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City Joins Facebook to Connect with Residents

Page brought online last week after 4-year consideration

The city of Kent has joined the Facebook crowd.

City administrators took the Tree City's Facebook page live last week after initially creating the page almost four years ago.

Kent City Manager Dave Ruller said city officials always look for effective, affordable means to connect residents with city government and their community, and a Facebook page offered another platform to do that.

"We're limited in what we can afford, so the fact that Facebook is free made it particularly attractive to us," Ruller said. "We recognize that not everyone is a Facebook follower, but for those that are, we're pleased to be able to add this to our information portfolio."

The move isn't the city's first venture into the digital age. Earlier this year the launched for the department that makes department news, statistics and police crash reports more easily available to the public. The city also maintains a Twitter account.

In joining Facebook, Kent is not the first municipality to try and capitalize on the social network. Other Ohio cities, including Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, and Dayton, maintain pages. Much larger cities, such as Los Angeles and London, Ontario, also maintain Facebook pages as a means to communicate with residents and potential tourists.

As of this story's publication, 109 people were following the Kent page. So far, city administrators have used it to post the schedule and agendas for , share photos from and post the Tree City Bulletin.

Ruller said they created the page four years ago but kept it offline because they weren't sure how effective it would be, and little research was available showing the value of municipal Facebook pages.

"We're not an early adopter to Facebook, but we're hoping city residents will take advantage of this new opportunity to keep track of things that are happening in Kent, Ruller said.

demo rat December 02, 2011 at 06:50 PM
Will subscribers to the page be able to leave comments on wall postings or will it, like Ruller's blog, have that feature disabled?
Matt Fredmonsky December 02, 2011 at 06:52 PM
Well, there's only one way to find out, and that's by commenting on their page.
Diane Stresing December 03, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Just checked; comments are enabled. Fb can be a viable communication tool. Let's all use it... wisely.

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