Reading Borough Council on Twitter

It looks as if Reading Borough Council have expanded their Twitter presence with two new channels: @Street_care and @readingcouncil. These join @FundingAdvice, launched in July 2009 to help voluntary organisations.

@ReadingCouncil, with a suitably burgundy background, have made a tentative start, commencing tweeting on 26 October and posting their second (and last) tweet a couple of days later.

Perhaps understandably, Reading tweeps have demonstrated little interest thus far; the number of followers at the time of writing stood at 44. These followers include Councillor Daisy Benson, arguably the most prolific user of social media in local government, and @readinglabour. Both welcomed RBC’s arrival on Twitter.

A few more daily tweets, including efforts to respond to queries (as a council should), and I’d expect followers and lists to soar. The Twitter team ought also to think about snapping up @readingboroughcouncil (to stay on the safe side), and perhaps attending a local tweetup or two when the time is right.

@Street_care, the Twitter profile of RBC’s Streetcare Team, is faring slightly less well in popularity, with 26 followers. Three tweets over a week or so (including an RT) is not an ideal start.

Are they ready? I see local Twitter users TwitPiccing filthy pavements and overflowing bins – and nudging the Streetcare Team to take urgent action. I see YouTube videos of scurrying rats. I hope that they up the ante a little.

What are your thoughts on the Council’s use of Twitter?

What are Reading councillors tweeting about?

In a recent post, I revealed that roughly a quarter of Reading councillors maintain a blog and just under one-third are on Twitter.

Following this entry, I created a Twitter list of Reading councillors atReadingRoars/reading-councillors (it seemed like a natural next step).

Now I’ve gone a little further. For fun, I’ve created a “word cloud” of Reading councillor tweets, as shown in the image below (not interactive, unfortunately). This is generated from tweets posted over the past 24 hours (there haven’t been that many).

So what do you think?

Reading councillor word cloud

This is how I did it:

  1. Created a Twitter List of Reading councillor Twitter accounts;
  2. Submitted the list to Twitter Lists 2 RSS for converting into RSS;
  3. Added the RSS feed to Wordle. The font I selected was “Kenyan Coffee”, in homage to Workhouse Coffee’s Kenyan coffee tasting Sunday.

City of Reading targets city status bid success

In my last post I asked what a refreshed Reading identity might look like. How about an upgrade to the “City of Reading”?

For this is what a new online campaign hopes to see accomplished. “City of Reading” seeks support for Reading’s city status bid by disseminating positive news about the town. Behind the initiative is a company (no individual is named), City of Reading Ltd, incorporated May this year, with the help of web marketing outfit 2maad.

At the heart of City of Reading is a website inviting members of the public to submit upbeat stories. Although many pages lay bare, there is a wealth of information about the town and bid, a photo gallery and a forum (albeit fledgling).

Flanking the site are a Twitter channel (@cityofreading), Facebook page and even a MySpace presence.

And it’s Twitter where the thrust of the campaign is most vigorously and impressively felt, with personality-laden updates posted on a frequent basis. More than 680 tweeps and 34 Twitter lists now follow @cityofreading (to compare, the Facebook page is liked by 36), though follower growth appears to be slowing markedly.

Whether you consider the town’s third city status attempt worthwhile or not (and I’m with John, who asked previously on this blog: Can Reading do better than city status?), there is no denying the ambition and eagerness of this grassroots effort to turn heads.

Having perhaps clicked on the links above, what are your thoughts on City of Reading? What changes would you make?

Moving on to local activism more generally, is there a campaign that you are involved with that you can tell us about? Alternatively, are you looking to rally support for a cause, but unsure how to proceed?

Where to get the latest Reading Festival updates

Day 3 of the Reading Festival beckons and Guns N’ Roses are still dominating headlines after that show. But what elsehas beenhappening at the Richfield Avenue site?

If, like me, youhave been unableto go tothis world-famous event thisyear, you might be interested in getting updates from the following online sources:





Who/what else should I add this to the list?

Catch me on Twitter

I amexperiencing Facebook fatigue at the moment (all those walls <sigh>), so have focused my attention on the microblogging service Twitter (think Facebook status updates).

I’d signed up a while back after readingsocial media expertand Reading resident Drew Benvie’sblog, but didn’t see the appeal. Well, I see the appeal now, a late entrant as always.

You can follow my 140 character nonsense at One of these days I will do something smarter with it. But not today.