Given the acclaimed role of the internet in promoting the free flow of information, it is surprising that so few of Wingecarribee’s Councillors or candidates for Council embrace its power. At the 2008 election, social media was still nascent (Twitter was unknown, and Facebook had only been publicly available for two years) and blogging was popular but not as freely available as today. Now, the tools are free, everywhere and well-known. And yet, it appears only one Wingecarribee Councillor has a Twitter account, only one has a website, and only one other confirmed candidate has a website. They are:
I suspect most of the Councillors have their own personal Facebook profile, but none seem to have made any use of the network’s pages system.
This state of affairs is especially surprising when you consider the oft-touted commitment to openness and accountability of our elected representatives – especially the Mayor Ken Halstead.
Arkwright’s Twitter account was set up during her campaign for the seat of Throsby at the 2010 Federal Election. In fact, it still describes her as such almost two years later. Whipper’s website is built on the free blogging software Blogger (by Google), though he at least had the foresight to purchase his own domain name. New kid on the block Greg Franklin has built his site on the free software Wix, using their domain name. Both the Whipper and Franklin sites are clumsily designed and barely legible due to colour clashes and text overlaying pictures.
We may not be getting the NBN anytime soon, but that is no excuse for our civic leaders to not engage with residents through the internet in 2012.