The New Townhall
On Sunday, I was walking to our local bagel shop to get my coffee and read my paper.
And I saw this sign announcing a townhall in downtown Tampa on our local public transportation bus system.
Couple things I thought:
1 – Old-school still works – While the signs on major intersections is kind of low-key, old school marketing, it worked with me and
I’m guessing it did for others.
2 – No website – Notice that they have prominently the telephone number and address. But no website
3 – Time/Location – First thing my girlfriend said was “that location is really far away” plus it is 5:30 on a weekday. We are both big public transit
supporters but notice we had no interest in going down in-person to the
So a couple proposed solutions:
1 – Live-stream – Minimally the meeting should be live-streamed on the Internet.
2 – Take questions from Internet – Like Obama with Ask the President, there needs to be a way to submit questions to this event rather
than raising their hand. That
could be an ideation tool (Uservoice, Ideascale, Google Moderator, etc) or as
simple as blog comments or Twitter.
3 – Build the community – This is not a one-time activity. I think local government
should work on building a community that is engaged online and offline when
they look for public feedback.
Bake these processes into these events and I’m sure each event will get
bigger and grow on themselves.