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Mayor Miner touts social media during Syracuse state of the city

Syracuse plans to utilize Facebook and YouTube to communicate with residents.
Ryan Morden
Syracuse plans to utilize Facebook and YouTube to communicate with residents.

State of the city addresses can be pretty bleak, what with cities across the country growing less and less able to cope with their budgets.

But Syracuse's mayor, Stephanie Miner, found a way to deliver some good news during her speech last night: use the Internet.

Syracuse has several initiatives running to bring the city up-to-speed with social networking. Miner says the city is using its YouTube channel and Facebook page to reach out to residents.

“If you get into your shower in the morning and you don’t have any water, what are you to do," Miner asked. "Normally what people do now is call the water department, but what if it’s 6 a.m. and you’re getting ready for work? Now what you can do is get on Facebook and see, 'Oh look the water main is broken on Teal [Avenue], so that’s what it is'."

Social media can be a useful tool for code enforcement in Rust Belt cities looking to clean up vacant houses and blight (it cropped up on the agenda at this conference). But Miner doesn't seem to be there yet, viewing SM more as a one-way communication mechanism for the city.

And she says she's staying away from the third leg of the typical social media trifecta: Twitter.

“There is a certain line that you have with technology," Miner said. "If we did Twitter, then I think we’d have to be on it a lot more. We do have work to do as well."

To jump on Facebook and YouTube doesn’t cost the city anything, the exact price the city can afford when launching new initiatives.

Innovation Trail alumnus Ryan Morden is originally from Seattle. He graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's in journalism, minoring in political science and Scandinavian studies. Morden was Morning Edition producer and reporter at WRVO before moving over to the Innovation Trail project. Before landing at WRVO, Morden covered the Washington State legislature as a correspondent for Northwest News Network (N3), a group of nine NPR affiliates in the northwest.
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