and save a life, even if there are fewer stations open. If more people were to use a technology such as this, the more immediate problems – such as those that the fire department deals with – will hurdle less immediate problems and probably push the reparation of that pothole on your corner to next week. So how does a community fix this?
The truth is, it is up to the community. With an entire community interacting with one another, it will be their decision to decide which problem is the most pressing, almost as a town hall would have been years ago.
The state of Utah uses Twitter as means of advertising new jobs throughout the city. By reducing the unemployment rate throughout the state, it allows for the majority of its residents to stay active in keeping the state on top of problems. With social media technology, a budget crisis should be able to be taken care of with the help of every one of your neighbors.
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